Little Children

Movie Review by Silvia Felce

Starring: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley
Director: Todd Field

LIITLE CHILDREN is an emotional film about being held hostage in your own life, about how the quiet life in suburbia can lock you up in a golden cage and the difficulties in trying to break free.

Sarah (Kate Winslet) is a grad school drop out who is trapped in her life as a mother and wife. Brad (Patrick Wilson) is a prisoner in his own beautiful house with the gorgeous wife and the perfect kid. After meeting at the local playground, Sarah and Brad start a passionate affair in an attempt to take control of their lives again.

A disturbing portrait of life in the suburban town where people’s lives depend upon routines and perceptions, the film is a kind of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES without the bright colours and the beautiful people with a few secondary characters adding to the drama of the story. It’s the kind of drama that consumes you slowly and without apparent wounds.

Director Todd Field concentrates on the development of the characters here and one of the beautiful things about the film is the unfolding of the story through empathetic characters, whether they are the good ones or the bad ones. Winslet is as excellent as you would expect her to be, but Wilson also delivers a very convincing performance as well as former child actor Jackie Earle Haley, who plays Rodney McGorvey, a local who is accused of being a paedophile.

LITTLE CHILDREN is a well told and well acted film, which will do well on the festival circuit and may even start the usual Oscar talk for some of its actors. However, it is most of all an ordinary story of ordinary people, which makes it both distressing and moving. And that is why it is worth watching.

5 out of 6 stars

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