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Movie Review: Little Children

Alternate Title: Lust For Life

Story: I don't know what took me so long to see this absorbing film by vastly talented sophomore director Todd Field (In the Bedroom) but I am glad I finally got off of my butt and went to see it. I did not read the book by Tom Perrotta but since he co-wrote the screenplay with Todd Field I imagine the visuals only added to the novel.

This is a multi-character tale with overlapping storylines. Time is taken, like reading a good book, to meet the characters, sense their surroundings and grow to feel for all of them - no matter how flawed. There is even a voice-over that works well (and as most of you know, I am not a big fan of narration). But this unseen voice continually roots us back to the origins of the film, which indeed, is in literature.

In this unnamed town in Massachusetts we get to see infidelity, lust, guilt, anger, compromise, a sex pervert, a disgraced former cop, an emasculated husband and judgmental young mothers all mixed with humor, pathos, empathy and finally some redemption.

If you like your films oozing with detail, character development, ebbs and arcs you should definitely put this one on your must-see list. It is a fine film.

Acting: Kate Winslet always does good work but in this piece she is nothing short of magnificent. Patrick Wilson (Angels in America) in pitch perfect as the emasculated boy-man husband. Jennifer Connelly, is more beautiful than usual and does a fine job with a small part. Jackie Earle Haley as the sex pervert is simply amazing as is Noah Emmerich as the disgraced cop.

Predilection: None

Critters: Surprisingly, none.

Soundtrack: It must have been good because I did not notice it at all.

Opening Titles: Simple white type on black background.

Theater Audience: Still a lot of movie attendees even after all of these weeks.

Weather: It was a hot, humid summer with a pivotal downpour.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 2 - Jackie Earle Haley's character is indeed squirmy.

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all but it could have been a little shorter.

Predictability Level: I was not sure what was coming next.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: This film would be fine as a rental. Kate Winslet is a great actress. For some other Kate Winslet films (many of which she appears nude) try renting: Finding Neverland, Iris, Enigma, Quills, Holy Smoke, Hideous Kinky, (the dreadful) Titanic, Sense and Sensibility and my favorite, Heavenly Creatures.

Length: About 15 minutes over the two hour rule.