Little Children (2006) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
327 Reviews
Sort by:
9/10
A classic study of suburban and married life
eddie_baggins29 January 2018
Shining a light on both suburban life and the trial's of one being faithful to their spouses in a world were temptation lay in wait behind every corner, Todd Field's confronting and brilliantly realised Blue Velvet like look at the lives of some very flawed human beings is a strong and powerful today as it was upon release in 2006.

Nominated for 3 Academy Awards including nominations for two if its stars Kate Winslet and the unforgettable Jackie Earle Haley as the films vilified and mentally unstable Ronnie, Field's film is one of those rare drama's where every single actor is on the top of their game with Winslet, Haley and in particular the often disappointing Patrick Wilson delivering what all could well be career best turns in their respective roles.

A large portion of Little Children's screentime is dedicated to the budding friendship/affair that starts up between Winslet's frustrated and angry housewife Sarah and Wilson's meandering stay at home dad Brad, as the two find solace in one another as their stalled lives come to a head and their community is overtaken with concern and outrage over the recent arrival of Haley's convicted criminal to their normally quiet and unassuming suburb.

Adapted for the screen alongside Little Children's novelist Tom Perrotta, Field's wastes no line of dialogue or no scene in his 130 minute expose of the ever present battle to be content and the desire to be loved and to love and it's not often film character's feel so alive and real as they do here in this film.

Winslet's Sarah is an intellectually smart and dedicated mother battling with a husband whose far from loyal in his own right, Wilson's lost soul like Brad has the trophy wife and beloved son but is seemingly lost with where he wants to get to in his life while Haley's Ronnie is an initially repulsive figure that somehow becomes something more as we grow to understand his true nature and the affliction he is battling with day to day while being surrounded by hatred of a world that lacks understanding for his condition.

Little Children is very far from an uplifting experience but with these true to life and often against the odds understandable creations at the forefront, Field's film becomes an experience that will become a poignant one for many and a reassurance that everyone, no matter their circumstances, is battling in the wars of life.

Final Say -

If you've never seen Little Children, this is well and truly a film worth tracking down and while its often confronting and unashamedly raw in its uncompromising views of everyday human life and the ups and downs of relationship's, Field's film is a movie of real power and quiet beauty that can comfortable sit alongside other similar classics like American Beauty, Blue Velvet and Magnolia.

4 ½ hastily evacuated pools out of 5
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Raw portrayal of pain
Davis P21 October 2017
Little Children (2006) is a film that follows several different characters and their painful lives. Sarah (Kate Winslet) is a wife and mother of a three year girl. Brad (Patrick Wilson) is a husband and father of a toddler aged son, he stays home with his son while his wife is the main breadwinner. They both take their children to the nearby playground during the day, that is where they end up meeting. They end up spending more and more time with one another during the day when they take their kids out. This time they spend eventually turns into an affair. They end up having sex while their spouses are at work. Then, the film also follows the character of Ronnie, played by Jackie Earle Haley. Ronnie is a sexual predator, he was arrested for exposing himself to a minor, and now he is living with his mother and everyone in the neighborhood, parents especially, are very worried that he's living near them, because of the large amount of kids in the neighborhood. There are other characters that are in the mix too, like Wilson's wife in the film, played by Jennifer Connelly, and Noah Emmerich. I will say that the acting in this film is superb all around, Winslet and Haley especially, very well deserved academy award nominations. And the writing is also just spectacular! Another well deserved nomination. The writing is done in a way that gives each character enough depth and gives a lot of description to all the events that happen. I really liked the narration throughout the movie, it added onto everything. That plus the very well written dialogue, it all comes together in a great way. 10/10 for Little Children! Most definitely recommended.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Liked it despite the tired subject matter
rdoyle2923 September 2017
I really like this film despite there being quite a few reasons not to like it. It's a tale of suburban ennui, and man, there's no worse topic than suburban ennui ... just see "American Beauty" for an example of how bloody awful this usually is. Patrick Wilson and Kate Winslet are in unhappy marriages and they have an affair. Jackie Earle Haley is a pedophile sex offender who has moved back into the neighborhood and is being harassed by Wilson's buddy who's a disgraced cop. Everyone is portrayed and conformist and closed-minded, and there's even an omniscient narrator reading excerpts of the book it's based on. So why did I like it? Despite the hackneyed subject matter, it's a literate, humane film with well-drawn main characters played extremely well. It's tired subject matter executed just about as well as you possibly can.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Little Children - Little Insights
krocheav1 July 2017
This is a strange work in all departments. It looks artistically terrific, it's very well acted by most and there's even some quite good writing but, this somehow ends up being wrapped around some very suspect stuff. It offers up the odd believable situation and characters - the problem is, these also somehow become transposed within obvious and banal plot deficiencies. What to make of all this? Are the writer and director (Tom Perrotta/Todd Field) trying to become the new Stanley Kubrick successors? (seems there was some association with Kubrick - except by this time it was becoming very evident he was sinking into his own porn soaked mediocrity). This classy production, with its lashings of sexual intensity and chilling observations - attempts to convince us it's a documentary style examination of moral failings within modern society. There's the interesting use of a narrator who's designed to sound like the smooth voice-over of those intelligent WGBH documentaries that come out of Boston – giving insights into our soulless obsession with pornography in all forms of modern media.

