284. Little Children

Movie: Little Children

Release Date: October 6, 2006

Director: Todd Field

Starring: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Noah Emmerich, Gregg Edelman, Phyllis Somerville.

Relevance: I have a huge woman crush on Kate Winslet. I think she is smart, funny, beautiful and one of the most gifted actresses of her generation. I have admired her and her work since ‘Heavenly Creatures’ and I continue to follow her career today on both television and the big screen. ‘Little Children’ is her first of five films on my list of all time favorite movies.

I came across the novel “Little Children” by Tom Perrotta some time around 2005. By then, they had already announced a film was being produced starring my Kate. So of course I read it and patiently waited for the film version to hit the screens. I try not to judge and compare films with their connected books. I feel they are two separate forms of art and should be celebrated as such. I feel as long as the film versions capture the atmosphere, themes and ideas of its written counterpart, I am fine with the adaptation.

I really enjoyed the novel by Mr. Perrotta. He also wrote the screenplay for the film along with director Todd Field so I was even more excited to check it out. I went to see it some time in the late fall of 2006 at my favorite independent movie theater. The movie floored me. It was the same emotional tale from the novel, with one big change at the end that, in my opinion, was even better than the book. I enjoyed the movie so much that I went back to the theater to check it out again before it disappeared from theaters.

Kate Winslet was absolutely incredible in the film. Her performance was brave, real and emotionally raw. I wasn’t surprised by this of course, but it amazed me how her performances seemed to get better than her last. It didn’t get her the Oscar yet, but she was nominated for Best Actress and deservedly so.

Actually, the entire cast was superb. Jackie Earle Haley was definitely a stand out as Ronnie. Not an easy character to portray yet he managed to get sympathy from the audience despite his demons. I think a lot of that came with the change they made form the novel. However, it was still a great performance and deserving of the Academy Award nomination. I had just watched ‘Hard Candy’ (see 307. Hard Candy) with Patrick Wilson about a month before seeing this film. Wow. And I am not saying that because he looked super hot in those nude scenes. Well, maybe a little. But he definitely gave us another riveting and beautifully crafted character for us to admire.

‘Little Children’ wasn’t my favorite film from 2006, but it was definitely in my top ten. It is a modern day tale with great performances worthy enough to own on DVD and be watched time and again. And to fuel my Kate Winslet fascination.

Today’s Thoughts: What a powerful little film this movie is. Hard to believe it is almost fifteen years old, but it is just as fantastic and relevant today as it was back then.

Did I mention I liked Kate Winslet? She is so fantastic in this role. Her scenes with Patrick Wilson are super hot, but my two favorite scenes are when she is describing why she liked a certain character in her book club and the last scene she has with Jackie Earle Haley. Her eyes say it all in both scenes. She is a wonderful actress and I never tire of her performances.

And speaking of those super hot scenes with Patrick Wilson, its what my eyes needed today. With all of the craziness that is still happening in the world, thank you Mr. Wilson. Thank you. I may or may not have rewound a few scenes. Another special shout out goes to actress Rebecca Schull. Hello Fay from “Wings.” I love seeing actors pop up in movies I forgot they were in. A tiny role but still a pleasure to watch.

‘Little Children’ has some tough subject matter and themes in it, but it is not a dark disturbing film that most people think it is. Yes, it is a tad depressing at times, but considering what we are living now, it is an escape. I highly recommend it.

Awards: Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Kate Winslet (nomination), Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Jackie Earle Haley (nomination), Academy Award for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Todd Field, Tom Perrotta, Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, Kate Winslet (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, Todd Field, Tom Perrotta (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Kate Winslet (nomination), Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, Kate Winslet (nomination), Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, Jackie Earle Haley, Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Picture (nomination), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, Kate Winslet (nomination), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Writer, Todd Field, Tom Perrotta, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music, Thomas Newman (nomination), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor, Jackie Earle Haley (nomination), New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, Jackie Earle Haley (winner), Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Todd Field, Tom Perrotta.

Ways to Watch: Vudu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, DVD Availability.

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