Little Children (2006)

Starring: Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Connelly

Directed by: Todd Field

R. 136 mins

A dark and highly intelligent portrait of suburbia which is just as multi-layered as Tom Perotta’s novel. Carefully constructed by Todd Field (In The Bedroom), the story involves two lonely parents (Winslet and Wilson) who are deeply unsatisfied with their marriages. At the local playground and swimming pool the two become acquainted and their children bond as well. Soon, they begin a passionate affair and even contemplate leaving their crummy spouses to enjoy a more fulfilling life together. Meanwhile, their small town is reeling with the fact that a recently convicted sex offender (Jackie Earle Haley) has been released from prison and now lives with his ailing mother in their quiet neighbourhood. Though these characters seem so unlikeable, the brilliant acting and compassionate direction make the audience sympathize with their failings because we are all too similar. Little Children is a risky film that isn’t easy to watch but boy, is it fascinating – * * * *

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