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Little Children
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Little Children (2006) More at IMDbPro »

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Little Children -- 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.


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Up 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Todd Field (screenplay) &
Tom Perrotta (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Little Children on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 November 2006 (USA) See more »
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 Connecticut. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 30 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Love the Children See more (307 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Kate Winslet ... Sarah Pierce

Jennifer Connelly ... Kathy Adamson

Patrick Wilson ... Brad Adamson

Jackie Earle Haley ... Ronnie J. McGorvey

Noah Emmerich ... Larry Hedges
Gregg Edelman ... Richard Pierce

Phyllis Somerville ... May McGorvey

Raymond J. Barry ... Bullhorn Bob

Jane Adams ... Sheila

Ty Simpkins ... Aaron Adamson

Sadie Goldstein ... Lucy Pierce
Helen Carey ... Jean

Sarah Buxton ... Slutty Kay

Mary B. McCann ... Mary Ann

Trini Alvarado ... Theresa

Marsha Dietlein ... Cheryl (as Marsha Dietlein Bennett)

Will Lyman ... Narrator
Catherine Wolf ... Marjorie
Thomas Greaney ... Troy
Anna Audia ... Isabella
Celestial Hakim ... Courtney

Hunter Reid ... Christian

Chadwick Brown ... Tony Correnti
Phil McGlaston ... Dewayne Rogers

Bruce Kirkpatrick ... Bart Williams

Adam Mucci ... Richie Murphy

Chance Kelly ... Pete Olaffson

Rebecca Schull ... Laurel
Crystal Field ... Josephine

Lola Pashalinski ... Bridget
Walker Ryan ... 'G'
David Cole ... Skateboarder 2
Weston Elrod ... Skateboarder 3

Erica Fae ... Richard's Secretary (as Erica Berg)
Leo Trombetta ... Frank

Christopher Nicholas Smith ... Steak House Waiter
Adam Sietz ... Large Man
Tom Perrotta ... Small Man
Stan Carp ... Cabbie
Sandra Berrios ... Kind Woman in Hospital

Ivar Brogger ... ICU Counselor

Myra Turley ... ICU Nurse
David Rowden ... Tow Yard Attendant (as David Rowdon)
Paul Mott ... Boy in Kathy's Documentary
Margaret Pace ... EMT
Beatrice Rigaud ... Concerned Mom at Pool #1

Mary Goggin ... Concerned Mom at Pool #2
Jillian Lindig ... Concerned Mom at Pool #3
William Harvey ... 1st Policeman at Pool

Casper Andreas ... 2nd Policeman at Pool
Matt Garifo ... Lifeguard
Brooke Fazio ... Snack Girl
Monica Dobson ... Wading Pool Mom
Ken Tirado ... Bartender
Carlie LaPorta ... Child at Steakhouse
Cody Rubenstein ... Child at Steakhouse
Joe Guest ... Ted from Richard's Office (as Joe C. Guest)
Bruce Lee Gross ... Ray from Next Door (as Bruce Gross)
Patrick Larkin ... Auditor Team Captain

Michael Diesel ... Police Officer at McGorvey's

Jennifer Rainville ... Reporter - "Channel 5 News" Segment

Gary Anthony Ramsay ... Off-Screen Anchor - "Channel 5 News" Segment (voice)
Patricia A. Gangemi ... Concerned Parent #1 - "Channel 5 News" Segment
Cynthia L. Wiese ... Concerned Parent #2 - "Channel 5 News" Segment
Loren Wiese ... Concerned Parent #3 - "Channel 5 News" Segment
Clare F. Mitchell ... Concerned Parent #4 - "Channel 5 News" Segment

Leon Vitali ... Oddly Familiar Man

Conrad Angel Corral ... Slutty Kay Fan Club Member

Darrell Geer ... Slutty Kay Fan Club Member (as Darrell E. Geer)
Gil Ira Hayes ... Slutty Kay Fan Club Member

