Film Review: A.I. - Artificial Intelligence
Spielberg's latest - artificial or intelligent? Read on for an opinion...
Every now and again a film comes along that needs no introduction. AI is one of those films. An original project of the late Stanley Kubrick, who passed directorial duties to Steven Spielberg, it is probably the most anticipated film of 2001.
A family whose son has fallen into a coma acquire an android boy (David) as a sort of emotional substitute. Perfectly real in every way except the ability to 'feel' real love, the boy brings a certain sense of unease to his new family. For a start, he sits at the dinner table but doesn't eat anything (he is, after all, just a robot). He also follows his new 'mother' (Frances O'Connor) everywhere she goes, simply because he is programmed to do so. Despite the robot's shortcomings, the family get on with their lives with their new addition.
Things take on a different complexion when the 'real' son returns home after awaking from his coma. No longer welcome by the family, David is abandoned in a forest one night by his mother. It is here he meets an android prostitute (Jude Law), who helps him in his quest to become a real boy and win the love of his mother.
If you are in the habit of reading a lot of film reviews, you will notice that opinion on AI is very much divided between those who love it and those who hate it. But there is a lot to love here. The future world that is created is grim, but is fascinatingly realized by Spielberg. There is also a brilliant robot teddy bear who has to be seen to be believed. The finished product can be described as an amalgam of The Wizard Of Oz meets Pinocchio meets Hansel & Gretel meets Blade Runner.
If you're expecting some profound statement on human existence forget it - this is Spielberg after all. Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law are both brilliant in their roles, and will almost certainly win Oscar nominations next year. Never mind what the critics say, if you don't go to see it for yourself you'll never have any opinion!! Highly recommended.