2006   USA Little Children
Little Children Image Cover
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Director:Todd Field
Studio:New Line Home Video
Writer:Todd Field, Tom Perrotta
IMDb Rating:7.8 (44,069 votes)
Awards:Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 24 nominations
Duration:137 min
Todd Field  ...  (Director)
Todd Field, Tom Perrotta  ...  (Writer)
Kate Winslet  ...  Sarah Pierce
Patrick Wilson  ...  Brad Adamson
Jennifer Connelly  ...  Kathy Adamson
Gregg Edelman  ...  Richard Pierce
Sadie Goldstein  ...  Lucy Pierce
Ty Simpkins  ...  Aaron Adamson
Noah Emmerich  ...  Larry Hedges
Jackie Earle Haley  ...  Ronnie J. McGorvey
Phyllis Somerville  ...  May McGorvey
Helen Carey  ...  Jean
Catherine Wolf  ...  Marjorie
Mary B. McCann  ...  Mary Ann
Trini Alvarado  ...  Theresa
Marsha Dietlein  ...  Cheryl (as Marsha Dietlein Bennett)
Jane Adams  ...  Sheila
Antonio Calvache  ...  Cinematographer
Summary: Kate Winslet operates at a galaxy-class level in Little Children, Todd Field's gratifyingly grown-up look at unhappy suburbia. Winslet is magnificent, in an Oscar-nominated performance, as a stroller-pushing mom who becomes attracted to a passive househusband (Patrick Wilson). Their slow-burning infidelity (Field wisely allows time to pass in this unhurried film) is contrasted with a more sensational subplot, about a convicted pedophile (Jackie Earle Haley, also Oscar nominated) returning to the neighborhood to live with his mother (Phyllis Somerville). Field, who brought his civilized approach to In the Bedroom, uses a deliberately literary style here, including a device with a narrator who sounds as though he's sitting at our side as he reads from Tom Perotta's novel. (The narrator is a superb touch--his cultivated voice distances us from the sloppy passions of the characters.)

The film's biggest miscalculation is a self-appointed neighborhood vigilante (Noah Emmerich) determined to make life miserable for the pedophile. But Wilson is appropriately nebulous, Jennifer Connelly solid as his wife, and Haley (child star of the Bad News Bears movies), as the creepy, childlike molester, found himself rediscovered after a long career layoff. There's decent acting here, but Winslet is in a zone of her own, with so much emotional honesty and subtlety of expression that she transforms a good movie into a must-see. --Robert Horton

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