Mark A. Pierce ... Slutty Kay Fan Club Member
Marshall Lefcourt ... Slutty Kay Fan Club Member
John Begley ... Background Football Player
Mike Ganim ... Background Football Player
Travis Koestler ... Skateboarder
Daniel Falla ... Skateboarder
Luis Tolentino ... Skateboarder
Tugman Tookmanlian ... Skateboarder
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Heidi Albertsen ... Model (uncredited)

Ashley Fung ... Girl at the Pool (uncredited)

Kevin Fung ... Boy at the Pool (uncredited)

Jennifer Scott ... Concerned Mom at Pool #5 (uncredited)
Callie Thompson ... Little Girl at Pool (uncredited)
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Directed by
Todd Field 
Writing credits
Todd Field (screenplay) &
Tom Perrotta (screenplay)

Tom Perrotta (based on the novel by)

Produced by
Kent Alterman .... executive producer
Albert Berger .... producer
Toby Emmerich .... executive producer
Todd Field .... producer
Patrick J. Palmer .... executive producer (as Patrick Palmer)
Leon Vitali .... associate producer
Michele Weiss .... associate producer
Ron Yerxa .... producer
Original Music by
Thomas Newman 
Cinematography by
Antonio Calvache (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Leo Trombetta 
Casting by
Belinda Monte  (as Belinda Monte Stegemann)
Todd Thaler 
Production Design by
David Gropman 
Art Direction by
John Kasarda 
Set Decoration by
Susan Bode  (as Susan Bode-Tyson)
Costume Design by
Melissa Economy 
Makeup Department
Michelle Johnson .... department head hair stylist
Renate Leuschner .... wig maker: Ms. Winslet (as Renata)
Suzy Mazzarese-Allison .... hair stylist (as Susie Mazzarese-Allison)
Linda Melazzo .... department head makeup
Randy Houston Mercer .... makeup artist
Ira Senz .... wig maker: Ms. Connelly
Chip Williams .... makeup artist
Fleur Morell .... key makeup artist: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Colleen Wheeler .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Erik Holmberg .... executive in charge of production
Patrick J. Palmer .... unit production manager (as Patrick Palmer)
Ray Quinlan .... unit production manager (as Raymond Quinlan)
Frank Salvino .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stacey Beneville .... second assistant director
Louis Guerra .... second assistant director: second unit (as Louis J. Guerra)
Eric Henriquez .... first assistant director: second unit
Patrick Mangan .... second assistant director: second unit
Gregory Palmer .... second second assistant director
Mike Topoozian .... first assistant director
David Wagreich .... second unit director
Art Department
Liz Bonaventura .... scenic artist
Jason 'Jay' Brown .... on-set dresser (as Jason Brown)
Catriona Crosby .... set dresser
David E. Duncan .... rendering artist (as Dave Duncan)
David Scott Gagnon .... set dresser (as D. Scott Gagnon)
Bruce Lee Gross .... leadman (as Bruce Gross)
Michael Jortner .... assistant property master
Nora Kasarda .... art department coordinator
Martin Lasowitz .... property master
Hank Liebeskind .... set dresser
Amy Safhay .... greens
Jennifer Santucci .... art department production assistant
Grant Shaffer .... rendering artist
Steven Shellooe .... standby painter (as Stephen Shellooe)
Tom Warren .... assistant art director
Tonero Williams .... assistant property
Patrick Wood .... set dresser (as Patrick Woods)
Stuart Auld .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Gabu Camilo .... additional on-set dresser (uncredited)
Matthew Richard Harris .... graphic designer (uncredited)
Ray Harvie .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
Derrick Kardos .... graphic designer: props (uncredited)
Alexandra Mazur .... assistant set decorator (uncredited)
Ginny Walsh .... greens foreman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gary Alper .... sound mixer: second unit
Chris Carpenter .... sound re-recording mixer
Leigh French .... adr voice coordinator
Daniel S. Irwin .... dialogue editor
Robert Jackson .... dialogue editor (as Robert C. Jackson)
Chris Jenkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Mary Jo Lang .... foley engineer (as Mary Joe Lang)
Michelle Mader .... cableperson
Alyson Dee Moore .... foley walker (as Alyson Moore)
Scott Morgan .... foley recordist
David Pastecchi .... boom operator (as Dave Pastecchi)
Eryne Prine .... assistant sound editor
Whitney Purple .... sound premixer
Will Riley .... supervising sound editor
John Roesch .... foley walker
Solange S. Schwalbe .... foley editor (as Solange S. Schwabe)
D. Chris Smith .... sound effects editor
Edward Tise .... production sound
Greg Townsend .... sound premixer
Lisa Varetakis .... supervising dialogue editor
Tim Webb .... sound recordist
Jerry Yuen .... boom operator: second unit
John D'Aquino .... additional boom operator (uncredited)
Christopher Fondulas .... additional boom operator (uncredited)
Russ Klein .... boom operator (uncredited)
Chris Navarro .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Gabriel Sanders .... additional boom operator (uncredited)
Eric Thompson .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Michael Bird .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Randall Balsmeyer .... visual effects supervisor: Big Film Design Corp.
Ella Boliver .... digital compositor: Big Film Design Corp.
J. John Corbett .... composite artist: Big Film Design Corp.
Chris Halstead .... composite artist: Big Film Design Corp.
Bill Hansard Jr. .... process effects coordinator
Bill Hansard .... process effects (as William Hansard)
Tyra Hanshaw .... visual effects producer: Big Film Desig Corp.
Ray McMillan .... process cameraman
Mimi Medel .... visual effects executive: Big Film Design Corp.
Lauren Ritchie .... executive in charge of visual effects: Big Film Design Corp.
Patrick Clancey .... digital opticals (uncredited)
Joseph DiValerio .... visual effects (uncredited)
Tarn Fox .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Ray Harvie .... rendering artist (uncredited)
Ntana Key .... second digital colorist: EFILM (uncredited)
Jim O'Hagan .... digital compositor: Pacific Title (uncredited)
Steven J. Scott .... supervising digital colorist: EFilm (uncredited)
Alexander Serpico .... on-set computer graphics (uncredited)
Danita Slaughter .... digital opticals editor (uncredited)
Antonio Torres .... digital artist: Pacific Title (uncredited)
Jamie Balling .... stunt double: Brad, skateboard
Jared Burke .... stunts
Kevin Cassidy .... stunt double: Larry
John Cenatiempo .... stunts
Douglas Crosby .... stunt coordinator: football sequence (as Doug Crosby)
Mario D'Leon .... stunts
Rocco Forgione .... stunts
Valdimar Jóhannsson .... stunts (as Valdimar Johannsson)
Tim Lajcik .... stunts
Curtis Lyons .... stunts
Erik Martin .... stunt coordinator: skateboard sequence
Earle Masciulli .... stunts
Jeremy Sample .... stunts
David Shumbris .... stunt double: Brad, football
Igor Zinoviev .... stunts
Jared Burke .... assistant stunt coordinator (uncredited)
John Cenatiempo .... stunt driver (uncredited)
David Ott .... stunt double (uncredited)
Christopher Place .... stunts (uncredited)
Anthony Vincent .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
John J. Begley .... electrician (as John Begley)
Braden Belmonte .... second assistant camera: "b" camera, second unit
Keith Bunting .... dolly grip
Michael Caracciolo .... camera operator: "a" camera
Michael Caracciolo .... steadicam operator
Brian Carmichael .... video assist
Craig Cockerill .... first assistant camera: "a" camera, second unit
Doug Dalisera .... rigging gaffer
Ronnie Dennis .... first assistant camera: "a" camera, second unit (as Ronald Dennis)
Russell Engels .... chief lighting technician (as Russ Engels)
Daniel Feighery .... camera loader: second unit
John Gilgar .... electrician
Damian Gonzales .... electrician
Tim Guinness .... chief lighting technician
Larry Huston .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Fabio Iadeluca .... first assistant camera: "b" camera, second unit
David Knox .... camera operator: "b" camera (as Dave Knox)
Jonathon Leigh .... best boy electrician (as Jon Leigh)
Jonathon Leigh .... gaffer: second unit (as Jon Leigh)
Gus Magalios .... best boy grip
Adam Miller .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Billy Patsos .... key grip: second unit
Billy Patsos .... key rigging grip
George Patsos .... key grip
Christopher Raymond .... second assistant camera: "a" camera, second unit (as Chris Raymond)
Sonny Rea .... grip
Molly Rokasy .... camera: Channel 5 news segment
Tim Ross .... camera loader
Mark Schwartzbard .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Joseph Trammell .... video playback (as Joe Tramell)
Andrew Voegeli .... first assistant camera: "a" camera (as Andy Voegeli)
David Wagreich .... camera operator: "a" camera, second unit
David Wagreich .... director of photography: second unit
Robert Zuckerman .... still photographer
Michael Akman .... lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Tarin Anderson .... lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Tyler Anderson .... rigging best boy electric: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Bob Becchio .... first assistant camera: second unit (uncredited)
Gregg de Domenico .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Chris Drechsler .... electrician (uncredited)
Todd Field .... camera operator (uncredited)
Max Frankston .... cable video assist (uncredited)
Jesse Gertsen .... grip (uncredited)
Andy Jagerson .... lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Karron Johnson .... lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Eric Leigh .... best boy rigging electric (uncredited)
David Leite .... dolly grip: additional photography (uncredited)
