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Little Children (2006)

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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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
607 ( 373)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 57 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sarah Pierce
... Kathy Adamson
... Brad Adamson
... Ronnie J. McGorvey
... Larry Hedges
... Richard Pierce
... May McGorvey
... Bullhorn Bob
... Sheila
... Aaron Adamson
... Lucy Pierce
... Jean
... Slutty Kay
... Mary Ann
... Theresa
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and nudity, language and some disturbing content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

9 February 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secretos íntimos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$97,953, 8 October 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,463,019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,821,658
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(DuArt)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the final football game, when the Guardians defeat the hotshots from the Financial District, the tone of the narration seems intended to imitate John Facenda of NFL Films (in a tongue-in-cheek manner). See more »

Goofs

On the sunglasses of the woman by the pool who declines her children a snack. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lucy Pierce: Want to take a walk with me?
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Connections

Featured in 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Battlefield Glory
Written by Tom Hedden
Performed by Tom Hedden
Courtesy of NFL Films
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Magnetic Experience.
22 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

Writer/director Todd Field follows up his Academy Award nominated 2001 film, In the Bedroom, with a much more accessible entry. Field's 2006 Academy Award nominated film, Little Children, is magnetic – a movie that manages to be artistic and entertaining all at once. It's part drama, part satire, and determined to have an impact.

The film strikes an incredibly strange balance between the serious and the surreal, by taking the familiar and by now cinematically worn out subject of parents in unhappy marriages and marrying it with a wry narration played is if it were lifted from a BBC Documentary on Jane Goodall. The narrator serves as a warm and sometimes funny guide through the lives of Sarah Pierce (Kate Winslet) and Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson), two stay-at-home parents locked into an empty and unsatisfying routine of childcare in a haunting, tree-lined suburbia while their spouses live more interesting lives out in the work force.

We meet Sarah in a park where she sits apart from the other nattering, empty-headed mothers and tells herself that she's not one of them. Little Children's view of full-time child- rearing is a bleak one. For an ambitious and intelligent woman it's almost a death sentence, or at the very least a big give-up. Sarah loves her daughter, but she also loved having a life. Now her life is her daughter and whoever or whatever Sarah once was is gone, replaced by the word "mother". The real Sarah, long dead and buried by a pregnancy, is reawakened when she meets Brad.

Brad is the sexy, stay-at-home father from down the street, and the fantasy of the other mothers in Sarah's park. She meets him on a bet, and finds in Brad the intelligent, dissatisfied companion missing amongst the other blissfully dull, easily satisfied soccer moms. As these things often do, their relationship boils and builds into something torrid, and Sarah is left struggling to live a private life as a mother, and a private, socially unacceptable life where she's truly alive.

Little Children works brilliantly as a mesmerizing character study about the way we judge others and ourselves. Field distills this theme masterfully throughout and braids the strangely sad, sometimes disturbing story of Ronald James McGovery's (Jackie Earl Haley) re- assimilation back into a fearful, judgemental society, with the primary tale of Sarah and Brad's desperate suburban angst.

The point here for Field isn't to demonstrate some urbane superiority over the suburban milk and cookies set, but rather to provide a frank examination of what's under that sticky, jam- encrusted surface. Little Children examines the sacrifices that must be made for parenthood and picket-fence living, and holds them up to the harsh light of reality. It doesn't judge, instead it seems to be asking us not to judge and see parents for what they are: Living, breathing, emotional beings with unfulfilled hopes, dreams and aspirations beyond whether or not to give their kid juice with breakfast.

There are lessons to be learned in Todd Field's lush and beautiful film, and they're right there out in the open. Unlike other films of its genre, it never talks down to its audience or layers its theme under a thick viscous of snobby, art-house imagery. Little Children mixes plain authenticity with a sharp wit for a completely unique, quirky take on "playground politics."


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