Unfortunately, it's how they go about the script that eventually lets it all down. The story's peopled by stereo-typical Hollywood types IE: Strong Women and weak men - we are introduced to a group of women who meet in the local park with their kids. While the kids play happily these soap-opera type women gossip and ogle the only man who also takes his son to the park. They sit perched together on their bench, except one, who sits alone on the ground, yes, she's the obligatory 'different' one, that's OK, but then we are told by the narrator that she's the intelligent 'plain' one of the group (Kate Winslet plain? well...) Next, we learn she's sexually ignored by a husband who is more interested in internet porn and interferes with himself while sniffing a pair of panties once worn by his websites fantasy heroine! Now back to the handsome dad in the park – he's a low- achiever whose wife is a successful documentary maker. She wears the pants and offers him little marital 'comfort'– the scene is now set for him and Kate to get it all off for some R rated...well, you know the rest. Then we have a paedophile named Ronnie, he's just been released from jail on a charge of indecent exposure involving a minor - Jackie Earle Haley gives a chilling performance as Ronnie who's definitely a psychotic worry, (as his 'singles' first date is to find out)

When the town mums see Ronnie at the local swimming pool they run screaming to grab their kids from the pool, creating another over the top scene looking as if Jaws had just popped into the pool. This now brings us to the creepily weird, failed ex-cop (and macho football team member) who will now become the super aggressive vigilantly of the piece...and on it goes for nearly 2. 1/2hrs. What might have been an intelligent, stylistic study of urban moral decline ends up as a sensationalistic wallow. Seems it's another case of acclaimed movie makers trying to top themselves and ending up being everything they shouldn't. A considerable amount of money was lavished on this Academy Award contender – understandably very little came back.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
living in the suburbs would be death
Lee Eisenberg24 June 2017
Todd Field had been an actor for many years. He appeared as a crooner in Woody Allen's "Radio Days" and as a college buddy of Tom Cruise's character in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut". He made his feature debut as a director with 2001's "In the Bedroom", in which a tragedy exposes the flaws in a couple's marriage. His next movie was 2006's "Little Children", about some unpleasant things going on behind the veneer of a perfect suburban life.

The movie has a couple of stories going on, each loosely connected: an extramarital affair between a bored housewife (Kate Winslet) and a man (Patrick Wilson) known as a prom king, the arrival of a sex offender (Jackie Earle Haley), and a former cop (Noah Emmerich) who keeps trying to hide an ugly past. All described by an omniscient narrator.

There aren't really any good guys or bad guys. There are simply people who do morally questionable things in a amoral setting. Lawrence Ferlinghetti once called suburbs something like "America's tragedy", and that's perfectly apparent here. Winslet's character's friends - if you can call them friends - are the most empty-headed people of all, while Wilson's character's wife (Jennifer Connelly) is hard-working but barely has any relationship with anyone, including her husband.

