Children of Men

In Alfonso Cuarón's dank, hallucinated, shockingly immediate version of P.D. James's novel, humanity is facing its own extinction -- not through nuclear proliferation or global warming, but through the end of fertility. Like James's book, the movie opens with the violent death of the world's youngest person (18-year-old "Baby Diego," stabbed by an irate fan in Buenos Aires) and imagines what might happen if the human race were granted a miraculous second chance. The year is 2027, but the mood is late 1940. "The world has collapsed," a BBC newsreader explains. "Only Britain soldiers on" -- barely. The U.K. is a mecca for illegal immigrants, as well as a bastion of neo-fascist homeland security. London's smog-shrouded smear of garbage, graffiti, and motorcycle rickshaws is the shabbiest of havens. Armed cops are ubiquitous, and refugees are locked up in curbside cages. Clive Owen plays a wry and rumpled joker whose warmth is such that everyone trusts him, including a mysterious young woman (Clare-Hope Ashitey) who needs to be smuggled through the countryside. It's a measure of Cuarón's directorial chops that Children of Men functions equally well as fantasy and thriller as it attempts to fuse contemporary life with pulp mythology.

Credits

Director:

  • Alfonso Cuaron

Cast:

  • Clive Owen
  • Julianne Moore
  • Charlie Hunnam
  • Michael Caine
  • Gary Oldman
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Claire-Hope Ashitey

Writers:

  • P.D. James
  • David Arata
  • Alfonso Cuaron
  • Timothy J. Sexton

Producers:

  • Marc Abraham
  • Eric Newman
  • Hilary Shor
  • Iain Smith

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