Director: Todd Field
Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson,
RunTime: 2 hrs 10 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: M18 (Some Sexual Content)
Day: 8 February 2007
READ OUR REVIEW ON THE ORIGINAL TOM PERROTTA'S NOVEL
A modern-day fable that explores the turbulent emotional
landscape beneath the surface of what seems to be a quiet,
conventional American suburb. Juggling marriage, children,
sexual desire and infidelity, the intertwining characters
of LITTLE CHILDREN take us on a journey that is as emotionally
revealing as it is darkly humorous. Razor-sharp writing, brilliant
direction, and strong performances imbue LITTLE CHILDREN with
wry humor and emotional truth as deeply fell as life itself.
As entertaining as it is poignant, the film provides a new
somewhat different perspective on everyday life.
No, everything is not alright – but you’d
still have to get a grip on yourself and deal with it. Such
is the way of life in today’s highly urbanized society
we live in. That is probably the message that will long haunt
your mind after watching this movie.
lies beneath the surface of a seemingly regular American suburb
is strikingly laid bare in this film adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s
2004 novel of the same name.
what appears to be every filmmaker’s favourite method
of storytelling in recent times, this Todd Field-directed
picture tells the stories of several individuals in a typical
neighbourhood whose paths intersect in life-changing ways.
is the desperate housewife played heart-achingly by the appropriately
well-endowed Kate Winslet. There is the resident good-looker
who is charmingly brought to life by Patrick “Hard Candy”
Wilson. Then there is Jackie Earle Haley who is convincingly
scary as a convicted child molester. Rounding up the ensemble
of the lonely urbanites is Noah Emmerich’s ex-policeman
with a dark past.
you conveniently conclude that the abovementioned characters
would only work within those thick pages of the novel, you
may want to take note that Perrotta co-wrote the screenplay
with Field. So things can’t be that bad.
fact, the result is a delightful piece of work.
130-minute movie never rushes through things, taking its time
to take you through the quietness of the neighbourhood. The
impatient viewer will probably not like its lengthiness, but
its restrained mood is exactly what makes this work an engaging
watch. However, there are occasional moments of humour which
pokes fun at the uptight human nature. This gives the movie
extra points for being able to make us laugh at ourselves.
you throughout the two-odd hours is a calm and well-articulated
narration which vividly paints thought-provoking pictures
in your head, on top of the visuals you see on screen. You
can almost feel the devastation and doom waiting to surface
at the characters’ every wrong step.
deceptive meetings and torrid affairs between Winslet and
Wilson take place at the most common and familiar places like
the town swimming pool and laundry rooms, which effectively
left us hot and bothered. Their respective spouses (Gregg
Edelman and Jennifer Connelly who performed well in understated
roles) aren’t angels in this story either, as imperfections
are in every human being.
the two couples repulse you with their ugly personalities,
you’d be easily empathizing with the recovering child
molester and the impulsive policeman because of the comparatively
more dramatic elements written into their characters.
last full length feature was In The Bedroom (2001). After
six years from directing the heart-wrenching and emotional
Oscar-nominated movie, the director has once again despairingly
told our stories with shots of simple but well-composed visuals
which complement the edgy drama.
when the movie culminates in a finale that brings all four
main characters together in a heartbreaking sequence, you’d
want to applaud yourself for having the courage and strength
for maintaining the balance that is called life all this while.
dreams will always remain as dreams while life goes on –
as this skillfully-executed movie will remind you.
(A fine novel adaptation that will break your heart in the
Review by John Li