A Little Princess. Alfonso Cuarón directed one of my very favorite movies (Y tu mamá también) and the only Harry Potter film I liked. This isn’t as good as those, but it has its moments. Cuarón manages to make the “real” world seem almost as fantastical as the world little Sara creates in her storytelling, but the differences between the two worlds are instructive: her stories are all fantasy, the movie features a subtle magic realism where the magic sneaks up on you. I’d probably like this better if I liked Liesel Matthews’s performance better; she doesn’t insist too hard on being ingratiating a la Shirley Temple, but neither does she come up with something to fill the absence of Temple. 7/10.
Children of Men. I watched this again because I used it in my spring class. We also read the book (first time for me). I have a lot of papers to grade which look at the differences between book and movie, but one sign of the film’s strengths is that I forgot all of that stuff while I was watching it. You can’t keep your eyes of the screen. Cuarón creates a believable world and populates it with characters who fit into that world … there aren’t any false moments. #44 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 250 films of the 21st century. 9/10.