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Kazzah
Jul 15, 2011

Formerly known as
Krazyface


Hair Elf



Children of Men
Released December 2006
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki, based on the novel by P.D. James

Children of Men is set in the grimly-imminent world of 2027. Everything has fallen apart; countless countries have collapsed; refugees flee towards the increasingly authoritarian surviving governments. Pollution, disease, and radiation abound everywhere, and there seems to be no hope things can get better. Oh also everyone became infertile around 2008, for no clear reason.

The story follows Theo (Clive Owen), a one-time radical who gave up long ago, as he is drawn into a conspiracy around the first pregnant woman (Claire-Hope Ashitey) in about twenty years. It's a sci-fi dystopia, it's a grounded political thriller, it's about welcoming and desperation. It's this weird bridge between the anti-Bush leftism of the early zeroes, and the grim climate-focused strain of things now. If it came out tomorrow, people would roll their eyes at how on-the-nose it was.


It is also, at its core, just a very warm, human movie. I love the scene where Kee tells Theo that pregnancy takes nine months, because it's so strange to imagine a scenario where an adult might not know that. There's a whole subplot about how Theo keeps losing his shoes; he's in socks in the scene where they run from the Fishes, and wearing one flip-flop in the scene where he and Marichka kill Syd. There are just animals all over the place, even in the battle scenes.
Anyway, I've seen this about a million times, so I'm going to take the opportunity to talk about it a whole bunch.


The movie packs a lot into its background. Theo spends the early scenes pointedly ignoring it all, the refugees being rounded up and the public exhibitions of mourning for Baby Diego alike. There are strange advertisements, rumours of nuclear war, unashamed doomsday cults. Early on, one of the Fishes (Patric, played by Charlie Hunnam) warns Theo he's being watched, and there are in fact plainclothes Fishes hanging around in the background of some scenes. Eventually the background swallows everything up, and Theo is a part of the grey masses in cages. He's not much of an action-hero; he spends most of the movie relying on the charity and goodwill of strangers.


A lot has been said about this tendency found in comic-book movies, to set up a villain who appears to oppose genuine injustice in the system, who is revealed to be a fraud, or self-serving, or fundamentally wrong in their critique. I don't just mean Black Panther, though that was the most talked-about case; you get a similar narrative in The Dark Knight Rises, Iron Man 2, the Watchmen TV show, Thor Ragnarok, probably a bunch more I haven't seen. And rewatching this I was struck by the thought that this movie skirts the line there too, with Kee and Theo being caught between the government and the Fishes. There's like a 45-minute stretch in the middle of the movie where the government is just not a factor; the time between Julian's death and Jasper's death is almost exclusively dealing with the rebels. When the government does come back into the movie, it does so in the form of Syd, who is this weird halfway ground between the state and the Fishes; he's a cop, but he buys weed from Jasper (it's still illegal), and spends half his scenes in civilian clothes and a keffiyeh - and in the end, he seems willing to sell Kee and the baby to the highest bidder, instead of his bosses. The police do everything in groups in this movie, while Syd is able to act alone and underground.
Anyway, all this is to say that I don't think the movie places the Fishes as equivalent to the government. The whole third act is a rebuttal to that notion; the Fishes, along with half the people in Bexhill, are just plain exterminated, and the threats they posed in the middle of the movie seem slight, to me, compared to the final slaughter. The movie doesn't give much credence to the Uprising as a solution, but I can't see how anyone could watch this movie and see their desperate violence as equivalent to the concentration camps; the truth is not in the middle, it's all the way over towards one end. I dunno, maybe I'm just unwilling to criticise.



The Ark of the Arts is one of my favourite things in this movie. It's one scene, which could be replaced with a couple lines of dialogue in terms of how much it means to the plot, but it adds a lot to the story. Each one of the artworks lines up with something we see out in the world. Some of them are hard to convey with screenshots. Michelangelo's David pairs with Theo killing Syd, thematically rather than visually. Theo impales his bare foot on something sharp immediately after, while David is missing a foot.

Picasso's Guernica - bodies mangled and broken, all the brilliance of human invention turned towards their ruin - pairs with the bombing of Bexhill, which, again, is hard to get a good screenshot of.

