...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

January 06, 2007

Little Children - 7

This film is part satire about suburbia and part drama. Adapted from the novel (2004) by its author, Tom Perrotta (Election), and directed by Todd Field (In the Bedroom), they have made a film that is an intense look at the dynamics of human relationships. At times it is poking fun at the absurdity of mechanical relationships, while also showing the tenderness and need for authentic relationships.
The story revolves around a small community, with its outward social norms, governed mostly by the stay at home mom's as they get out by taking their children to the local park and swimming pool. These norms are put to the test as a stay at home dad changes the dynamics, as well as the pedophile who has finished his sentence. What starts a funny film with hilarious voice overs about the absurdity of the characters, soon turns into a heart wrenching drama, when you realize that sympathy for the characters are possible. These are not cardboard cut outs, they are complex people, who in there attempt to make sense of life begin to act more and more like...well, little children. This film is great at making you laugh at yourself, as well as reflect on the deeper parts of what makes us human: those things that we all too often turn away from, and deceive ourselves.
Great performances by Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Phyllis Somerville, Jackie Earle Haley, Noah Emmerich, and Jennifer Connelly.

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