“Little Children” at Toronto Film Fest

Today, Entertainment Weekly‘s PopWatch blog offers this review of "Little Children," the movie based on Tom Perrotta’s book (and discussed by this blog here), which was recently screened at the Toronto Film Festival:

Little Children, Todd Field’s long awaited follow-up to In the Bedroom: The tale of parents growing increasingly more childlike the longer they hang around the kiddie pool, the movie guides us into very dark corners of the American suburban mythos (that schematic and well-trod Stepford nightmare-scape largely designed by phobic urbanites) and then guides us right back out again. It’s a tourist-package safari into the hungrier recesses of the human heart, and you’re back in time for dinner, easy-peasy. And a little facile-pacile too. But then, perhaps you’re the type who can accept Kate Winslet as “the ugly girl” in an adulterous love triangle. That’s tough to swallow, even if we’re talking about a knowingly skewed perspective filtered through Patrick Wilson’s incurably vapid “prom king,” a Mr. Mom with a gorgeous working wife (Jennifer Connelly, pictured) who casually emasculates him. Winslet, who’s supposed to be a mousy feminist fireplug-turned-housewife, is really ripe desire in the (amply displayed) flesh, and her voluptuous energy overwhelms the film. That’s not her fault: This film is dying to be overwhelmed by something, since it’s not quite sure what it’s saying. Sure is pretty though: The shots sway in a dreamy fever, Kubrick’s Lolita with a post-American Beauty coat of paint.