Eight days after Slate's film critic Dana Stevens declaredChildren of Men to be the best film of the millennium, she's now quietly backing off that dubious claim. Tucked into her top ten list, released today, is the following statement: "Ok, maybe I was feeling a burst of yuletide generosity last week when I labeled this 'the movie of the millenium', but it's been a long time since a filmmaker has brought together intellectual rigor, technical prowess and compassion the way Alfonso Cuaron does.'" A look at the latest readings from Metacritic also show that the initial burst of praise that accompanied the film's release may be receding. Children of Men is now only the 19th-best reviewed film of the year, one slot above Lassie. The sustained praise from all quarters is for Alfonso Curaon's direction will no doubt earn him an Oscar nod and could actually re-ignite the category that most had written off as "Marty's year," but will Children of Men be nominated for the Best Picture award?

I was unimpressed by the film when I first saw it the day after Christmas, but a lot of critics and non-critics I respect seem to heartily disagree, so I have made a half-hearted promise to a couple of people to see it again before rendering my final judgment. The theater I saw the film in was almost completely empty, which may have contributed to the low-energy I felt. I should also point out that it happens to be the choice of both Cinematical's James Rocchi and Kim Voynar for best film of 2006. ...