These artworks have all been placed in a box where no-one can see them, but the things they represent - the human passions and agonies that inspired them - those are uncontainable, and appear wherever people are, even in the dying world.
No Nativity scenes in the Ark, funnily enough.


This is the first movie in which I really noticed Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Luke. He starts off the movie as just another Fish, not visibly more important than any of the other young enforcers. He slowly emerges as a sort of counterpart to Theo; a younger version of him, still fighting. They are both mourning someone; both willing to kill to protect Kee, both just barely keeping themselves together. He's not a heroic character - killing Jasper is, if not the most evil act in the film, certainly the most cruel - and yet I don't have it in me to hate the guy.

In this latest rewatch I was struck by how the camera is so closely tied to Theo's viewpoint. As far as I can tell, there's only one moment where the audience sees something he doesn't: the scene where Jasper goes inside to euthanise his wife Janice. Clive Owen is rarely even off-camera for more than a few seconds. Maybe one of these days I'll use a stopwatch to figure out exactly what percentage of the time he's on the screen.


The movie is structured around a series of shocks to Theo's life. In the opening scene, he narrowly avoids a bombing in a coffee shop, allegedly by the Fishes; the radical struggle shatters a piece of his comfortable middle-class existence. About 25 minutes later, Julian is shot dead right in front of him; his link to the past (and half-formed hopes for getting back together in the future) is gone. About 20 minutes later, Jasper is killed, and with him the companionship and weekends away that made his life more bearable. About 15 minutes later, Miriam is arrested and probably killed; the fellow grown-up, whom Theo was relying on to take care of the baby side of things. There's just this feeling the whole time of the walls closing in, right up until, of course, the ceasefire.


Anyway, the movie's good, and even if you've seen it, I hope I've shown there's a ton that comes out on a rewatch. If nothing else, it's also a Christmas movie, very literally. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Supplemental materials:
The ads and newspapers and so on were done by a defunct company called the Foreign Office; you can see a bunch of it up close here.

Here's a page on the locations they shot at. I knew those stairs looked familiar; they were in Lock Stock... as well.

Behind-the-scenes look at how the car ambush was filmed. It's a bit overproduced, but it's fascinating to see the whole rig they built up on the car.

The lady who plays Miriam also played Mrs Trunchbull in that Matilda movie. I couldn't think of an elegant way to work this into the post, but it's kinda funny.

Finally, it's worth sitting through the credits for this one song that plays halfway through.

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Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

I haven't seen this movie since it came out on DVD. I'm long due for a rewatch. It's been coming up a lot in conversation lately, probably with the state of the world where it is, and I'm amazed that this movie is still incredibly underseen.

My key-in for a Michael Caine impersonation is "It's called Strawberry Cough", a reference that usually only makes me laugh and leaves a lot of people confused.

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



The cease-fire scene is to this day one of my favourite sequences in any movie ever. Just :discourse:

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

Some interesting stuff about adapting the book into the movie:

Cinematical: I've heard that you didn't read the (P.D .James) novel before you started working on the film.

Alfonso Cuarón: What I was attracted to was the concept of infertility as a premise. I was not really interested in doing a science fiction film, so I had completely disregarded it. But the premise kept haunting me. It was not until I realized that the premise of the film could serve as a metaphor for the fading sense of hope, that it could be a point of departure for an exploration of the state of things that we're living in now, the things that are shaping this very first part of the 21st century, that I wanted to do it.

So that was the point of departure, because when I understood that, then I saw clearly a movie. So I asked my writing partner, Tim Sexton, to read the book, and I said, okay, I don't want to read the book because I don't want to sidetrack myself or second-guess myself. I had a very clear vision of the movie I wanted to do. So I said to him, you read the book, and based on this movie I'm telling you, there are elements of the book which you will write into the movie. That's what happened.

Cinematical: So you didn't even have a script you were looking at, at that point.

AC: No, no. I'm sure there are producers (pauses) -- this is Hollywood, I share credit with, I don't know how many other writers on this film, and I'm sure they have other projects on this book they never brought to fruition.

Cinematical: I was going to ask you about that -- IMDb lists, I think, three other writers besides yourself and Tim Sexton with screenplay credit.

