The Best of Films, the Worst of Films
Back in December, we alerted our listeners to the arrival of Children of Men in theaters, and provided listeners to our podcast some archival interviews with Ralph Wood and Alan Jacobs about the P. D. James novel on which the film was based (and about Baroness Phyllis more generally).
When it opened, the movie turned out to be a severe departure from the novel, abandoning James's thematic concerns altogether. Now that the DVD is out, Christopher Orr has a helpful review in The New Republic, summarizing how Children of Men "was simultaneously one of last year's best movies (better, I think, than any off those nominated for Best Picture) and one of its larger disappointments." Director Alfonso Cuarón has made a visually gripping film without "a composing idea to undergird the plot." Orr's review reminds us why really good stories are always more than just good stories. [Posted April 2007, KAM]