Universal/Strike (Hilary Shor, Marc Abraham, Tony
Smith, Eric Newman & Iain Smith)
UK/USA/Japan 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇯🇵 2006
W: Alfonso Cuáron, Timothy J. Sexton, David
Arata, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby [based on the novel by P. D. James]
DP: Emmanuel Lubezki
Ed: Alex Rodriguez & Alfonso
Mus: John Tavernier
PD: Jim Clay & Geoffrey
Clive Owen (Theo Faron), Julianne Moore
(Julian), Michael Caine (Jasper), Clare-Hope Ashitey (Kee), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Luke), Danny Huston (Nigel), Peter Mullan (Sid), Pam Ferris (Miriam)
Brilliantly adapted from P.D. James's novel about a
dystopian future where women can no longer conceive children and humanity is doomed to extinction.
Britain has coped with the impending end of the human
race by imprisoning immigrants, causing lawless activists to bomb public places to fight against the dystopia.
Theo, a bureaucrat and former activist is kidnapped by
a resistance group headed by his former flame and is instructed to falsify papers and escort a immigrant girl who turns out to be pregnant to safety.
Despite the story being a tad on the heavy side, the
narrative flows clearer than one would expect, mostly because of the fantastic, focused direction from auteur Alfonso Cuaron.
The stark cinematography gives it a documentary feel
which instantly drags the viewer into the action, especially during the two electrifying one-shot scenes which left me in total awe. The first of which, involving an ambush on a car left
me scratching my head for hours as to how they did it. The editing & CGI were seamless.
The second classic scene involves conflict in
war-torn, crumbling Bexhill (now a concentration camp for illegal immigrants), with Theo trying to save Kee amongst the gunfire and bloodshed. The production design deserves equally
as much credit as Emmanuel Lubezki's brilliant cinematography, presenting a doomed world so convincingly stark.
Clive Owen is absolutely fantastic & all the
supporting cast give great performances, especially Clare-Hope Ashitey as the young pregnant immigrant.
Alfonso Cuaron has made a very special movie here,
which didn't seem as appreciated as it deserved to be by both the critics and the audiences.
Nominated for 3 Oscars, though it should have received
more. As far as I'm concerned this was the Best Picture of 2006 and arguably the best movie of the "noughties".