December 21, 2006

DEMOGRAPHIC REALITY IS JUST TOO GRIM:

Children of Men: Alfonso Cuarón triumphs over studio indifference. (J. Hoberman, 12/20/06, Seattle Weekly)

History repeats itself: Eleven Decembers ago, Universal had the season's strongest movie—a downbeat sci-fi flick freely adapted from a well-known source by a name director. With a bare minimum of advance screenings and a shocking absence of hype, the studio dumped it. This year, they've done it again.

The 1995 castoff was 12 Monkeys; this year's victim is Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón's dank, hallucinated, shockingly immediate version of P.D. James' novel. Never mind that Cuarón saved the Harry Potter franchise and, with Y Tu Mamá También, directed the highest-grossing Spanish-language movie ever released in America, this superbly crafted action thriller is being treated like a communicable disease. [...]

Children preserves yet enriches James' allegorical premise: Humanity is facing its own extinction—not through nuclear proliferation or global warming, but through the end of fertility. Like James' 1992 book, the movie opens with the violent death of the world's youngest person and imagines what might happen if the human race were granted a miraculous second chance. Universal may have deemed Children too grim for Christmas, but it is premised on a reverence for life that some might term religious.


Might?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 21, 2006 1:46 PM
Comments

"saved the Harry Potter franchise"? What a joke. Not even George Lucas could make a HP movie bad enough to kill that golden goose...

The reviews and interviews just make it ever more painfully obvious that Cuaron didn't understand the whole point of the book: No children means no future. No future means no hope. No hope means no interest in anything beyond the self, leading to all sorts of social catastrophes.

Cuaron's politics appears to have made this more like: Capitalism means no interest in anything beyond the self, leading to all sorts of social catastrophes.

Think the religion of the father & mother, quite a big deal in the book, is mentioned at all in the movie?

Posted by: b at December 21, 2006 3:00 PM
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