Little Children

Rated NR

This was one of my favorite movies of the last year. Director Todd Field realizes the promise he displayed in In the Bedroom with this superior film about a stay-at-home dad and a stay-at-home mom who start staying at each other’s homes, in the afternoons, naked. Kate Winslet got an Acadamy Award nomination for her strong performance, and Patrick Wilson should have gotten one for his. The cinematography and music are rich and suggestive without being intrusive, and the dialogue is painfully smart, dry and expressive. There’s also a weirdly disturbing turn by former child star Jackie Earle Haley as a convicted sex offender. He manages to be sympathetic while still being reprehensible. The whole film, in fact, is sympathetic and reprehensible in the best possible way. I really pray that people go see this so that at least one film devoid of simplistic explanation, heroic characters or neat endings will do well enough at the box office to inspire other people with higher-than-average IQs to write and make movies. What I’m saying is that if you don’t go see this, all future films will be made by bonobos.

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