My brother and I—along with a variable assortment of family members—usually go to the movies on Christmas night, but this year we stayed home. None of the new releases really inspired me. I didn’t feel like a Motown musical, and the post-apocalyptic Children of Men looked too grim for the holiday.
I finally made it to Children of Men this past weekend and soon realized I was wrong about it not being a good Christmas movie. It’s definitely grim, but it’s grim in a way that’s perfectly appropriate for Christmas. As bleak and frightening as director Alfonso Cuarón’s latest film is, it scratches out a bleary, hard-fought sense of hope. Beautifully acted, beautifully crafted, and beautifully told, it’s my favorite movie of 2006. That’s why it’s taken me so damn long to write about it.