One could make the argument that suburban Gothic is an overused genre. That might be the truth. Even so I recommend "Little Children". The movie makes clear why the characters do what they do. Basically, they're sick people who nonetheless have some good in them. In a way, Haley's character is the most sympathetic in the movie (even though he did one of the most unethical things).

I recommend it.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Hilarious, disturbing, heartfelt and best of all, completely engrossing
manuelasaez16 December 2016
One of the best movies I have seen all year, it had me laughing out loud in the beginning, horrified towards the middle and completely enamored in the end. It's one of those films that runs the gamut of emotion, and what begins as a light-hearted film about the lives of ordinary people, turns out to be a film about sacrifice, acceptance, and dealing with your inner demons. The acting was PHENOMENAL, the script was nuanced and well-written, and the cinematography was understated but effective. It reminds me of American Beauty, in that it is a film that deserves all of the accolades it is meant to garner, and should be seen by not only fans of great acting, but anyone who cares about talented film making. One of the best American films I have seen in a long time. I could not recommend it any higher.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Sarah, The Adultress, And Her Man, The "Prom KIng"
Dalbert Pringle5 September 2016
If you ask me - I think that a much more fitting title for this decidedly bleak, black comedy (from 2006) would have been "American Beauty: The Sequel".

Filled to overflowing with endless ill-will and depressing personal dramas - Little Children's story of small-town gossip, infidelity, fetish, and dissatisfaction in the bedroom (as well as a bit of sexual perversion thrown into the mix, for good measure) - Left me feeling like I seriously needed to take a long, hot shower, after it was all over, in order to scrub away all of the trauma and taint that prevailed and totally saturated me during this picture's 2.2-hour running time.

To be sure - Little Children is the sort of little "tattle-tale" soap opera that isn't gonna appeal to everyone's tastes. No way. But, with that said - It certainly did contain its fair share of truly compelling moments that helped to earn it a 5-star rating from yours truly, Dalbert Pringle.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
love everything except the narration
SnoopyStyle11 July 2016
Sarah Pierce (Kate Winslet) is in a loveless marriage and her husband is obsessed with internet porn "Slutty Kay". She is the least prepared mother in her group at the playground. The others have taken to calling Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson) the "prom king" who brings his son to the park. He's married to documentary maker Kathy Adamson (Jennifer Connelly) and supposed to be studying for his bar exam but he doesn't. The girls are too scared to talk to him so Sarah decides to do it. They kiss to shock them but he can't leave it behind him. Brad's friend former cop Larry Hedges (Noah Emmerich) is obsessed with recently released pervert Ronnie J. McGorvey (Jackie Earle Haley).