Tim McAuliffe .... electrician (uncredited)
Paul C. McKenna .... crane technician: Technocrane (uncredited)
Michael Oliva .... electrician (uncredited)
Jason Puliti .... lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Robert Shoemaker .... rigging gaffer: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Sean Tanner .... chief lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Stephan K. Taylor .... lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Dave Thurlow .... lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Lee Vickery .... additional assistant camera (uncredited)
J. Dan Wright .... electrician (uncredited)
Ernest Yurich .... grip (uncredited)
Matt Zschoche .... assistant chief lighting technician: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Casting Department
Lee Genick .... extras casting coordinator
Philip Huffman .... casting assistant
Laura Maxwell-Scott .... casting assistant (as Laura Maxwell Scott)
Tannis Vallely .... additional casting
Debra Zane .... additional casting
Sande Alessi .... additional casting (uncredited)
Kristan Berona .... additional casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Natalie Arango .... background costumer
Ghilaine Bouadana .... set costumer
Danielle Cadorette .... dresser: Ms. Connelly (as Danielle Cadorette-Acehan)
Caroline Duncan .... costume coordinator
Melinda Eshelman .... costume designer: "Slutty Kay"
Alida P. Field .... costume production assistant
Sandi Figueroa .... dresser: Ms. Winslet
Gabriella Kessler .... costume production assistant (as Gabriella Kestler)
Carmia Marshall .... set costumer
Amy Roth .... assistant costume designer
Raeanne Wright .... costume production assistant
Erin Benach .... costumes (uncredited)
Kater Gordon .... additional set costumer (uncredited)
Lucia Lettini .... set costumer (uncredited)
Natalia Parsons .... costume coordinator (uncredited)
Maryann Scinto .... wardrobe costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Beth Dewey .... digital intermediate project manager
Rick Downey .... negative cutter
Ntana Key .... digital intermediate assistant colorist
Jody Levin .... executive in charge of post production
Amy Pawlowski .... digital intermediate editor
Chris Regan .... color timer (as Christopher Regan)
Steven J. Scott .... digital intermediate colorist
Ken Terry .... first assistant film editor
John Vladic .... colorist: dailies (uncredited)
Music Department
Bill Bernstein .... music editor
Julian Bratolyubov .... music preparation
Paul Broucek .... executive in charge of music
Greg Hayes .... assistant engineer
Tim Lauber .... assistant engineer
Larry Mah .... digital audio
Leslie Morris .... music contractor
Thomas Newman .... conductor
Thomas Pasatieri .... orchestrator
Erin Scully .... music executive
Lori Silfen .... music business affairs executive
Armin Steiner .... orchestra recordist
Thomas Vicari .... music scoring mixer
John F.X. Walsh .... music business affairs executive
Michael Zainer .... assistant music editor
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
Jason Lloyd .... scoring stage manager (uncredited)
Norman Ludwin .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Tim Rodier .... music preparation (uncredited)
Sharon Smith .... music editor: temp (uncredited)
Patrick Spain .... assistant scoring engineer (uncredited)
Tom Steel .... scoring stage manager (uncredited)
Margarita Sullivan .... music clearances (uncredited)
Bill Talbott .... scoring technician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Tom Aquino .... driver: Ms. Connelly
Ed Battista .... driver
Joe Blessington .... driver
Juan Bryan .... driver
Paul Castiglione .... driver
Ron Cavazzini .... driver (as Ron Cavazinni)
Walter Chomow .... driver
Kerry Clark .... parking coordinator
Peter Clores .... transportation co-captain (as Pete Clores)
Lew D'Angelo .... driver
Lance DeJesus .... driver
Frank Devine .... driver
Jerry Featherstone .... driver (as Jerry Fetherstone)
Gary Gannetti .... driver
Timothy Garrett .... driver (as Tim Garrett)
George Grenier .... driver
Steven R. Hammond .... transportation captain (as Steve Hammond)
Joe Johnson .... driver
Jim Kelly .... driver
Jim Kober .... driver
Herb Lieberz .... driver: Ms. Winslet
Scott Lieberz .... driver
Rich Marino .... driver
Billy McFadden .... driver (as Bill McFadden)
Billy McFadden .... transportation unit co-captain: second unit
Patrick McMahon .... driver
John Moresco .... driver: Mr. Burger & Mr. Yerxa
Joe Paustian .... driver
Thomas Planz .... driver
Frank Sanpietro .... driver
Mike Scalice .... driver
Christina Schaich .... transportation office coordinator
Joe Siringo .... driver
Joe Stapleton .... driver
Matt Stapleton .... driver
Thomas J. Walsh .... driver: Mr. Palmer (as Tom Walsh)
Drew Yanarella .... driver
Don Yeager .... driver
Matthew H. Wiesner .... parking production assistant (uncredited)
