Thompson gives us the scoop from the premiere after-party, saying the movie "is a brilliant exercise in style, but it's another grim dystopian look at our future", and industry types in attendance were hinting that the movie is "a downer film that was going to lose money".
Hard to argue. The clips I've seen promise an intellectually engaging story, but one that's way out of place as a Christmas release, and way too expensive at a reported $70-90 million. Remember Spielberg's "Munich" from last year? It was a very heavy story, opened at X-mas and totally tanked at the box office -- and Cuaron and "Children of Men" are certainly lower profile than Spielberg and "Munich".
I don't know where all that money went (it's not apparent how they could have spent that much), and think the release date needs to be bumped -- but will buy this one on disc ASAP. The P.D. James book goes on my list, too (something tells me this story is better read than watched, anyway).
Here is an excerpt of Anne's rundown:
But what made the movie so frigging expensive? Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine don't cost so much. It's shot with amazing hand-held cameras and boasts some astonishing long action takes that took days to set up. The filmmakers shut down sections of London to shoot some of the street scenes. There are extras and tanks and pyrotechnics and enormous sets. It's still hard to imagine how the studio could justify spending so much on this movie. But in the long run, they could eke out some coin if this movie lasts in the culture the way Blade Runner or The Road Warrior did.
Well, if she says 'frigging', you know she's upset. I don't blame her. This movie could have been made for, say, 25% of the money they spent. Adjust the budget, release in February, and you might have a successful outing. If "Children of Men" gets the shit kicked out of it at the box office it certainly won't do smart/risky films any good. Now, I'm cussing... Oh, well. At least it'll be a fun disc to watch. Did I say fun? I meant...intellectually engaging.