AC: You see, as far as I am concerned, those other guys have nothing to do with my movie.

Cinematical: So those other writers who have writing credit, they were not sitting around a table with you and Tim, writing the screenplay?

AC: No, no, not at all. It's all a big game, you see. If you are a writer who chooses also to direct, your guild is going to punish you. And deal with credits in a different way than if you were not directing. But anyway, that's the way it is.

Cinematical: That's interesting to hear, because when I saw the film, I knew there were five writers credited, and often that makes for a film that's a mess. But your film doesn't feel that way at all.

AC: Well, that's because these other writers, they did not exist in this movie. It was me, and Tim Sexton, and Clive Owen. That's all. And by the same token, I'm willing to give credit to whoever really deserves credit for the film. And except for Tim Sexton and myself, for me, all these other writers, it's just studio development work that I'm not even interested in discussing, because I don't know what they did, and I couldn't care less.

I met with one writer who was trying to turn this into a generic action movie, and the other two I didn't even meet, didn't even know existed. But by the same token, Clive Owen, now he was a writer. He got involved in this project with Tim and myself, we locked ourselves in a hotel room, and first we went over his character. And he had so much insight that we decided, Tim and myself, that Clive should be involved with the rest of the writing process, even if it was not about his character. I started to admire his instincts, and I asked him to be involved with the rest of the process.

For me, he is also a co-filmmaker. He had a constant awareness of the film we were trying to do; he was not only performing for the film I was doing, he was trying to achieve from a filmmaker's standpoint, not just an actor. Trying to facilitate for me the kind of film I was trying to do. He understood that we were going to do these one-shot deals, and from that he understood the rhythm of the scenes -- that we were not going to use editing to create rhythm. So that it would have to be about what we crafted.

So it was a constant involvement in the discussions about how we were going to deal with the timing of things. And when you have somebody who is aware and concerned about time in this media – that is what you call a filmmaker. Time is intrinsic of the cinema, just like it is in music. Timing is what dictates the movie that you are doing.

Source

Owlofcreamcheese
May 22, 2005

BAD FAITH TROLL: "Anytime I get bored at work I just argue with the first person I see in whatever the first thread I click on is."

Buglord

My legitimate favorite part of this movie is the car crash sensors. When they get in a crash at one point in the movie an alarm goes off and some lights light up. If you watch the rest of the movie you can see the lights are in every scene someone is driving and go on and off as they drive and park and have perfectly understandable functions.

I don't know why but that detail always felt like it exemplified this movie, like it's totally nothing, it means nothing to the plot, but it's the level of detail they bothered to include in backgrounds. Someone somewhere sat down and figured out the near future car dashboard and bothered to make it make sense. When no one would have cared one bit if the crash alarm lights just came out of no where when they crashed.

Alfred P. Pseudonym
May 29, 2006

And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss goes 8-8



I’ve been meaning to watch this again. I think the last time was right after Trump got elected. Hate how this movie keeps getting more prescient.

Neo Rasa
Mar 8, 2007
Everyone should play DUKE games.

:dukedog:

This is such an outstanding movie in general.



I have to point out how PD James' novel came out in 1992 but she was definitely a big fan of Italian post-apocalyptic movies specificallyh the 1985 movie 2019: After the Fall of New York. Another movie about arguments about different governments and societal collapse and no one being able to have kids.






sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Owlofcreamcheese posted:

My legitimate favorite part of this movie is the car crash sensors. When they get in a crash at one point in the movie an alarm goes off and some lights light up. If you watch the rest of the movie you can see the lights are in every scene someone is driving and go on and off as they drive and park and have perfectly understandable functions.

I don't know why but that detail always felt like it exemplified this movie, like it's totally nothing, it means nothing to the plot, but it's the level of detail they bothered to include in backgrounds. Someone somewhere sat down and figured out the near future car dashboard and bothered to make it make sense. When no one would have cared one bit if the crash alarm lights just came out of no where when they crashed.

Also iirc the crash sensors show that the driver could have got past the ambush, but of course he didn't want to.

