LITTLE CHILDREN (Todd Field, 2006)

Little Children confirms what In the Bedroom indicated about Todd Field: he has nothing to contribute to anyone’s understanding of the human condition. Neither the Bergmanian opening, with its cache of clocks, nor the film’s Altmanian procedure (possibly by way of Paul Thomas Anderson) amongst various and variously crisscrossing lives is used toward any productive outcome. There is more humor in this adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel about young marrieds than in Field’s earlier film, but again the result is tacky soap opera and hollow melodrama, this time, with glib voiceover. Field’s themes—how reckless with their lives adults can be; how judgmental about others they can be, especially regarding sexual behavior—come to nought, ultimately, amidst a plethora of personal redemptions that borders on the ridiculous.
     Kate Winslet is good in the ensemble cast. The script is by Perrotta and Field.


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