Todd Field delivers another awards worthy film. Patrick Wilson is made for this role. He has a creepy edge that keeps him from being the perfect nice leading man. There is no other Kate Winslet. If anything, she's too beautiful to be the frumpy housewife role. She's luminescent. The role fits more for somebody like Jane Adams. Speaking of Jane Adams, her scene with Jackie Earle Haley is supremely horrific. Jackie gets a well-deserved comeback. My biggest issue is the narration. It gives it a literary feel coming from the novel written by Tom Perrotta. It keeps the story at a distance from the audience. There is less immediacy. It feels fictional. Some may like this way more but I found the narration a little annoying.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Secret affairs and a pervert
The Couchpotatoes10 May 2016
When I saw it was a drama/romance I didn't have high expectations because that's normally not the kind of movies I go for. But it was quite the opposite of what I expected. It's a remarkable movie about two lovers, both married, having a secret affair while in the mean time the whole neighborhood is on alert because a known sex offender is living nearby. The whole cast did a great job with their respective roles. Kate Winslet as Sarah Pierce and Patrick Wilson as Brad Adamson are a delight to watch in their secret forbidden romance. The sex offender Ronnie J. McGorvey played by Jackie Earle Haley is by far one of the strongest actors in this movie. You kind of feel sorry for him sometimes, but then his weird and perverted nature surfaces and you immediately hate him again. Very well played if you ask me. The movie might be long but time just flies by when you're watching it. I was pleasantly surprised and can only recommend it to everybody.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
puzzle
Kirpianuscus23 April 2016
a film about vulnerability. fears. desires to escape from yourself. errors. and the meaning of life. few characters. and admirable performances. immature relations, hunt of a suspect, family's crisis, the children as axis of universes in fall, small community's challenges and dark atmosphere. one of films about ordinary every day reality who impress. for the basic truth who is discovered scene by scene. for the pressure of conflicts. for the memories of different forms of Bovarism. for the force of fear and hate and punishment against yourself. for the images about life. for the beauty of illusions. and for the end of dreams. a beautiful film about solitude. and about the high price of escapes from the social expectations. a puzzle. well made. inspired circle of nuances.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
This ones for the children
videorama-759-85939111 March 2016
Little Children, granted isn't the best movie ever made, and is probably given more credit than it deserves. It's good but not great. But may'be I should look closer, for it is quite a character study into flawed characters, a lot of who really hate themselves. It is an excellent screenplay, three interweaving stories, through characters, driven by situations and circumstances, the main plot really being the release of a known 48 year old pedophile, and an angry community. The pedo is chillingly played by Jackie Earle Hayley, in just what it is virtuoso acting, from a guy who's made way too less movies, and always impresses in other films. He's an actor to watch. But all the other performances should be commended too, some who I don't need to spout names. It also has a Happiness movie character playing much the same kind of shy character as she did in that 99 Art-house film. Little Children is very realistic, especially in the public versus pedophile scenario, where one character gets really heated, among the other of a disfavoring community. This is so real, where the great script just takes on a real approach. What I hated about little children, was that sleepy middle aged, informing voice over, to really describe how the characters feel. We don't need that. Let the characters do that. This is what minimally ruined what is otherwise a good film, with a kind of un befitting but cute title. Highly recommended.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Made no sense why he wasn't caught
schalla-3235213 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw the movie: "Little Children" and I must say I was very disappointed too how Brad never got caught cheating on his wife! He had an affair with Sarah for goodness sakes!!!! He has been sneaking out and going behind his wife's back and it just wasn't appropriate whatsoever for a married man with kids and a married woman having sex. Why couldn't he just be honest? Why did he have to lie and go behind his wife's back? I wish there was a scene in the movie where Brad's wife beat the hell out of him and where he got caught cheating and lying!! This was very frustrating and why this movie was garbage. This can never really happen in real life! Especially when Brad's wife started to get a little suspicious and even sense that Brad was cheating but didn't confront him or say anything about it? Made no sense!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
The premise held some hope but sadly for the most part this is uninteresting drivel
jimbo-53-1865113 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Little Children is one of those films that essentially looks at various people's lives and tries to weave stories together in order to come to some kind of profound conclusion. Narratives of this nature are risky as when they're done wrong you can sometimes find yourself alienating your audience. Unfortunately, due to the fact that every storyline is either badly developed, ridiculous or uninteresting it did make this film a rather long and painful two hours....

The idea of a 'reformed' paedophile moving into an area where lots of children are living and stirring up fear and anxiety amongst the families of those children could potentially have made for a very interesting social commentary. This was actually where I hoped that the film would have focused its attention. Sadly, for most of its running time it focused on bored suburban housewife Sarah Pierce (Kate Winslet) in a loveless marriage (yawn!!!) having an affair with another married man called Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson) who has no real direction in life and to me seemed to be living in the past. It's a trite and clichéd storyline which might have been bearable if Brad and Sarah had any character to them - the problem is that they are two of the dullest characters I've seen in a film and it made me feel mildly depressed watching them for over two hours. Whilst Sarah's reasons for wanting an affair are reasonable I struggled understanding what motivated Brad to have an affair? The only thing I remember was him being annoyed about their kid sharing a bed with them... That to me would not make most men stray (particularly as they seemed happy at other times).

