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Little Children

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A
What the MPAA Rating should be: R (for strong sexual content and nudity)

Directed by: Todd Field
Written by: Todd Field and Tom Perrotta
Based on the book by: Tom Perrotta
Produced by: Todd Field, Albert Berger and Rob Yerxa
Starring: Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Noah Emmerich, Phyllis Summerville, Jennifer Connelly, Helen Carey
Studio: New Line Cinema

The dark secrets of suburban has been explored before in the media, most notably in American Beauty and Desperate Housewives, but Little Children stands as the best of the bunch by actually managing to create a much more fascinating and realistic story. Todd Field, who previously shined with his debut feature In the Bedroom, collaborates this time with Little Children's author Tom Perrotta and they bring audiences a gripping motion picture. The talents of the impressive ensemble cast and the crew's technical achievements also make this adaptation a fantastic companion piece to an already wonderfully written novel.

Kate Winslet plays Sarah Pierce, a bored housewife, who spends her days with her daughter at the playground with her annoying neighbours. Patrick Wilson is Brad, who is currently studying to try and pass the bar exam for the third time, but is continually distracted by a group of skate boarders on the way to the library. After Sarah and Brad share an innocent hug (and later kiss) in the park, they begin to see each other more often and soon begin a loving relationship. Meanwhile, a paedophile moves in with his mother after being put away for exposing himself to a minor. This launches a huge controversy in the town with the citizens worried about their child's safety. All of these plot threads lead to even darker series of events that spiral out of control for each important character. Just as the title itself suggests, they are all acting like "little children."

Tom Perrotta's Little Children has been splendidly adapted to film with the script by Perrotta and Todd Field allowing these characters to easily jump off the novel's pages. Field's direction also contributes a splendid job with allowing us to take in all of the scenes appearing on the screen. The performances from the actors also deserve much praise for making these people believable. Kate Winslet, as usual, gives yet another award-worthy performance. She gives all of the "desperate housewives" on ABC a run for their money. Patrick Wilson has been heavily overlooked this award's season, which is highly unfortunate, because he does a splendid job here in a performance that should be getting more attention than it has been. Will Lyman, meanwhile, gives a film a unique and sarcastic narration that may be off-putting at first, but is soon able to blend well with the literary style of the film. The haunting score by Thomas Newman and the wonderfully beautiful cinematography by Antonio Calvache also add to the brilliance of this film. Little Children is not a feature film for those who like action, but for those who like quiet moments that allow people to think about life.

Kate Winslet gives yet another terrific performance in Little Children.
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