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.
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
Kate Winslet was so impressed by In the Bedroom (2001) that she was determined to work with Todd Field. She said the movie made her feel very uneasy, and was intrigued by the director responsible for that. See more »
On the sunglasses of the woman by the pool who declines her children a snack. See more »
Out of all the "Oscar Bait" films I've seen this year, this film beats them all. Little Children is an unbelievable masterpiece about what it means to grow up. This idea is brilliantly portrayed through characters - while categorized as "adults" - have yet to outgrow certain adolescent stages.
Brad is a man who never got the chance to experience the spotlight in his youth, and now he desperately craves attention, acknowledgment, or admiration in any form.
Sarah is a woman who never learned how to grow past her own selfishness. She is angry at her daughter for needing attention when all Sarah wants is some time to herself.
Larry is a man who still harbors bully-like tendencies, and desperately just wants to fit in and be one of the guys. This is seen through his treatment of Ronnie - the pedophile who was just released from prison and returned to the neighborhood.
Ronnie is the dangerous man. The man who cannot connect with people his own age and seeks sexual gratification with children or with people who - like him - cannot fit into the adult world.
This isn't an action moving - it's an interaction movie. The scenes between characters have you nailed to your seat and deeply invested. The characters interact within their small community, and their actions with each other build into a climatic explosion that forces them all to face truths about themselves, and - finally - accept their responsibilities as mothers, husbands, fathers, and humans. This accepting is what separates little children from adults, immature from mature.
The tale is moving, sad, hilarious, dark, breathtaking, thought-provoking and many other creative adjectives. It forces you to reevaluate your idea of yourself and your thoughts on others. It forces you to see people you would normally loath and dismiss in a differently light. This a movie you will come out of changed. If you only see one film a higher, I cannot recommend this one more.
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