Alfonso Cuaron’s movie dystopian downer imagines a plague different from your run of the mill movie plague humans have somehow lost the ability to reproduce, the race is completely infertile. How so is never explained, not that it matters. What matters is the general aura of hopelessness that pervades the world in which the movie takes place a world in which the future is impossible to imagine because there is no one left to imagine it for. Clive Owen gives a solid turn as a one-time radical turned cynic who is forced to reassess his pessimism. But it is cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (who most recently worked in a different vein with the lush visuals of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life) who offers the film’s most virtuoso performance. The film’s much lauded long takes (most famously an ambush scene filmed from inside a car and the sequence that takes place in a war-torn encampment) linger in the mind.
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