Edge

“Children of Men” is visually stunning, thematically empty

It’s hard to find a film with a positive outlook on the future. If someone were to take anything from post-apocalyptic movies, it’s that the future is bleak and scary; or at least that’s what co-writer/director Alfonso Cuaron would like people to believe. His “Children of Men” is the ultimate futuristic downer.

Forget global warming or nuclear warfare. Instead, allow yourself to imagine a world 21 years from now where women are infertile: a world with very little potential. This is the world Theo (Clive Owen) has come to call his own. That is, until he is recruited by Julian (Julianne Moore), the mother of his dead child, to help her assist a rebel group as they attempt to transport a pregnant immigrant named Kee to a group called “The Human Project.” Seem a little mysterious?

Why women are suddenly infertile and why Kee happens to be the exception to this rule are just a number of the unanswered questions you’ll be left pondering well after the movie has ended. Why all the mystery? Because, for Cuaron, it’s not the how and why of the situation that is intriguing, but rather it’s the consequences of living in such an unstable world that tickles his fascination.

What do we do? How do we prevail? These are the fundamental questions “Children of Men” tries to explore. But, can an audience truly appreciate the aftermath of a situation when no one is told how it all went wrong in the first place?

This is where “Children of Men” runs into problems. In refusing to direct audiences’ curiosities, it leaves viewers with more questions than answers; which is like having just finished dinner and still feeling hungry- unsatisfying.

Which is a real shame, because “Children of Men” is an exceptionally well-directed film, has great performances from everyone involved and offers the kind of jaunting visuals that made Terrence Malick’s “The New World” such a joy to behold. But, altogether, it’s a film that asks more of its audience than it gives.

Danny Gordon can be contacted at d.gordon@umiami.edu.

January 19, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.