Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Review: Little Children, the film

Ahh, much better.

After a disastrous morning, which included the horror of Justin Timberlake's new video, a bus ride that took twice as long as it should have to get back into NYC, and motion sickness caused by aforementioned bus ride, I decided that I deserved a treat for my mind. Thanks, student discount ticket day!

Little Children
is a story about regrets. Sarah Pierce, played by a never better Kate Winslet, is a married anthropologist/author who gave up her career to raise her daughter. Brad Adamson, Patrick Wilson - also incredible - is a stay at home dad who is going to try for his third and last time to pass the Bar Exam to appease his wife Kathy Adamson, Jennifer Connelly giving a performance that had me questioning who that actress was until I saw the credits and went "of course". Their small community is turned upside down when convicted sex offender Ronnie J. McGovery, the single best male performance of 2006 provided by Jackie Earle Hayley, moves in. There are plenty of other characters who weave in and out, but Sarah, Brad, and Ronnie really drive the film.

I truly do not want to provide many details about the plot because part of the joy and challenge of this film is just not knowing what will happen. Every character has something they desire that is just slightly out of reach, and they will all stop at nothing to achieve it.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the film is the narration. Not once did the voice overs distract from what was happening on screen. That is a very difficult task and director Todd Field completed it with flying colors.

I believe it's safe to say that viewers should be forewarned: this is not an easy film to take in. A lot of taboo subjects, even for film, are discussed in this work, and the ending of the film does not tie everything up into a pretty little package. I can say, however, if Little Children is not a happy film, it certainly is a hopeful film with a lot to say.

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