The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Massachusetts.
A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.
Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.
Echoes of "Madame Bovary" in the American suburbs. Sarah's in a loveless marriage to an advertising executive, long days with her young daughter at the park and the pool, wanting more. Brad is an immature househusband, married to a flinty documentary filmmaker. Ronnie is just out of prison - two years for indecent exposure to a minor - living with his elderly mother, May; Larry is a retired cop, fixated on driving Ronnie away. Sarah and Brad connect, a respite of adult companionship at the pool. Ronnie and Larry have their demons. Brad should be studying for the bar; Larry misses his job; Ronnie's mom thinks he needs a girlfriend. Sarah longs to refuse to be trapped in an unhappy life. Where can these tangled paths lead? Written by
Greetings again from the darkness. Where the heck have you been, Todd Field? Last seen directing 2001's excellent "In The Bedroom", Field delivers another remarkable drama with "Little Children". He proves again his insight into real people and real relationships is a bit eerie and almost tough to watch as we often recognize ourselves in his characters.
An incredibly well acted movie led by the usually mediocre Kate Winslet and an on the rise Patrick Wilson ("The Alamo", "Hard Candy" and this year's "Running With Scissors"), the cast creates an atmosphere of real life allowing us to forget the performances and concentrate on the multi-layered story (co-written by Field and novelist Tom Berrotta). The genius in the film is in so many specific moments within the scenes. Jennifer Connelly (as Wilson's wife, and although still beautiful, she is scary skinny) at the dinner table when she realizes, Winslet as she is putting her daughter on the floorboard of the car, Wilson as he sneaks off the train, and the mothers at the swimming pool when they realize a predator has pierced their inner sanctum. That predator is Jackie Earle Haley who is just outstanding in his brutally tough role. Haley was seen earlier this year in "All The King's Men" and hopefully is experiencing a real comeback. Although he will always be remembered as the talented center fielder in "Bad News Bears", he definitely has more to offer.
Really good dramatic stories are so rare these days. Movie makers tend to be frightened of the tough decisions we all face every day and they fall back on proved formulas and feel good fluff. This movie is real and tough and will force you to analyze your life and perspective. What a marvelous thing to be able to say about a film.
So, yes I highly recommend the film, but more importantly implore Mr. Field to not leave us hanging for another 5 years. Film lovers need you!!
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