30 March 2007

Best laid plans . . .

Hey, so who sez I gotta do what I said I was gonna do? I told myself I would blog about all things reading and writing, especially since I have a reading problem. (My problem is I don't get to read ALL the time.) I had a flurry of fiction writing, that tapered off, and I'll pick up again soon. (My job sucks out my brain--have I mentioned that?) So what has made the biggest impression on me lately? Easy--Children of Men. Not the novel by P.D. James. Haven't read it (yet). No, the movie. An outstanding film! It just came out on DVD, and I so rarely go to the cinema the DVD release is like Opening Night for me. Children of Men is a powerful hard-boiled SF tale of the near future, with an understated lead from Clive Owen and a brilliant supporting role from Michael Caine. All the acting is strong throughout, but the rich visuals and striking camera work are the real stars. Whether you are in police-state, terror-prone London or the green English countryside, fear and paranoia lurk beneath every surface. The rebels are as corrupt and morally ambiguous as their enemy, a fascist government, and feral youth gangs menace everyone. The movie is mostly a long chase, with Owen finding himself as a reluctant hero safeguarding a woman who might be humanity's salvation. The stunning ending sequence in the squalid refugee camp has echoes of Bosnia, Baghdad and Gaza, you will grip your seat throughout. A dark and complex movie around a simple tale, so beautifully constructed and photographed that the few far-fetched plot elements quickly become minor quibbles. Highly recommended.

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