Other crew
David Alexander .... clinical consultant (as David Alexander MD)
Cassandra Barbour .... rights and clearances: Entertainment Clearances, Inc.
Brian K. Barnes .... location assistant
Dana Belcastro .... production executive
Judy Blinick .... post-production accountant
Danielle Blumstein .... assistant production coordinator
Jason Booth .... set production assistant
Michael Braun .... accounting assistant
Steven W. Carbajal .... location production assistant (as Steven Carbajal)
Laurie Cartwright .... risk management
Gina Caruso .... coordinator: Channel 5 news segment
Kristy Davenport .... set medic
Jon Davidson .... production controller
David Dreishpoon .... craft service
Jeff Egan .... production safety
Fletcher Elkington .... set production assistant
Erik Ellner .... business affairs
Nicole E. Ferrari .... production secretary (as Nicole Ferrari)
Maryann C. Fondulas .... first assistant accountant (as Maryann Fondulas)
Catherine Generous .... second second assistant accountant
Emily Glatter .... supervising production coordinator
Kater Gordon .... set production assistant
John Greenway .... set production assistant (as John Greenaway)
Joe Guest .... assistant location manager
Susan Hegarty .... dialect coach: Ms. Winslet
Ganesh Hennigs .... production office assistant (as Ganesh Hennings)
Jeanette Hill-Yonis .... production attorney
Rick Johnson .... stand-in: Mr. Wilson
Matthew Kania .... location assistant (as Matt Kania)
Herschel Knapp .... clinical consultant (as Herschel Knapp PhD)
Michael Kriaris .... location manager (as Mike Kriaris)
Laurent Lambert .... assistant: Ms. Winslet (as Laurant Lambert)
Steve Loff .... second assistant accountant
Cristina Lois .... production office assistant
Richard Mancuso .... production accountant
Christine Marino .... assistant: Mr. Palmer
Sasha Markova .... assistant: Ms. Connelly
Jeremy Marks .... assistant: Mr. Berger & Mr. Yerxa, New York
Ginny Martino .... contract administrator
Glen Mathias .... production liaison (as Glenn Mathias)
Andrew Matthews .... financial advisor
David M. McGuire .... assistant location manager (as David McGuire)
Marilyn Moore .... clinical consultant (as Marilyn Moore RN)
Alyxx Morgen .... stand-in: Ms. Winslet
Carla Occhiogrosso .... stand-in: Ms. Connelly (as Carla Ochogrosso)
Greg Outcalt .... production coordinator
Diego Pina .... craft service assistant
Paul Prokop .... executive in charge of finance
Christine Putnam .... production office assistant
Ryan Quinlan .... set production assistant
Serena Rathbun .... special consultant
Joshua Ravetch .... production resources
Christina I. Rodriguez .... set production assistant
Virginia Saenz McCarthy .... script supervisor
Elle Sauli .... stand-in: Sadie Goldstein
Vincent Sauli .... stand-in: Ty Simkins
Weiman Seid .... unit publicist
Julianna Selfridge .... risk management (as Juliana Selfridge)
Laura Sevier .... rights and clearances: Entertainment Clearances Inc.
Joe Steele .... production resources
Leo Trombetta .... coordinator: Channel 5 news segment
Cori Uchida .... assistant: Mr. Berger & Mr. Yerxa, Los Angeles
Creel Brown .... additional production assistant (uncredited)
Nick Carr .... production assistant (uncredited)
Andrew Cavagnet .... additional production assistant (uncredited)
Andrew Demarest .... production assistant (uncredited)
Creagen Dow .... voice looping (uncredited)
Logan Wolfe Edler .... set production assistant (uncredited)
Chloe Finch .... production assistant (uncredited)
Lowell Freedman .... set production assistant (uncredited)
Cody Klop .... adr voice (uncredited)
Patricia Porter .... payroll accountant (uncredited)
B. Reeves .... additional production assistant (uncredited)
Mark Romanelli .... production assistant (uncredited)
Alexander Serpico .... computer consultant (uncredited)
Jenna Leila Tardy .... observational intern production assistant (uncredited)
Daniel Villagomez .... credits administrator (uncredited)
Denise Violante .... production assistant (uncredited)
Christina A. Wood .... stand-in (uncredited)
Michael Bloomberg .... personal thanks (as Michael R. Bloomberg)
Katherine Oliver .... personal thanks (as Katherine L. Oliver)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong sexuality and nudity, language and some disturbing content
136 min | 137 min (DVD)
Color (DuArt)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Vera Farmiga was the original choice for the role of Sarah Pierce.See more »
Continuity: In the hospital, Ronnie's mother writes the name Ronnie on an envelope. When Ronnie opens the envelope later at home, the writing is slightly different.See more »
[first lines]
Lucy Pierce:Want to take a walk with me?
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Ikiru (1952)See more »
Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)See more »


