Sharon reviews Little Children

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Little children is a slice of suburban life. It follows two parents, Brad and Sarah who meet on a playground and fall for each other. It also shows the life of a released sex offender who has moved into the heavily child populated neighborhood. It stars Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Connelly, Noah Emmerich and Jackie Earle Haley. It’s directed by Todd Field and adapted by Fields and his writing partner Tom Perrota from the novel of the same name.

This movie shouldn’t work.

It is two and a half hours, there is a narrator, a pedophile, kids, and a simple story of an affair between two married people. But….


Never have I seen such richly developed characters brought to life by the actors who play them. Kate Winslet as the completely imperfect and totally understandable Sarah is stunning, there is not one frame that shows anything less than completely genuine, in the moment emotion and action. This is a performance richly deserving of an Oscar. Her co-star Patrick Wilson (Angels in America) is a wonderful match. They have such hot chemistry that it made me move in my seat. He looks like a young Paul Newman but to his credit does not rest on his handsome face and instead is very bold with his performance choices. There is something very boyish about his character Brad.

In fact there is an immaturity to a lot of the characters in this film. Not that they are little children themselves, more like teenagers coming to terms with the fact that they are moving away from youth, and that they will never see it again.

The other Oscar worthy performance in this film is from Jackie Early Hailey. The name may be familiar, he was a child star, was in the original Bad News Bears. Now, quite a few years later he plays a flasher who exposes himself to young children. His performance is like looking into a soul. A messed up, childlike man who wants to be good so badly, but just cannot break free from his behavior. It’s absolutely mesmerizing and heartbreaking.

Did I mention this movie is funny as well as dramatic? It is SO funny. And it’s the kind of organic humor that comes from good reactions and natural acting, as well as the hilarious narrator. The narration is not overdone at all, it feels rather like a wildlife documentary with the narrator coming in every so often, just to make an insightful observation. It is also the perfect comedic device for Sarah and Brad.

I also have to say that this film has the best cinematography I have seen all year. It is not the invasive, flashy kind of filming, but the camera move you, it take you into the moments that the characters are experiencing. The frames tell just as much of the story as the script.

I know I’m gushing but there is just nothing I can say bad about this movie.

My favorite thing about this movie, amazing cinematography, acting, directing and dialogue aside is the fact that nothing is black and white, no one is a hero, no one is a villain, they are all just people, doing the best they can.

It is a rare thing to see real humanity shown to us in such a beautiful way as is done in Little Children. I give this movie a 10 out of 10 for a no go and routh I give a routh. This movie will win Oscars, mark my words.

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