Blah blah Oscar RodeoLittle Children got three nominations. One for Adapated Screenplay, a Best Actress nod for Kate Winslet, and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Jackie Earl Haley. It's not winning any of them. The movie is well-made, and obviously made by smart people
The film is about a suburban community...with secrets! As with any film or television show about the darkness hidden at the end of the cul-de-sac, Little Children has a lot of ironic narration. It's also adapted from a novel, which means twice the narration, and bonus irony. They make no attempt to identify the narrator, so I assumed it was the Holy Ghost telling us everyone's feelings.
Moms have identical strollers in this community. Married couples don't have sex with each other. Secret adultery abounds. People are paranoid about safety. Jim Carrey's best friend from The Truman Show is implausibly obsessed with a sex offender. American Beauty was awesome. Desperate Housewives will return next Sunday night.
I wouldn't mind so much if characters were more realistic, or if the movie was funnier. The touch football scenes, with double-ironic mock-NFL Films play-by-play, felt flat to me. Jackie Earle Haley was good as the sex offender, but I don't think he would have gotten his nomination if he hadn't dropped out of sight after Bad News Bears. The scene where he violates his parole and visits the community pool is a good mix of creepiness and vulnerability. When he got in the pool, my first thought was, "He's snorkeling for Oscar!"
Kate Winslet is very believable and enjoyable, but Kate Winslet is always good. Little Children marks her fifth Oscar nomination, but more importantly, it shows that Winslet has passed Charlize Theron as the mainstream actress most willing to take her clothes off on screen. I feel compelled to mention that the sex scenes in this movie are appropriately hot.
Other things I liked: The art direction, the little kid actors, that a movie depicted parents who resent their adorable small children.
Hated: the moms that weren't Kate Winslet, the rageaholic ex-cop, the skateboarding subplot, and the 130-minute running time.