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May 1, 2007

DVD of the Week – Little Children (2006)

by HELEN GEIB

The thing I liked best about Little Children was the voiceover narration.

The story is punctuated by beautifully delivered third person narration that verbalizes the characters’ thoughts and comments on the action. The narration adds a pleasing literary quality to the film, an adaptation of a novel by Tom Perrotta. It unifies a plot that moves among a large cast of not very closely related characters. It is usually very funny, providing needed (albeit caustic) humor. The psychological insights offered by the narration are essential to creating the sense that these are real people who could be living around the corner, rescuing the film whenever it threatens to fall into trite commentary on the dreadfulness of suburbia. For Little Children, narration proved the perfect solution to the difficulties of adaptation.

Little Children was one of the best reviewed movies of last year, garnering well-deserved Academy Award nominations for Kate Winslett (best actress), Jackie Earle Haley (best supporting actor) and best adapted screenplay by Perrotta and director Todd Field. The excellent cast also includes Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Connelly and Noah Emmerich.

The DVD comes with no extras to speak of. Well worth the rental if you missed it in theaters.

Original Commentary Track review by Rishi Agrawal.

Other new releases this week: Alpha Dog, Dreamgirls, Happily N’Ever After, The Hitcher, Old Joy


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