Another thing that really wound me up when watching this film was the voice-over; it wasn't the content of the voice-over (some of it was quite insightful), but it was more the way that the voice-over was delivered. To me it was really cheesy and sounded like something you'd hear on some lame 'self-help' video. It was just ridiculous and laughable. Sarah's life mirroring that of a fictional character called Madame Bovary was also rather cheesy. We learn during the course of the film that Sarah's husband becomes addicted to porn and Sarah makes a big deal about it (understandably) and tells her husband that 'we need to talk', but then that storyline is dropped and the next time we see her husband he's sat round a dinner table at Brad's and they're all playing happy families. To me it seemed rather pointless creating that storyline and then not taking it anywhere. The acting performances were terrible whereby nearly everyone seemed to be sleepwalking through the picture - the likes of Connelly, Wilson & Winslet are all capable of much better than this, but maybe they were all sleepwalking through the film because they were so bored by everything - hey if that's the case then I know how they feel!!!.

The more 'interesting' aspect of the film involving the 'reformed' paedophile Ronnie (superbly portrayed by Jackie Haley) is virtually ignored for almost the entire running time. There's one incident in the pool and one incident when Ronnie goes on a date. The only mildly interesting storyline I found here was the storyline between Ronnie and Larry. When it's revealed that Larry killed a teenager in the mistaken belief that he was about to shoot another kid (both were carrying toy guns) I got the impression that Larry terrorised Ronnie more as a way of making himself feel less guilty for what he did to that teenager. Whilst Ronnie is an interesting character I never felt sure what the writers were trying to say about his character? He seems to be painted in a sympathetic light and doesn't show any signs that he's going to harm anyone, but then at the end of his date he goes all psycho on his date for no reason?? Then later his mum dies and we're presumably supposed to feel sorry for him again???

Maybe the point of the film was to show that all humans are flawed and that in life maybe people should be given a second chance (there also seemed to be themes about letting go of the past and moving on). It's too bad that as a whole the bulk of the story is dull, boring and uninteresting (like a lot of the characters).
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
# 03 : Desperate houseman (web)
leplatypus22 May 2015
Honestly, the movie stills were not encouraging and i felt bad vibes for this movie before I watch it. Now and after, i think this is the best American drama that I have seen in a long time !

It has a formidable cast, the production is classic (blue / orange colorization wasn't introduced yet !) and the story speaks really to us (upper classes families as main subject weren't introduced yet !). The first thing i noticed is the voice-over of a narrator that unveils its literature origin. If i consider it, a weak movie tool (because it says that the director can't deliver the message visually) however here you are stunned by the quality of the speeches ! Then, you discover that the author really imagined great slices of life for people who can be you and me and we really care for those dreamy or labeled people. If i pick this movie for Jennifer, i admit that Kate steals the show as she is always perfect as showing her feelings. « Nite owl » and « Rorsach » are also really good. At the end, such a good movie like this really push to follow the work of this unknown director or read the author who wrote the novel !
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
We all have to grow up at some point
brchthethird20 April 2015
Many a film have made on the subject of suburbia and while LITTLE CHILDREN doesn't do much thematically to distinguish itself from what came before, its masterful direction and excellent performances put it a notch above the rest. The story is centered around Brad (Patrick Wilson) and Sarah (Kate Winslet), each married but unsatisfied with their lives. Brad is a stay-at-home dad who has yet to pass the bar and quite a pushover when it comes to his wife. Sarah is a stay-at-home mom/writer who doesn't feel like she belongs with the gossipy mothers she hangs out with in the public park (by virtue of being around them). Amidst this idyllic suburban setting (on the surface) there is a recently released sex offender who moves into the neighborhood to live with his mother, and an ex-cop who will stop at nothing to let everyone know about the "pervert" who just invaded their "sanctuary." Thematically, the film doesn't really break any new ground. You have your put-upon husband with his domineering wife,and a wife overcome with ennui at her banal existence along with her disinterested husband. Any character type you can think of is in this film. What sets it apart somewhat is the degree to which it lets the drama speak for itself and develop more subtly, barring a couple moments which telegraph meaning rather obviously. One such moment is in a book club where the audience is deliberately clued in on a comparison between Sarah and Emma Bovary, the novel which they are discussing. I also thought the voice-over narration was a bit overdone and vocalized character motivations/thoughts that didn't necessarily need to be said out loud. Even so, the narration gave the film this storybook quality which meshed quite well with the setting and tone. Of course, all the performances were top-notch, especially from Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson. They have great on screen chemistry and the characters they portrayed seemed very realistic. Jennifer Connelly and Gregg Edelman do fine as Brad and Sarah's spouses, respectively, but they weren't really given enough screen time (especially Gregg) to make much of an impression. Outside of this, I thought the subplot about the sex offender, Ronnie McGorvey (Jackie Earle Haley), was done rather tastefully. Quite a big deal is made in the film about judging others for some "higher cause" ("Think of the children...") while turning a blind eye to one's own faults and shortcomings. And based on the ending (which I won't spoil), it also seems to be making a point about the immaturity of trying to escape from one's life and responsibilities. Ultimately, LITTLE CHILDREN is rather pedestrian when it comes to the themes usually explored in these types of films and is a little too "on the nose" in a couple places, but its slick execution and awards-worthy performances make it worth a watch.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Leave it to Hollywood to make sex offender sympathetic
billsoccer9 January 2015
OK, I get it - the main point of this was to see how several characters work through life's crises. Still, portraying 'normal' people acting poorly toward a sex offender spoils it for me. All of these crises are self-inflicted: the wife who worships Madame Bovary only to find her cheating on her husband - no surprise. The new lover, who can't/won't grow up and seeks excitement in her arms. The cop who - perhaps to overcompensate for his own failures, stalks the sex offender. All failures in my mind because they fail to consider their actions long-term consequences. Who writes this rubbish? Or is this a sign of a masterpiece because I hate all the main characters? These topics are better handled in other movies.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Couldn't Be A Better Ending !
someonesmart216 January 2015
Just to say first 7.5 is my original rating, I could give it an 8 though but settle on 7.5 but that doesn't mean that this film is not worth watching this is a very good drama movie I'd watched after a long time.

