Sunday, July 8, 2007

'Little Children' is a Winner

**** out of **** stars

This week there was a movie faithfully based on the phenomenal book by Tom Perrota, Little Children. Tom Perrota (who wrote Election which was also made into a movie) co-wrote this fantastic screenplay. Little Children is a New York Times best seller and has gotten praise from everyone everywhere. Likewise so should the movie.

Little Children however falls into a new phase that has been sweeping Hollywood. Other than original screenplays this phase is based on books, plays or “true” stories. But the movies usually don’t stay faithful to the book at all, like last month’s The Black Dahlia. Last year there was the some-what faithful but majestic The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Also there is the faithful Harry Potter franchise and the superb Rent and In Her Shoes. However their was the horrible Memoirs of a Geisha, Zathura, Just Like Heaven, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Robots just to name a few.

This year alone there was The DaVinci Code, The Devil Wears Prada, The Lake House, and more. I am not implying that these films are bad, in fact quite a few of them were good; but I would like to see something original and leave what I have just read to my imagination.

The movie and the book Little Children is about a typical suburban neighborhood with thirtyish parents raising ‘little children’. We start off by meeting the frumpy Sarah Pierce (Kate Winslet). She has a three year-old daughter Lucy (Sadie Goldstein) and a husband in advertising, Richard (Gregg Eldelman). However Sarah is bored with her marriage and Richard is addicted to his on-line fantasy life involving a pornographic site starring Slutty Kay aka Clara (Sarah Buxton). But in Little Children it seems as if all of the characters have their own secret fantasy life.

Sarah goes to a playground with Lucy; however the three super-moms there make Sarah feel like she is worthless. That is until Brad (known to the other woman as “The Prom King”) Adamson (Patrick Wilson) shows up. Brad is an at home parent who is also bored with his marriage and is looking for something more without commitment.

Sarah soon finds a quick liking to Brad and on one rainy day they start an adulterous affair. Brad who is married to the beautiful, Kathy (Jennifer Connelly), and he have a son the same age as Lucy, Aaron (Ty Simpkins), who quickly become friends.

Soon the neighborhood is turned upside down when a convicted pedophile, Ronald James McGorvey (Jackie Earle Haley) comes back to town to live with his elderly mother, May (Phyllis Somerville). The neighborhood wants him to leave, especially Larry Hedges (Noah Emmerich) who is ‘friends’ with Brad.

Little Children is a superb heart-breaking story which has you captivated till the end. All of the performances are terrific and Kate Winslet is a surefire nomination for Best Actress and possible winner. The portrayal of the characters in the movie and book are extremely realistic and leaves one feeling sad that their lives are on a path to a figurative train crash.

In the end I would highly recommend everybody to read and see Little Children, I think you will be pleasantly surprised on what you will find.

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