My favorite bit is where clive is in the big battle and hes about to do something heroic, then he bottles it and does this sort of exaggerated tiptoe back into cover.

pissinthewind
Nov 11, 2021


Children of Men is probably my favorite movie. It portrays one of the most plausible post apocalyptic settings in all of moviedom. All of the details and how those traumatic moments are portrayed in such a way that feels really loving real by clive in a sort of "holy poo poo, welp" way is just the cherry on top.

Owlofcreamcheese
May 22, 2005

BAD FAITH TROLL: "Anytime I get bored at work I just argue with the first person I see in whatever the first thread I click on is."

Buglord

sebmojo posted:

Also iirc the crash sensors show that the driver could have got past the ambush, but of course he didn't want to.

Also one time they are normally parking and it visibly goes off. Which is great, because it shows it's not any sort of magic sci-fi super technology, it's a kinda realistically sucky car add on.

Like it was such a small thing, but it feels like the level of detail made the movie. Like it was in the future so they needed future cars, but the future was sad and dying, so the future cars just aren't very good.

Famethrowa
Oct 5, 2012

The program is not ready, Comrade. I'm still in-Stalin it.




I've been watching a lot of stunt and CGI guys on youtube lately and this movie comes up a lot for obvious reasons. It's probably time to rewatch it, but man, I'm really going to have to steel myself. It was eerie feeling back in 2011, I can't even imagine it now.

SCheeseman
Apr 23, 2003



I went to see this at the cinema after hearing only the slightest bit of buzz, since it premiered in Australia before just about anywhere else and absolutely no-one was talking about it. I exited understanding that I had just seen one of the best films ever made.

Stare-Out
Mar 11, 2010

not all who wander are lost


Kazzah posted:

Supplemental materials:
The ads and newspapers and so on were done by a defunct company called the Foreign Office; you can see a bunch of it up close here.

I love this stuff so much. Reminds me of Designer's Republic (another now sadly gone group most famous for all the iconography and irreverent in-world graphical designs in the WipeOut games.)

The movie is absolutely brilliant and so effective in creating a grounded, harrowing near-future. There's also something that gets me about the matter-of-fact way it portrays violence and how just about every violent act is not lingered on because the camera is so eager to find Clive Owen's face right after to see his reaction to what's happening.

Also every time my ear rings my mind goes straight to this movie with the whole "ear cell swan song" line.

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



Children of Men is an all-timer for me. The best apocalyptic (not post-, which is much easier to do, but present tense apocalyptic) film ever made. So much detail in a fully realized world. Two incredible unbroken shots in great action scenes. Unexpected twists and turns with all of the supporting cast. King Crimson in the soundtrack.

Stare-Out posted:

Also every time my ear rings my mind goes straight to this movie with the whole "ear cell swan song" line.

Haha I've completely internalized that as being true, no idea if it actually is.

Fuligin
Oct 27, 2010

wait what the fuck??



This really is a goat. And feels brutally prescient these days, it's almost hard to bear watching it

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




I find this to be a really difficult film to watch. The juxtaposition of people still trying to live by their schedules and daily routines with the immense brutality of society collapsing around them feels a little too uncomfortably close to our own reality. In many apocalyptic movies there’s some kind of magical out or absurd over-the-topness to the evil regime that puts it at a safe distance from what we might experience in our own time, but Children of Men is just brutally unfair throughout. However I think it ultimately challenges people to fight for hope even in the face of hopelessness, that attempting to do the right thing is a worthy cause in itself even if you don’t believe it will change anything, and that you can still retain your humanity even when civilization has broken down. I saw it in theatres when it first came out and I never want to watch it again.

banned from Starbucks
Jul 18, 2004






Those suicide commercials...oof.

What's the Theo animal connection? Almost every scene has a dog or cat chilling next to him or coming up to him.

Famethrowa
Oct 5, 2012

The program is not ready, Comrade. I'm still in-Stalin it.




banned from Starbucks posted:

Those suicide commercials...oof.

What's the Theo animal connection? Almost every scene has a dog or cat chilling next to him or coming up to him.

He's a shepherd! Bit of a Jesus analogy built in.

Owlofcreamcheese
May 22, 2005

BAD FAITH TROLL: "Anytime I get bored at work I just argue with the first person I see in whatever the first thread I click on is."

