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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.


Todd Field


Todd Field (screenplay), Tom Perrotta (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,410 ( 447)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 57 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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


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


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

9 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Children See more »

Filming Locations:

Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA See more »


Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$97,953, 8 October 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital


Color (DuArt)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


After accepting the role of Sarah, Kate Winslet suggested Patrick Wilson for Brad. See more »


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 »


[first lines]
Lucy Pierce: Want to take a walk with me?
See more »


References Ikiru (1952) See more »


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 goingwobblySee 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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