What does May McGovery's note to her son say?
Why, when Jennifer Connelly's character looks under the table, does she freak out about Sarah's blue toenails?
After Kate Winslet returns home from her night away from home, why does the babysitter seem happy to see her at first but then appear quite cold?
See more »
102 out of 149 people found the following review useful.
Love the Children, 9 October 2006

The acclaimed director of "In the Bedroom" brings a brand new type of adulterous love tale. Todd Field co-adapts Tom Perrotta's novel and never leaves the source material unattended. The film is multi-layered with subtle undertones and illustrious questions wrapped into a parable of two people Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson) and Sarah Pierce, (Kate Winslet) individuals that feel so disenchanted with existence that they find "comfort" in one another. Brad is married to Kathy, (Jennifer Connelly) a beautiful Documentary film maker that pushes her husband to pass the Bar Exam that he's successfully failed twice. She sends him on nightly trips to the library to study where Brad often gets sidetracked into watching a couple of young skaters, skate around. Sarah is working on her dissertation and retires to the playground everyday with her daughter Lucy, to reminisce with the women of the neighborhood. Sarah is married to Richard, an awkward man with underlying motives and fantasies. Although his vanishing in the film is as awkward as he is.

Upon talking about raising children and busy schedules, the women of the neighborhood are delighted with the return of Brad a.k.a. "The Prom King," who indulges their erotic fantasies. The attraction between Sarah and Brad isn't as obvious from the beginning but a small bet will change that. The two acquire at first, a friendship in the interest of simple companionship, a get away from their spouses, where they could feel support. After the sexual tension is ignited, it remains there through trips to the park, pool and Sarah's infamous laundry room.