The movie according to me is on the subject of infidelity or just say love finds its way and it can't be abandon. Every character plays a major or important role in the movie. The character I liked was of Brad to me he is reckless didn't take life seriously and ends in infidelity. So why the title "Little Children" the film focus on a guy (a pervert) played by Jackie Earle Haley who was released from the prison by committing a crime in front of a child anyways everyone in the town is scared of him that he might hurt their children in this way all the lives of characters somehow intervene.

According to me what this movie really tells us is that its our children who need our attention, our love and affection, we should take care of them give them a happy and loving environment, despite of all the differences between us we should not destroy their childhood.

And yes the ending was perfect and it couldn't be a better ending than this, So if you're looking for an adult drama movie this is the best choice for you.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A little too dark for me
Mr Black15 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed this film, but found it a little too dark for my tastes, however it is very well done and over all the performance are very good. Looking in a these character's lives, I kept hoping for some inclination that one of these people had some good in them,, but nope. Nothing. Every character is severely flawed in many ways and in different degrees. I just found that after watching them for two hours, I felt like smacking them and yelling 'SMARTEN UP!" But I guess that is what this movie is all about, so indeed, a good character study. Thought Kate Winslett and Jennifer Connally were great. Although I did find a few weird things in the script. Such as Kathy telling Brad they should invite Lucy's family over for dinner, based solely on the fact that the little boy told her he had a new friend. Seems very unlikely. The other unusual thing was the scene where Kathy is under the table and is intrigued by Sarah's feet. If you watch the movie, this makes no sense at all as her feet appear pretty normal. However there is apparently an explanation in the book, but it doesn't translate to film with out somehow explaining why. All in all, for movie buffs, a good movie to see.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Little Children" is a written masterpiece with brilliant characters and performances.
Dominic LeRose7 September 2014
Suburban lifestyles may be though of as calm and peaceful and where problems don't really exist. Sure enough, writer/director Todd Field creates an adapted masterpiece about the hardship that troubled adults have in suburban America. There are different stories that combine together like in "Pulp Fiction and "Traffic. Kate Winslet plays Sarah Pierce, an unsatisfied housewife who has one daughter after a divorce with her husband. She meets Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson) at the local playground and falls in love with him. Brad is a stay at home dad who is working to get a law degree in school and is pressured by his working wife Kathy (Jennifer Connelly). The two have a son. Brad is friends with Larry Edges (Noah Emmerich), an ex- cop due to accidentally killing a young teenager on the job. Larry is promoting to get the released pedophile Ronnie (Jackie Early Haley)back in jail and taunts him. Soon the adults realize what it takes to live as they encounter each other. This film really opens your eyes to how intense suburban life can be. Growing up in a nice suburb, I wonder how the people of my community really feel every day after putting on a fake face and pretending everything is fine. Todd Field writes an absolutely spectacular and brilliant screenplay by giving a genies title and creating interesting characters. The title "Little Children" has an elaborate meaning. It is referring to the adults in this film for acting childish and for being surrounded by kids the entire time. Each character