If you go by its tantalizing trailer, you'd expect a serious freight train of a movie. Instead, Little Children is steady to the point of ploddy, so besieged by tones that it's atonal. It's not bad; it's quite thought-provoking, punctuated by an end that will surely blindside you with its...well, optimism. It's as if Todd Field is atoning for In the Bedroom, which is a far more controlled, penetrating and pessimistic movie about spoiled love. Also, Jennifer Connelly, Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson are the three most attractive people in the world. Alas, none of them are bound for Oscar with these roles. But! FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Jackie Earle Haley (who has been off the radar since Breaking Away) plays a rather benign sexual predator and is so authentic it's like he really is a sexual predator who wandered onto the set of the movie and they just kept the cameras rolling. I'm pretty sure that was a run-on sentence.
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