Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Little Children

Little Children (2006)

In director Todd Field's titillating tale, the lives of several adult suburbanites, who have yet to surpass adolescence, intersect on the streets of their small town in unexpected ways. While on-the-go wife and mother Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) is preoccupied with her career, Sarah (Kate Winslet, in an Oscar-nominated role), a mother who does not know how to mother, is busy having an affair with stay-at-home dad Brad (Patrick Wilson) -- Kathy's husband.
My Two Cents: American Beauty w/o the pretense? What struck me was its ability to redeem tragically flawed characters without relying on cliched convenience.

NetFlix Rank: Really Liked It
IMDB Rank: 8/10

Further thoughts:

For the longest time (i.e., at least two hours into the film) I struggled with the question: Do I think Little Children is a great movie that I don't like? Or do I really like it and think that it sucks? Ultimately I ruled in its favor on both accounts.

Little Children keeps the viewer guessing. It doesn't necessarily play out the way it appears that it's going to play out. Despite downward spirals, forced metaphors and, yes, some predictability, the film sidesteps every groan-inducing story path and winds up in a (for lack of a better word) perfect spot.

In the end you witness a group of unlikeable adults earn the sympathy that you spend more than two hours trying to give them, yet do not for fear of losing your own self-rspect. Maybe that's what I found so remarkable. Little Children disappointed, surprised and fascinated me. It's the kind of movie that I can spend days ruminating... and that I probably will.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention these final thoughts:

1. Kudos to Phyllis Somerville for what I thought was a powerful supporting role as the film's lone tragically sympathetic soul.

2. Todd Field has to be an NFL Films fan, and I wouldn't be surprised if I learned that Steve Sabol directed the flag fotball sequence near the end. Outstanding and hilarious!


Post a Comment

<< Home

web stats analysis