Buglord

banned from Starbucks posted:

What's the Theo animal connection? Almost every scene has a dog or cat chilling next to him or coming up to him.

I think it's mostly just the basic media language that animals liking someone means they are good and animals disliking someone means they are bad. I think it's also just to get on screen more the little background detail that in the children of men world everyone friggin loves pets and everyone is a "dog mom" because they can't be a mom. There is a bunch of scenes were people walk by carrying cats in public in the background for the same reason.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

The movie should have ended like the book with a western style duel that sees the protagonist shooting the king of england and thus becoming the new king

Ramrod Hotshot
May 30, 2003



married but discreet posted:

The movie should have ended like the book with a western style duel that sees the protagonist shooting the king of england and thus becoming the new king

Is this one of those book to movie adaptations where they take the central plot concept for the film and leave pretty much everything else?

VROOM VROOM
Jun 8, 2005


Yep, fourth post talks about it. Cuarón intentionally did not read the book.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

I remember the book being a huge bummer too and focusing a lot on the absolute despair people felt about not being able to have children. Very depressing, people getting really into their pets as replacement children, down to lavish weddings and funerals for cats and dogs. Also lots of suicide. I was glad the ending was such a laugh.

Baron La Croix
Nov 2, 2010

rastah farah
sonnah maddah fah


I'm gonna come out and say it - Children of Men is the best Christmas movie ever made.

toggle
Nov 7, 2005



I hadn’t watched this in, I think, over 10 years. Just watched recently since it’s pretty topical at the moment, and its even more harrowing than I remember. Still holds up and will continue to hold up.

The special effects for the birth scene - another one take - is just phenomenal.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



If you get a chance to see this on the big screen, definitely do so. I had already seen the movie about a half dozen times and loved it, but it got slotted in to a 24 hour sci fi marathon I went to one year and on the big screen it's almost an entirely different experience. The sound mixing is absolutely stunning, from that first bomb burst in the opening scene everyone was frozen.

Meaty Ore
Dec 17, 2011

My God, it's full of cat pictures!


I watched this for the first time ever a few days ago. Loved it, but good lord, "harrowing" is precisely the word to describe it. I nearly broke down in tears at a couple of points near the end.

Also out of curiosity I read the book after seeing the comments about it here. Skip it and just watch the movie. It has none of the warmth or charm you'll find on the screen.

Big Dick Cheney
Mar 30, 2007


Fatherhood really made this movie a lot more intense for me. They're so little!

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002

Nope



Film is bleak as hell. I enjoyed that there's an underlying "what if this is a fluke" with the baby and the mother and that humanity is hosed either way.

The ending with the ceasefire is near religious in its reverence for human life... which is kind if darkly humorous considering what was going on two minutes prior, and a few minutes after they leave

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

Thing is, I never found this movie to be especially bleak. Like yes, the subject matter and the world this takes place in is dark as Hell. And yet, I think Cuaron finds the right balance because the film just keeps driving home how precious and amazing life is and how we should hang on to it and preserve it. The emphasis on the animals and nature, the strange beauty the film finds in the worst places, Michael Caine's character being defiantly irreverent to the end. It felt cathartic rather than being a bummer.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Maxwell Lord posted:

Thing is, I never found this movie to be especially bleak. Like yes, the subject matter and the world this takes place in is dark as Hell. And yet, I think Cuaron finds the right balance because the film just keeps driving home how precious and amazing life is and how we should hang on to it and preserve it. The emphasis on the animals and nature, the strange beauty the film finds in the worst places, Michael Caine's character being defiantly irreverent to the end. It felt cathartic rather than being a bummer.

I think what it is for me, as befitting a movie essentially about children (via their absence), is a movie about human potential. So it recognizes humanity’s potential for extreme cruelty and violence, but also for gentleness and grace.

LloydDobler
Oct 15, 2005

You shared it with a dick.



Sure it's a 15 year old movie and all, but you spoiler tagged major plot points yet spoiled the main reveal.

I know it happens early in the movie but going in blind into this bleak world and then finding out that there's a glimmer of hope and something worth fighting and even dying for is to me, the heart of this film. I guess spoiling it isn't that big a deal, if I remember right it was even spoiled in the trailers. And although I know it's coming it still takes my breath away each time I re-watch. I still say anyone who hasn't seen it should go in blind.

