You Can’t Change the Past, But You Can Change the Future
Release Date: October 06, 2006
Starring: Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson,
Jennifer Connelly, Jackie
Earle Haley, Noah Emmerich,
Gregg Edelman, Phyllis
Somerville, Ty Simpkins, and
Runtime: 130 minutes
Distributor: New Line Cinema
Director: Todd Field
Executive Producer: Patrick Palmer, Toby Emmerich
and Kent Alterman
Producer: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa and
Writer: Todd Field and Tom Perrotta
Address Comments To:Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne
New Line Cinema
116 North Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 854-5811
Fax: (310) 354-1824
Kate Winslet stars in the movie as Sarah Pierce, an intellectual married to a marketing expert named Richard. Sarah and Richard have a disobedient 3-year-old daughter, Lucy. Sarah looks down her nose at the three “judgmental” suburban mothers who share park time with her and Lucy. Sarah doesn’t think the women are very bright, especially when one of them says that the convicted sex offender, Ronnie McGorvey, who’s moved into their neighborhood should be castrated. Ronnie was convicted of exposing himself to some children and/or teenagers, but has been released after two years. The women are also “judgmental” about Brad Adamson, a young unemployed father who suddenly returns to the park with his son, Aaron, in tow.
Another women bets Sarah $5 that Sarah can’t get Brad’s phone number. Sarah takes her up on that bet, but instead of trying to get Brad’s number, she tells Brad that the women have been talking about him behind his back. Instead of asking for his number, Sarah asks him to kiss her. Brad does, and it sends the three women into a dither.
Sarah and Brad begin to pine secretly for one another. They don’t do anything about their feelings, however, until Sarah discovers her husband visiting an Internet porn site and masturbating. Sarah learns that Brad is also frustrated with his own marriage to Kathy. Brad has also started playing in a football league with some local policemen, including retired cop Larry Hedges, who has been leading the campaign to get Ronnie to move away.
As the affair between Sarah and Brad heats up, the movie tells viewers about Ronnie, who is living with his mother, May, a long-time neighborhood resident. May desperately tries to interest Ronnie into going out on dates with women his own age, but Ronnie seems resigned to his fate as a man addicted to having sexual feelings toward children. May’s concern and love for her troubled son shines forth despite that.
LITTLE CHILDREN moves along at a brisk pace. It is also superbly acted by, in addition to Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Connelly, Jackie Earle Haley, and Noah Emmerich. The end credits, however, contain a beautiful symphonic piece that should have been used more often during the actual story.
LITTLE CHILDREN ultimately doesn’t sugarcoat Ronnie’s deviant desires. It also sides against adultery at the end, though the question remains in doubt until the end, when the movie concludes, “You can’t change the past. The future is a different story. You have to start somewhere.” Thus, the movie’s ending reaches a slightly redemptive conclusion.
This positive, uplifting conclusion, however, occurs within a humanist, Godless worldview. The movie’s worldview also has a very dark view of American suburban life, though perhaps not quite as dark as the view in AMERICAN BEAUTY. Furthermore, the movie tries to generate sympathy for a sex offender and derision for people who make harsh judgments about such crimes. On the other hand, the movie’s ultimate position on sin and morality is that everyone is guilty of something and everyone should do the right thing, though, like most humanist and atheist positions, it offers few solid or reasonable guidelines about the subject.
LITTLE CHILDREN also contains plenty of strong foul language, explicit nudity and graphic sexual content. None of the characters are really punished for their sexual immorality. Their wounds are mostly self-inflicted.
LITTLE CHILDREN moves along at a brisk pace and is superbly acted. A slightly redemptive ending overtly asserts that, although people can’t change the past, they should change the future for the better. This ending, however, is placed in a humanist, Godless worldview that offers a somewhat dark view of American suburban life. No one is really punished for their sins; their wounds are self-inflicted. LITTLE CHILDREN also contains plenty of strong foul language, explicit nudity and graphic sexual content.