login | register |

Little Children

Let the Little Children Come to me 

Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Little Children

Director: Todd Field

Starring: Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Connelly

The supremely versatile Kate Winslet plays Sarah, a disillusioned wife and mother, who sits well away from all the other mommies in the children’s park, safe in the knowledge that she is “not like them.” She is not uptight, small minded or satisfied with a life of baking cookies: she is bored and desperate. Meanwhile, Brad (Wilson) is equally miserable and disenchanted by life as a failed law student, now with a family to care for. But like Sarah, the feeling of the unfulfilled potential is overwhelming. Thus, once Brad appears on the mothers’-meeting scene in the park, there is a clear common ground between them that allows a sparkling summer of unparalleled passion to commence.

Yet, surprisingly perhaps, less focus is given to what lies behind this couple’s simmering relationship; causing a furore in this American suburb is the release of paedophile Ronald McGorvey (Jackie Haley), and the local parents are waging war against his parole. This is at the heart of the huge cloud of terror that looms over the community, a cloud that epitomises the grown-up’s fear for their little children.

Perhaps what is most impressive about this film is that Field is able to present the hated paedophile as a little child too. Indeed, McGorvey’s mother even feels the need to set him up on a blind date, the resulting dinner of which we watch through splayed fingers in absolute awkwardness. Creating a sympathetic view of such a criminal isn’t exactly easy, but a remarkable attempt is certainly made in this black comedy with the stories of Brad, Sarah and McGorvey running alongside.

The beautifully written story, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta who co-wrote the film with Field, is well complemented by some indisputably mesmerising performances. Even that of Connelly as Brad’s distressed wife helps add richness to the already engrossing story. Plus the presence of a narrator in particular helps make us feel more able to objectively observe each character’s situation more effectively.

In Little Children we enter a world of sexual paranoia and midlife crisis, bursting with vigour, comedy, shock and cold reality, a world you can’t help but get sucked in to.

Laura Sparshot

More Information | Back to Previous Schedule | This Season  |  BBFC Classification Guidelines

Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)
2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)