Todd Field's brutal honesty of adulthood in Suburbia is strikingly palpable and he never leaves the mind of the characters. Unfortunately Field and Perrotta often bring many questions about morality and judgment to the table and leave the subjects murky. The adaptation is great but there are so many points and features to make in this narrative, the two writers couldn't tackle each task. The dialogue is always engaging and inviting for the viewer; I always felt the need to listen to every word.

The performances for the most part are remarkable. Patrick Wilson's "Brad" is extremely character-flawed. His immaturity is evident in every scene and Wilson does an impressive job of portraying that. Brad is stuck in a world, a world somewhere in between high school graduation and yesterday's pasta dinner. His identity seeking is never exposed until the meeting of Sarah and his immaturity is never more manifested until the finale. The underdeveloped character of Kathy is sometimes bothersome but with the flow of the story it fits the aura of the picture. Jennifer Connelly does well with her minimal screen time but it isn't the marvel of the film that stands out like other low-screen time performances have been in the past. Also, the great Noah Emmerich and Phyllis Somerville are great in their respective roles.

The two standouts lay in the unknown comeback of Jackie Earle Haley, who plays Ronald McGovern, a recently released pedophile searching for a new beginning in a town unkind to the power of forgiveness and profound origination. In Haley, the viewer finds the most sympathy of all the players and this viewer was delighted to find it. In no way are people accepting of pedophilia, but we can start to sympathize with anyone who yearns for the restart of any kind and becomes bewildered and astray in the process. Haley's "Ronnie" is so tortured in his soul but does find security and contentment in his loving mother. She offers solace and guidance in Ronnie's rebuilding of life that adds to the atmosphere and provides a beautiful emotional center to the "Children." The other standout could be no other than the most talented young actress working today, Kate Winslet. Her "Sarah," like "Ronnie" has a tortured persona along with a yearn for happiness that is missing in her life. The symbolism of trains in the film gave amazing insight to what Sarah and Brad were really about. Winslet falls inside of "Sarah" and never comes to the surface. At 31, Winslet is still thinking of different ways to enchant the audience and give us something new every time. The vivacity of "Sarah" is sometimes hard to swallow because of her priorities with her child and Brad but in the finale you will feel comfort in the choice of her character. But this is not by any means, the best performance of her career but a definite contender nonetheless in the competitive Actress race.

The best part of the film is the complete wrapping of it in general. Despite the many questions left unanswered, I have never felt so satisfied with the resolution of a dramatic picture like "Little Children." There is however, a coy hollowness at the center of the film but the rest makes up for seemingly unavoidable flaws that came about. Oscar consideration should focus on Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Adapted Screenplay and hopefully that can be in its future. This is a very artsy type movie, not for everyone, but if the Academy is feeling like nominating a "House of Sand and Fog" meets "In the Bedroom" with a subtle side of "Closer" then we'll have our dramatic independent film of the year in the Oscar race.

Grade: ***1/2/****

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