Definitely time for another re-watch. Also, pull my finger.

Kazzah
Jul 15, 2011

Formerly known as
Krazyface


Hair Elf

I thought about it, honestly, I did. But I decided I didn’t want to black out the whole OP, or limit myself so much in screenshots, and I figured that anything from trailers was fair game.

Speaking of, I’ve got about a hundred shots from this thing, gotta upload some of the b-sides before the month ends.

Vitruvian Manic
Dec 4, 2021
Probation
Can't post for 19 days!


I never got the supposed gutpunch of the movie. The real world is dying and there is no hope. There hasn't been, not meaningfully, since I was born.

As a movie it is fine but the premise just left me cold because it had a bunch of people recognize it and be sad. No one would recognize it. I knew that when I saw it in the theater. There would just be FOXNEWS klaxons about how selfish the new generation was and how they are refusing to have kids in favor of hedonistic sex.

Owlofcreamcheese
May 22, 2005

BAD FAITH TROLL: "Anytime I get bored at work I just argue with the first person I see in whatever the first thread I click on is."

Buglord

Vitruvian Manic posted:

I never got the supposed gutpunch of the movie. The real world is dying and there is no hope. There hasn't been, not meaningfully, since I was born.

I feel like you might simply be too edgy to watch movies.

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



Vitruvian Manic posted:

I never got the supposed gutpunch of the movie. The real world is dying and there is no hope. There hasn't been, not meaningfully, since I was born.

As a movie it is fine but the premise just left me cold because it had a bunch of people recognize it and be sad. No one would recognize it. I knew that when I saw it in the theater. There would just be FOXNEWS klaxons about how selfish the new generation was and how they are refusing to have kids in favor of hedonistic sex.

I actually find this to be an interesting perspective. I'd be curious how old you are, I could see a lot of younger viewers who come to the movie nowadays tending towards this. I definitely think there's an argument that for as bleak as the world the movie presents is, it probably pales in comparison to what we're in for in the coming decades (although I also think the movie is definitely playing with the imagery of what future resource wars might look like).

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Laughs politely in 80s constant looming threat of nuclear Armageddon

PeterCat
Apr 8, 2020

Believe women.


sebmojo posted:

Laughs politely in 80s constant looming threat of nuclear Armageddon

Yeah, when I was in elementary school it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that we were all gonna die in nuclear holocaust.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOFsOA9VsBk

I mean, we still could, but people don't worry about it as much.

Vitruvian Manic
Dec 4, 2021
Probation
Can't post for 19 days!


Uncle Boogeyman posted:

I actually find this to be an interesting perspective. I'd be curious how old you are, I could see a lot of younger viewers who come to the movie nowadays tending towards this. I definitely think there's an argument that for as bleak as the world the movie presents is, it probably pales in comparison to what we're in for in the coming decades (although I also think the movie is definitely playing with the imagery of what future resource wars might look like).

I'm 40 fwiw. I saw it when it came out.

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Heavy_D
Feb 16, 2002

"rararararara" contains the meaning of everything, kept in simple rectangular structures

One of the things I've come to really admire, especially on this rewatch, is how good the first third of the film is at delivering exposition. It's crucial that the audience grasps the premise immediately, but why would anyone talk about something so big, which everyone has known for eighteen years? Baby Diego is a good hook to hang things on, but risks being too convenient, too contrived. By having our protagonist be disinterested in the whole affair, the film puts some distance between itself and the device. Theo is also dismissive when he feeds us info on the Human Project, then it's softened further because he's got the wrong end of the stick; the point is for Jasper to tell a joke.

Even when the film is more direct, it at least makes sure to be saying lots at once. Like "The world has collapsed...Only Britain soldiers on" tells us what's happened since the births ended, but it's equally telling that the government puts out a piece of propaganda like that. Or when Julian and Theo talk in the bus, we quickly infer that they had a child together, the child died, that pushed them apart, AND they still have strong feelings about each other. The film also knows when to leave something be - Theo's dependency on alcohol is visible, but the characters around him only make the slightest signs of acknowledgement.

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