has some connection to kids. Sarah and Brad are parents, Larry accidentally killed a teenager, and Ronnie is an ex-pedophile. However, Sarah is unsatisfied and is childish for not realizing how great her life truly is. Brad plays football like teenagers socially and is distracted like another child character we meet. Ronnie is very childish and creepy by acting like a little kid. Larry is childish for not forgiving himself and plotting revenge on Ronnie. Kathy is childish for not allowing her husband to be happy as a a stay at home dad. How brilliant to keep that title! There are many other supporting characters like Sarah's friends and husband who act like teenagers as well. Her friends for gossiping and her husband for his sexual actions. As the film flows, you really see the truth behind these characters and how they are the reason for the title. Every character may not be likable, but are fascinating and an adventure to watch. Kate Winslet plays a housewife in a troubled lifestyle and dominates every scene with her feelings. Patrick Wilson parallels her in the male version and gives an equally good performance. Jackie Early Haley is the true gem in this film. He plays his character in a way that chills your spine but also makes you care for him in a strange way. He gives an absolutely classic and heart- wrenching performance. Jennifer Connelly and Noah Emmerich support the film by giving extra tension and drama. Todd Field's directing is almost as superb as his mesmerizing writing by portraying the ordinary, suburban lifestyle in a shocking and dark way. "Little Children" is a tough film that can change your view on the world and stick with you in a powerful way and take you on a roller coaster of analyzing brilliant film-making.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Quality adult drama with lots of dry humor
Wuchak4 September 2014
"Little Children" (2006) is a well-done adult drama mixed with lots of dry humor. The story revolves around two suburban couples in Connecticut and people linked to them. Sarah (Kate Winslet) becomes increasingly intrigued by a local stay-at-home dad, Brad (Patrick Wilson), particularly when she catches her husband yielding to his base desires (in a particularly funny scene). It's a slow descent into hell, so to speak, as the situation leads to adultery and its typical consequences. There's also a subplot about a man just released from prison for exposing himself to a minor and the ex-cop who's obsessed with destroying him, but the latter has his own demons, which disqualifies him of his high horse.

The film's called "little children" (presumeably taken from the Bible, e.g. 1 John) because the key adults are acting like little children in one way or another rather than responsible adults. The message of the film is simple: GROW UP. Or "everyone grows older, but not everyone grows up." Winslet shines here. "Little Children" was released nine years after her breakthrough in "Titanic" and she's just way more appealing as a woman -- a curvy whoa-man -- than as the teenager with baby fat (not that she wasn't attractive in "Titanic," of course; just that mature women are always better than immature girls IMHO). Jennifer Connelly plays Kathy, the bread-winning wife of Brad, and I find it interesting that the movie goes out of its way to say that Kathy is a "knockout" while Sarah (Winslet) is kind of plain, short and with too-thick eyebrows. I guess "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" because, as pretty as Connelly may be (just too thin), I think Kate blows her out of the water with her voluptuousness.

"Little Children" is just a solid adult drama. It has some dialogue-driven (and body language-driven) slow parts, but it consistently maintains your attention and adequately shows that ordinary life and the glory & shame thereof is more compelling (and funny) than the most overwrought CGI-laden action-packed idiotic "blockbuster" (not that those types of films can't be effective, like the outstanding "Terminator 2: Judgment Day").

