Little Children (DVD)


This could very well be the film of the year – yep, and the year has only begun – if you skip it, you’re doing yourself a horrible injustice.

Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson, Sadie Goldstein, Ty Simpkins, Noah Emmerich, Gregg Edelman, Raymond J. Barry, Trini Alvarado

If Oscar were a parent, then Kate Winslet would definitely be one of his ‘Little Children’. Definitely. I mean, she’s prim, proper, proficient and perfect poised to pet a podium; the British Rose is an offspring any half-capable pop would be proud to show of, no?

Oscar’s bringing out his favourite to show off again.

Like an insubordinate boyfriend that stuck around for a couple of weeks, Oscar will indubitably try and forget about that little yuletide turkey that was “The Holiday” – the best way to catch up on some sleep this Summer – and it should be easy enough to do so, because young Kate more than makes up for her howler, here in “Children”, which is undeniably a vehicle aimed squarely at the Kodak theatre seat warmers, and further, proof that hard work – definitely not something required for the abovementioned “The Holiday” – pays off.

Todd ‘In the Bedroom’ Field’s new movie is something that doesn’t just remind us how good Winslet it, it god blimey reaffirms your faith in cinema! It’s imaginative. Meticulous. Compelling. Amazing. Powerful. Joyous. Real. And, oh yeah… the kids up front put on a great show for their ma’s and pop’s, too!

The film “American Beauty” should have been (there! I said it! I didn’t think it was “all that”!), “Children” is a sometimes amusing, sometimes disheartening look at relationships and suburban life in the noughties – without being ostentatious, and keeping it unflinching and real. But that rundown is merely scratching the surface… there’s actually more going on in this sardonic piece of sculpture than (that dreadful trailer) first impressions might peg.

Set in a “Wisteria-Lane” esque-community, “Children” follows several inhabitants of a small American town as they fumble their way through adulthood. Winslet plays Sarah, mother-of-one, who finds an outlet for her yearning in househusband Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson), who is rippled with insecurity over the fact that his perfect wife, Kathy (Jennifer Connelly), is the family breadwinner. When Sarah and Brad meet at the local park one day – with offspring in tow – they hit it off immediately.

Brad is in search of a youthful conflagration he’s lost, and so in addition to playing hide the cabana with Sarah, decides to join a night football league with old friend Larry (Noah Emmerich), a former cop who has begun to harass a convicted sex offender, Ronnie J. McGorvey (Jackie Earle Haley), and make some rather impulsive uncharacteristic like decisions about his life.

Although there’s much more going on around them – the subplot about Ronnie, the man whose just been released on charges of indecent exposure to children, especially works well in the sequence of events – the central theme here is the relationship between Sarah and Brad. Don’t write that off as just some impetuous traitorous romp either… the moment where the film’s leading ladies get together to talk about famous adulteress Emma Bovary’s work – highlighting the woman’s connection to both hunger and the consequence of that, tragedy – should be enough to tip the cluey off to what is indeed going on.

There’s hardly a flaw in this film. From the beautiful direction, the well defined set of characters, the backdrop, the pacing and, of course, the performances (newcomer Patrick Wilson, of “Hard Candy” fame, really gets to show off what he’s made of here) it’s a clear-cut cinematic masterpiece.

This could very well be the film of the year – yep, and the year has only begun – if you skip it, you’re doing yourself a horrible injustice.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris