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.
Linda was a one hit wonder as a pop singer. She never managed to follow up her early success and now her producer and boyfriend Friedrich has taken on a new and younger starlet while Linda ... See full summary »
Tim and his friend Can go to bars and lie to girls about one of them being terminally ill so they can gain sympathy and be guaranteed a "hook up" for the night. Tim meets Marie hooks up ... See full summary »
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.
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
The envelope from the credit card company has "08945" (non existent) as the East Wyndam Zip Code. The bar code does not decode to numbers. When Mom takes out the classified ad for Ronnie, the East Wyndam Zip Code is now 02748 (South Dartmouth, MA). The return-address stickers that mom puts on the after-death note to Ronnie has a East Wyndam Zip code of 02786 (non-existent). See more »
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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