Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I'll end the suspense

There are certainly what you could consider spoilers for the movie in this review. But really, if you were that concerned about it, why would you be reading about the movie to begin with?

So, yeah, the best movie I've seen this year? Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men. I went into this movie beyond gingerly, having been slowly building it up in my mind ever since I saw the trailer back in July. So there was a very real possibility that I would build up my expectations too high for Cuaron and his film to clear. That clearly was not a problem, as Children of Men proved to be as beautiful and eye-opening a film as I've seen all year. There is a moment near the end of the film where a child's cries pierce through the roar of gunfire -- where a literal miracle shines through from the depths of hell -- and this moment has been set up and cared for and presented so well that it's hard not to find a tear in your eye because of it. And then! What happens after that, after these soldiers of war and death and oppression bow down to the miracle that is life, what happens after that is what made me love Alfonso Cuaron and sealed his movie's place at the top of my list: a shot rings out and fighting continues. Because there are limits to miracles, and the balls we've set rolling don't easily come to a halt. That's probably the most poignant question the film asks: Even if the miraculous occurs, who will be left to benefit from it? Is the miracle enough? And if not, is it worth pursuing anyway?

And, yes, this is why I don't write movie reviews, especially about movies I like, because I get all flowery and crap about it. But seriously, this was one of the special ones.

4 comments:

JA said...

You put that moment's grace into words beautifully, Joe. Don't be ashamed of the love! I get tongue-tied when I adore a movie this much, too.

adam k. said...

I feel like I'm the only one who isn't all gushy about this movie. Sure, it was good, but I don't feel like it was THE BEST film ever. I guess neither did Nathaniel the first time he saw it, though, and now it's gone and bumped Duck Season for a spot on his best pic list. I guess I should just see it again...

Anonymous said...

I waited to read your blog on this movie until I had a chance to see it and couldn't agree with you more. The following night, in hopes of some lighter fare, I went to Pan's Labyrinth. Wrong, I enjoyed this move as much as Children of Men and am curious if you are going to see this movie as well.

Joe R. said...

Soon as it opens locally, yes.