Not too long ago I thought, being in a somewhat unhappy state then, that it had been a really long time since I had read/seen a really good book/film. Most are average, or good at best, but rarely are they amazing. I remember Pillars of the Earth and the Lady in the Water, both which were good, but still had too many things that I didn't like all that much. When you're out to see good films and read good books, instead of just getting some entertainment, this rather average average isn't that encouraging. Being confronted with quality stuff improves your life and makes you happy. It really does.
Last time I was in Britain (some months ago) I wanted to see Children of Men in the cinema. The cinema in Salzburg only shows animations in English, too (except for some blockbusters like Da Vinci Code), so I usually take every opportunity I have to see films in the original language. Of course, my then boyfriend couldn't be bothered to go see it with me and so I waited patiently until the film was released in Austria.
I can definitely say that's the best film I've seen in a very long time. It has the single best use of music as a foreground element, and the story, the director (who also directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), the actors and their characters together have created a very powerful film. The Ruby Tuesday scene and the scene at the end with the soldiers blew me away. I love the pseudo realism and pessimism. I love the little details that can be found in the background - posters, slogans, paintings. I love how the film has futuristic designs (e.g. cars), and at the same time makes them look old and rusty to show that these futuristic designs are already outdated by the time the story begins.
I hope the film wins lots of oscars and the actors, the producers and the director get lots of money. I hope there'll be more films like this one.
I really want to see the film again (in English, on DVD) and I really want to read the book now.
Go and see it. Now.