Little Children

2006

Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance

76
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80% · 162 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82% · 50K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.5/10 10 117157 117.2K

Director

Top cast

Jennifer Connelly as Kathy Adamson
Kate Winslet as Sarah Pierce
Patrick Wilson as Brad Adamson
Ty Simpkins as Aaron Adamson
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.16 GB
1280*534
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
Seeds 26
2.11 GB
1920*800
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
Seeds 38

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by he_who_leads 8 / 10

An Enaging Film with Focus

'Little Children' is one of those movies set in suburbia that explores men and women dealing with strained marriages, the politics of parenting, inertia, loneliness, fidelity/infidelity and dangers lurking beneath the surface. When not done well, films like this can appear to be overblown soap operas. When done right, like this one is, it is something to sink your teeth into and enjoy.

Sarah (Winslet) and Brad (Patrick Wilson) are both one-child, stay-at-home parents with a lack of focus or drive in their lives and a lack of connection with their spouses. Sarah is more frustrated - unwilling to just have a healthy fantasy life like the the other park mothers, while Brad drifts around and broods. They use their children as an excuse to spends more and more time with each other. Both actors give very bold performances here, their characters' emotions radiate off their bodies even when they're not saying much. Winslet is particularly good, managing to give Sarah an earthy sensuality. Her character feels so trapped that her lust for a purposeful and happy life becomes a rebellion. Winslet makes Sarah so in touch with her emotional needs and gives her such a charged urgency that I found her alluring, something I haven't felt towards her in her past performances, through she's always been an attractive and extremely good actress.

In the other story, a recently-released child sex offender (he exposed himself to some kids) named Ronnie (Jackie Earle Haley) tries to exist in a community that is being taught to fear him. Haley really shines in his role as a man acutely aware that his dark urges are wrong but is still in their grip. Haley is far more deserving of the supporting actor Oscar than Alan Arkin was, for his by-the-numbers 'Little Miss Sunshine' performance, but I guess they wanted to give him some sort of lifetime achievement recognition.

The movie slowly, piece by piece, becomes more gripping as everyones' lives become more desperate and tangled. This is sort of like 'Desperate Housewives' except more mature and less quippy. The script and direction manage to maintain focus on what is important. A criticism I have heard of this movie is that Brad and Sarah's spouses (Jennifer Connelly and Greg Edelman) are not developed enough and only serve to justify the two leads. Even though this may be true (Sarah's husband is pretty much a cameo) I have mixed feelings on this. The filmmakers' clear intention was only to feature the spouses in a way that gives you an idea of the relationship they have with the main characters, and to further flesh out the main characters. In other words, less is more. While this may or may not have been fine, it is only the ending of the film where it becomes a relevant problem. The film ends for Sarah and Brad in a way that calls into question the exact state of their current marriages. Since the spouses are underwritten, the viewer is left with a bit of an empty feeling. We've come to know the characters very well, but the information isn't quite aligned with the questions the ending raises. Also the film shows its literary roots through its heavy reliance on a narrator at the start, which (don't worry) becomes rarer as the film progresses. Much of what the narrator says is unnecessary as the actors are often already doing such a great job acting out the narrated text.

However, all this aside, 'Little Children' is clearly engaging, entertaining, carefully made and doesn't struggle to find things to say. I highly recommend it, if, like me, you're of those people who are constantly looking for something meaty in terms of acting, story and dramatic conflict.

Reviewed by Flagrant-Baronessa 8 / 10

Evokes genuine interest

Relationship drama is on the menu and Todd Field is the waiter, with expert skill and neat presentation. 'Little Children' zooms in on suburbia, navigating the world of desperate housewives and husbands. The dish proves a pleasant diversion, with crisp performances and a tasty centre.

So tasty, in fact, that Little Children is one of the most interesting films of recent years. It is far from the greatest, and is not devoid of faults, but a genuine evocation of interest should be attributed to Field's story. Every character unflinchingly demands our attention. We want to know more about precisely everyone in the community. In the front row for fascination sits Ronnie, the resident child molestor, who pends between likable and freak. He is the overriding nominator for 'Little Children' – and his presence greatly upsets the parents.

Yet most salience is given to Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson as Sarah and Pierce – two lonely, bored and desperate housespouses who, in the midst of having nothing to do, innocently begin an extramarital affair with each other. Through calm narration, the film introduces Sarah as an anthropologist and remarks how she is different from the contingent of housemoms. However it becomes apparent that the director is the anthropologist and not Sarah. Indeed Field studies human relationships accordingly, interweaving loneliness, desperation, jealousy, lust and betrayal. Sarah, in fact, loses her 'objective' stance and melts in with the rest as she indulges in her passion with Brad.

It needs to be said that 'Little Children' often tips over into comedy and it is this refreshing edge that bumps it up to 8/10 on my scale. It treats serious subjects, such as pedophilia, infidelity and loneliness – but it does so with the spark in the eye. A consistent cloud of laughter seemed to hover in the air of my theatre at the Stockholm Film Festival and Kate Winslet was undoubtedly the catalyst. She gives a fine performance with excellent emotional transparency, layered skill and above all with an inherent funny bone that translates to a goofy woman. The humour is surprisingly in-tune even with the other characters with all their quirks and afflictions, such as child-molestation and online pornography.

Toward the end, 'Little Children' patiently crafts a sense of impending doom that deserves much credit. Nevertheless, the ending isn't the best imaginable. The film could benefit from being slightly shorter. Lastly the use of cute kids as tearjerkers is a disappointing cheap-shot used a little too often, and seems mostly a tiresome American phenomenon. Yet as a whole entity Little Children is a very interesting film that makes the best possible use of characters, relationships and suburban drama. Throw in a few exceptionally neat steadicam shots – Scorsese-style – and the experience is complete.

8 out of 10

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