A thread for the film "Little Children"

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Picked this one blindfolded (although I realized later I had seen the trailer, which made it look cloyingly awful), and it was something of a surprise. Parts of it WERE cloyingly awful, but in spite of that I found it to be an insightful, poetic and fairly original film with moments of great writing, good performances, and some of the better suburban cinematography I've seen in a long time.

Hurting (A-Ron Hubbard), Monday, 25 December 2006 03:24 (fifteen years ago) link

i read the book when it came out and all i could think while reading it was this is the most BLATANT movie treatment as novel that i have ever read. i was casting the whole thing as i was reading. so shameless. why he didn't just write a screenplay in the first place is beyond me.

scott seward (121212), Monday, 25 December 2006 03:34 (fifteen years ago) link

I hadn't been aware of the book, but the movie makes use of a lot of voice over narration that heavily suggests adapatation from a book. The narration was used fairly well though, although it sometimes spelled out the obvious.

Hurting (A-Ron Hubbard), Monday, 25 December 2006 03:39 (fifteen years ago) link

i will watch it on video. definitely. mostly cuz my fucking lord and friggin' saviour is in it:


http://i.imdb.com/Photos/HH/0355097/JackieEarleHaleypose.jpg

scott seward (121212), Monday, 25 December 2006 03:42 (fifteen years ago) link

god, if only him and linda manz had had a baby and called it jesus i would finally have a cult worth joining.

scott seward (121212), Monday, 25 December 2006 03:43 (fifteen years ago) link

He was teh good.

Hurting (A-Ron Hubbard), Monday, 25 December 2006 03:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Scott, does the book adequately explain why Sarah is married to her husband in the first place? Because this seemed to be the most glaring flaw in the whole film.

Hurting (A-Ron Hubbard), Monday, 25 December 2006 04:20 (fifteen years ago) link

eh, i can barely remember. i think he wrote it like they were just your average disconnected married couple headed for divorce.

scott seward (121212), Monday, 25 December 2006 04:22 (fifteen years ago) link

guy at work keeps asking me every 3 days if i've seen this yet. which makes me kind of not want to see it. especially since "in the bedroom" annoyed me. (totally seemed like the kind of movie todd field's character from "ruby in paradise" would make.)

tipsy mothra (tipsy mothra), Monday, 25 December 2006 05:11 (fifteen years ago) link

There were plenty of things wrong with it, but they were unfortunately the type of flaws I've so come to expect in American indie films that I'm happy whenever a film is good in spite of them: people being too pretty for their characters, over-explanation, a need for every scene to be rich with "meaning" and for characters to spew truisms about "life" and "human beings."

Not For Use as Infant Nog (A-Ron Hubbard), Monday, 25 December 2006 07:45 (fifteen years ago) link

the type of flaws I've so come to expect in American indie films

Produced by New Line Cinema, the same "indie" that brought you The Lord of the Rings. I notice that people under 30 now use the term for any film that isn't about a superhero.

I read the novel (OK) too and consider it a bad sign that the film is 135 minutes long; ridiculous. (And also that Field's first film, In the Bedroom, was a revenge movie for NPR listeners.)

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Monday, 25 December 2006 14:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Arguably, all of Tom Perrotta's books - Election, The Wishbones, Joe College, Bad Haircut - read like screenplays, but they're all massively entertaining (and in the case of the bookending two mentioned, slip into greatness.

Tiki Theater Xymposium (Tiki Theater Xymposium), Monday, 25 December 2006 15:32 (fifteen years ago) link

i loved the skateboarding parts, also loved that bad news bears child molester

this is cutty (mcutt), Monday, 25 December 2006 15:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I forgot about The Wishbones! I read that too.

scott seward (121212), Monday, 25 December 2006 17:11 (fifteen years ago) link

Produced by New Line Cinema, the same "indie" that brought you The Lord of the Rings. I notice that people under 30 now use the term for any film that isn't about a superhero.

Guilty of thoughtless usage there. I really just mean "pictures marketed to affluent blue-staters."

Not For Use as Infant Nog (A-Ron Hubbard), Monday, 25 December 2006 18:32 (fifteen years ago) link

I would've never known this was from a book written by the Election guy.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 25 December 2006 22:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Election the novel isn't as callous or cynical as the Payne film.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Monday, 25 December 2006 22:55 (fifteen years ago) link

i really liked in the bedroom, and loved this, Field is soon becoming a cinematic updike

FUCKTHISSHIT (JACKLOVE), Monday, 25 December 2006 23:07 (fifteen years ago) link

well there's an author I can cross off my "to read" list

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 25 December 2006 23:09 (fifteen years ago) link

(maybe two.)

(oh, who am I kidding? I don't read fiction anymore.)

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 25 December 2006 23:10 (fifteen years ago) link

you read ilx

bohren un der club of gear (bohren un der club of gear), Monday, 25 December 2006 23:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Flawed, but on the whole pretty good. Hurting OTM about the suburban cinematography. I suspect that if I saw this again though, I probably wouldn't like it as much.

Bonus points for getting the PBS Frontline narrator to do the voice-overs.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 21:04 (fifteen years ago) link

I especially liked the pool scene

Not For Use as Infant Nog (A-Ron Hubbard), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 23:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Just saw this today and I was impressed, by the sheer competence of the film making, by the performances (particularly Winslet), and by the subtext running contrary to that of your typical Hollywood film; no, you can't always follow your dreams and be impulsive, a lot of being grown-up and living in the real world is about compromise and self-control.

Chap (chap), Sunday, 31 December 2006 00:36 (fifteen years ago) link

"sheer competence"

!

colin0Hara (colin_o_hara), Sunday, 31 December 2006 01:47 (fifteen years ago) link

What's wrong with that?

Chap (chap), Sunday, 31 December 2006 02:21 (fifteen years ago) link

Most of the time I look at Armond White (I don't even know if he wrote about this movie or not) and say "no, it's not possible for someone to so frequently be against the grain of popular opinion." And then movies like this come along and remind me that, yes, it's possible to be the only one who hates something everyone else loves.

This movie sucks shit.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Sunday, 31 December 2006 03:09 (fifteen years ago) link

oh yeah, the voiceover was the best part!

this is cutty (mcutt), Sunday, 31 December 2006 11:13 (fifteen years ago) link

I didn't hate it at all, but I was somewhat confused when I heard an interview with Todd Field afterwards, just at how carefully the film had obviously been made, in ways that left little impression on me. I feel a similar way when I read obviously intelligent, sensitive people gushing over it.

The voiceover, I didn't like, for similar reasons to the reasons I didn't like the Desperate Housewives one.

The paedophile's performance was excellent, and I loved reading of the kind of obscurity that the actor was rescued from by Field. And [SPOILER ALERT] I did like that it steered a surprising course with his fate and recidivism. The date scene was very powerful. But ultimately, I didn't feel his story meshed satisfactorily with that of the other characters. I had the feeling that it might have made more sense in the novel. And the story of the jock hounding him because of his own demons felt a bit of a blunt tool.

Alba (Alba), Sunday, 31 December 2006 11:35 (fifteen years ago) link

the narration was total WTF, caught between irony and sincerity. (sorry cutty) otherwise I already forget the rest of the movie.

"sheer competence" feels like damning w/faint praise, tho obv wasn't intended as such. a step above adequate I suppose

m coleman (lovebug ), Sunday, 31 December 2006 14:05 (fifteen years ago) link

in fact I thought the film's reliance on narration to advance plot points & flesh out characters was extremely lazy screen-writing.

show don't tell FFS

m coleman (lovebug ), Sunday, 31 December 2006 14:06 (fifteen years ago) link


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