Friday, February 19, 2010

550 - You Aught to Know - Children of Men - #12

Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón, 2006, 30 points

"What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?" I'm often asked, and it's a difficult question because films don't frigten me easy. But my answer inevitably involves Children of Men, which begins with a concept (humanity has gone infertile and is a dying race) so frightening that to consider it seriously forces one to not just face their own death, but the end of all human consciousness. That dread alone should be enough, but the film's lengthy and violent action sequences, directed with jaw-dropping magnificence by Alfonso Cuarón, supply a murderous tension that never breaks, even until the final second. Yet that same tension is subverted as the film's glimmer of hope ensures that the lingering effect ends up as uplifting as it is tragic. - James Frazier

What a thrill it was to watch in panic from the passenger seat as the car carrying Clive Owen was ambushed and forced to flee in reverse as a mob and motorcyclists’ chased. This scene captures the essence of Children of Men’s appeal, its point-of-view camerawork following Theo Faron (Owen) as he scrambles through dangerous scenarios we’re never quite sure he’ll survive. The undertone and back story of a childless future is a dystopia that’s intriguing enough, but surely more developed and explored in the novel. Here, the film’s bleak outlook still works to provide the best scenery and set pieces of the decade. - Dustin Lilleskov

Next time on You Aught to Know: Doing the right thing, whatever it costs

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