Little Children

Synopsis: Echoes of "Madame Bovary" in the American suburbs. Sarah's in a loveless marriage to an advertising executive, long days with her young daughter at the park and the pool, wanting more. Brad is an immature househusband, married to a flinty documentary filmmaker. Ronnie is just out of prison - two years for indecent exposure to a minor - living with his elderly mother, May; Larry is a retired cop, fixated on driving Ronnie away. Sarah and Brad connect, a respite of adult companionship at the pool. Ronnie and Larry have their demons. Brad should be studying for the bar; Larry misses his job; Ronnie's mom thinks he needs a girlfriend. Sarah longs to refuse to be trapped in an unhappy life. Where can these tangled paths lead?
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Todd Field
Production: New Line Cinema
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 57 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
136 min

Want to take a walk with me?

...continue to protest the presence

of a convicted sex offender

in their neighborhood.

Michelle Betler reports.

Thanks, Rick. I'm standing here

on Woodward Court,

the quiet residential


that has become

the focus of controversy

ever since 48-year-old

Ronald James McGorvey returned here

after serving a two-year

prison sentence

for indecent exposure

to a minor.

In the past few days

an organization

known as the Committee

of Concerned Parents

began distributing these notices

throughout the community

warning neighbors

of what they call a quote,

"Dangerous predator

in our midst."

I don't really like having

him that close to my family.

I think it's outrageous.

This block has too many children

for a sex offender to, uh, be

moving in the neighborhood.

I-- I don't think

it's a good idea.

Makes me very nervous.

Makes me a little enraged.

Um, I'd have a problem

if I see him on the street.

It's like having an

alcoholic work in a bar.

They don't mix.

They shouldn't be together.

The conditions of his parole

expressly forbid McGorvey

to be within 100 yards

of any playground,

school or recreation area

where children normally gather.

These conditions seem

to be of little comfort

to the many parents whose

children play and go to school

in this formerly

tranquil community,

and who in the coming days and weeks

will be hoping for the best

but preparing for the worst.

Rick, back to you.

My husband and I had an

actual spiritual experience.

We did this intense

spa treatment--

- Oh, come on.

- No, listen to me.

It was on our vacation in Cabo

and there were eight other couples

and this Mayan woman.

A goddess,

just a goddess.

- She had--

- She's due in September.

She thinks she's gonna

take three months off,

then it's Christmas, then she'll be back

to work the first of the year.


Six months from now she'll be right here

on this bench with us.

My friend Beth said

that the way she did it

was to just take him with her every time

she went to the bathroom.

- I find that strange.

- Yeah, that's what I said to Beth.

It's Oedipal.

What's the rush?

Although I will say, when I was trying

to potty-train Christian,

I opened the diaper

and it was huge!

Like a grown man.

Smiling politely to mask a

familiar feeling of desperation

Sarah reminded herself to think

like an anthropologist.

She was a researcher studying the

behavior of typical suburban women.

They weren't organic?

She was not a typical

suburban woman herself.

Troy, stop that!

Paul and I were having

sex the other night

and I drifted off

right in the middle of it.

It happens.

Yeah, I guess.

But when I woke up and apologized

he said he hadn't

even noticed.

You know what

you should do?

Set aside a specific

block of time for it.

That's what Louis and I do--

every Tuesday night at 9:00.

"Whether you want to or not"

Sarah thought,

her eyes straying over

to the play area.

Even at such a tiny

playground as this

Lucy didn't interact much

with the other children.

Sarah didn't really know why

they even bothered coming here,

except that she'd

probably go crazy

trapped in the house

all day

with this unknowable

little person.

Morning snack time

was 10:
30 on the dot...

Snack time!

...a regimen established

and maintained by Mary Ann,

who believed that rigid

adherence to a timetable

was not only the key

to a healthy marriage,

but to effective

parenting as well.

- I'll take this one!

- I want that one!

- Can I do it?

- Yeah. Ready?


where's my snack?

I'm sorry, honey,

Mommy can't find it.

- I forgot the rice cakes.

- Poor thing.

- I'm sure it's in here somewhere.

- Second time this week.

Well, who's going to keep

track of everything?

- Bad mommy. Bad mommy.

- Just calm down, please.

No calm down!

I want my snack!

All right, you know what?


it's just not here, okay?

See for yourself.


Troy, honey,

give Lucy your goldfish.


Troy Jonathan,

give me those goldfish!

But, Mama, they're mine.

No back talk.

You can share with your sister.

Troy has goldfish for you.

Go sit down.

That's much more than 10.

- That's great.

- Look how big I made my lawn.

Thank you, Mary Ann,

you're a life saver.

It's nothing.

I just hate to see her suffer like that.

Maybe you should make

a checklist and tape it to the door

so it's the last thing you

see before leaving the house.

That's what I do.

Yeah, thank you. That's-- that's

a really helpful suggestion.

You're welcome.

Drink your juice.

Are you the plane again?


Now you have to act like me.

The prom king.

Oh my God,

he's back.

Sarah followed

the other women's gazes

over to the entrance

of the playground,

eager to finally get a glimpse

of the prom king,

the handsome and mysterious

young father

who had been a regular

at the Walker Street playground

for several weeks

this past spring

before abruptly

dropping out of sight.

I don't need a rest.

I need an airplane ride.

His departure had left a gaping

hole in the emotional lives

of Cheryl, Theresa

and Mary Ann.

Barely a day went by without one

of them speculating wistfully

about the reason for his absence

and the likelihood of his return.

Here I come.

There's no room for two of us, diesel.

You've done it again.

I hate steam engines.

When I come back I will

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Todd Field

William Todd Field (born February 24, 1964) is an American actor and three-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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