There's one brilliant scene that takes place at the dinner table where both couples finally spend time together. During the conversation Kathy picks up on her radar what's really going on between Brad and Sarah. It's subtle, but she clearly picks it up. The directing, writing and acting of this scene are all flawless -- masterful filmmaking.

The ending could've been better, but the decisions two characters make show that maybe they're growing up after all; and I like that.

The film runs 137 minutes and was shot in New England and New York.

GRADE: B+
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Wonderful movie
bowmanblue19 May 2014
I can't believe I have only just watched this. And, to make matters worse, I very nearly turned it off after about a quarter of an hour. The film is about two couples, both trapped in their own loveless marriages.

From the start we get some form of 'narration' from a character never seen in the film. I found this kind of off-putting at first as it tells you what characters are thinking and I thought it was a lazy way at skipping through finding things out about characters as a view. However, this narration basically disappears more and more as the film progresses and, in my opinion, is the right thing to do.

The film is long - just over two hours and it gets better and better. Everyone's performance is brilliant and there's little negative to say about it.

If you're into adult drama about relationships that are very bittersweet, then this one is for you.

Although, be warned, a happy-happy, feel-good movie this is not.

Too much like real life.

http://thewrongtreemoviereviews.blogspot.co.uk/
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Jackie Earl Haley!
elrogrrl19 August 2013
This movie is good but not great, the real reason to watch it is the performances which are all good but the really great performance is without a doubt Jackie Earl Haley. He plays a creepy paedophile but he is such a good actor that he actually makes himself seem like he deserves to be felt sorry for instead of just hated. This movie was nominated for three Academy Awards which I didn't even know until I visited this page just now (I just saw the movie with my boyfriend/partner and we both loved his performance) and I am very happy that one of those nominations was for Best Supporting Actor for Jackie Earl Haley. It's a shame he didn't win because he deserved it (not to say whoever won that year didn't deserve it of course) but I'm sure it's hard for people to vote for a character of a paedophile obviously! I'm sure he'll win one eventually, he deserves it. Loved him in Watchmen too.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Are We All Little Children?
mjcfoxx19 July 2013
This movie is clever, funny, and disturbing, which is a set of adjectives usually reserved for really good horror movies. And let's face it: this is, in many ways, horror film. How many scenes within it manage to make your stomach churn? It's indignation at close-minded people is almost satirical. Everyone in this film has some sort of problem. The literary allusions are spot on, if you consider 'Crime and Punishment' or 'Madame Bovary', and its willingness to leave a few subplots open is something of a ham-fisted brilliance. Hard to look past its more disturbing moments, though. I'm surprised there's not a suicide somewhere in a dark corner of this film's vaguely promising yet contemplatively messy ending.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
What about Todd's infidelities?
Aisha Clarke3 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed the movie. I like everything about it. Except for the parts with Kathy and her charlatan husband. Now it's time for Todd to apologize for "his" infidelities. They acted like Kathy made Todd go to law school like a mother. He's a grow man he had a choice. He never told her he didn't like law school. And why wasn't he working and supporting his wife and son too? Now that he was old enough to start preschool. And why did the movie made him out to be the victim? Kathy wasn't the one misbehaving. I guess Kathy's mother was right. Now she should listen and leave them. But I liked everything else about the movie.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Yes it's art, but is it entertainment?
Neil Welch2 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Mother and housewife Kate Winslet is discontented with her lot. At the playground she bumps into househusband Patrick Wilson (married to Jennifer Connelly), also discontented with his lot, and they start an affair. Also in the neighbourhood is Jackie Earle Hailey, released from prison for child sex offences (the film leaves it open as to whether he is actually a paedophile although he is clearly more than slightly mixed up on the sexual side). It seems unlikely to turn out well...

And it's probably not giving too much away to say that it doesn't although, frustratingly, major elements of the movie are left open-ended. I suppose you can make up your own ending.

This film features excellent performances (from, particularly, Connelly and Hailey) but, for me, it all remained sleazy and downbeat, not to mention unresolved. I don't mind tragedy every now and then, but I do like a bit of redemption to kick at somewhere around the ending: if you're not going to have that, at least do me the favour of telling me what happened.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews