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Children of Men (2006)
I wished it would be good...
With all the respect for the wonderful Alfonso Cuaron, this movie's writing is proposterous. The plot is rushed, which is imensely strange for such a short movie, which could have just been longer, the dialogue is at the very best mediocre and uninteresting, and, most importantly, the movie spends no time making us care about the characters or their mission.
We don't get anything about why saving one girl who's having a baby is so important for a world in which everybody is murdering people left and right.
SPOILERS FROM HERE ON:
The newborn doesn't seem to have anything to do with SOLVING the fertility problem, especially since she's beeing kept AWAY from the authorities, who would have, for better or worse, maybe done some studies on her. And even if we were to toss that out, which we won't, because it's right there in the movie, we still don't understand anything about the destination. The world has colapsed, it says right there in the beginning, and Britain is the only place standing, but then she's not welcome in Britain, so she's being taken to an organisation that will offer her shelter... in Britain... or in the rest of the world, which has been overtaken by chaos? And she's gonna stay there until when? Without anyone noticing that the child is by far the youngest on the planet? I mean, hundreds of people know about the baby, aren't they gonna talk about it? Isn't she going to be hunted down, one way, or another?
AAAAND, back to the start, EVEN if she's not hunted down and she's put in a magical super-strong empire castle, she's still just a girl who gave birth in a world where - all right, nobody is giving birth - but people still exists and they still have lives that we're drawn to care about. Right? I mean, even if the infertility happened gradually, there still will be at least thousands or tens of thousands of 18, 19, 20-year-olds alive. People are literally dying to save that baby, but those kids are basically cannon fodder?
And the rest of the story is laid out just so lazily. There's a sorry attempt to sketching a backstory with Theo and Julian having been married or something and having had a child who died, but I don't see how the fact that people can't have children anymore has anything to do with intensifying that pain. I mean, common sense here, from the point of view of the audience, circumstances do little to change (either for the better, or for the worse) the perspective on a child's death. And the result of this is that when Julian dies, my only feeling was: "they got Julienne Moore, and she's dead already?"
Ok, beyond the writing, Alfonso Cuaron can't help but direct well. I love how he identifies the characters visually with peculiar traits, some camera moves were really great, although I kept wondering why he didn't use wider angle lenses for some of the shots, to take more advantage of the expensive production design.
Anyway, I guess Cuaron's only fault is that he didn't have this screenplay written by ONE - GOOD - SCREENWRITER. I mean, bottom line, you hire a writer's room, you're gonna get TV-Series-quality writing. Not good enough for cinema, not good enough for Alfonso Cuaron... and, beyond discussion, not good enough for an Oscar nomnination.