Little Children (2006)

IMDb 7.5

Little Children (2006) – A Complex and Thought-Provoking Drama Exploring Suburban Life, Desire, and the Pursuit of Happiness

“Little Children,” released in 2006, is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged drama that delves into the complexities of suburban life and the desires and struggles of its characters. Directed by Todd Field and based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, the film offers a compelling examination of human relationships, societal expectations, and the pursuit of happiness. With its nuanced storytelling and powerful performances, “Little Children” presents a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities that lie beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary lives.

Plot Summary

Set in a quiet suburban community, the film follows the intersecting lives of several residents who find themselves grappling with unfulfilled desires and the yearning for something more. Sarah Pierce (Kate Winslet), a dissatisfied housewife and mother, embarks on an affair with Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson), a stay-at-home father who is searching for purpose and escape from the confines of his own life.

As their illicit relationship unfolds, it becomes entangled with the lives of other characters in the community, including Ronald James McGorvey (Jackie Earle Haley), a convicted sex offender trying to rebuild his life, and Larry Hedges (Noah Emmerich), an ex-policeman consumed by his obsession with exposing McGorvey’s past.

The film examines the consequences of their choices, the struggle to reconcile societal expectations with personal desires, and the impact of their actions on themselves and those around them. It delves into themes of intimacy, identity, and the quest for personal fulfillment amidst the constraints of suburban life.


“Little Children” explores themes of desire, identity, conformity, and the pursuit of happiness. The film offers a critical examination of the facades of suburban life and delves into the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of pursuing forbidden desires.

Desire and Unfulfilled Longings

The film delves into the deep-seated desires and unfulfilled longings of its characters. It explores the ways in which these desires can lead individuals to question their identity, make questionable choices, and seek fulfillment outside the bounds of societal norms.

Identity and Conformity

“Little Children” challenges societal expectations and explores the tension between individual identity and the pressure to conform. It portrays characters who are trapped by their roles within the suburban community, highlighting the struggles they face in breaking free from societal constraints.

Complex Human Relationships

The film offers a nuanced exploration of human relationships, from passionate affairs to strained marriages and unlikely connections. It examines the dynamics of intimacy, the complexities of attraction, and the consequences of pursuing forbidden desires.

Suburban Life and Its Discontents

“Little Children” delves into the facade of suburban life and reveals the hidden discontent and yearning for something more beneath its seemingly idyllic surface. It questions the pursuit of the American Dream and prompts viewers to reflect on the personal sacrifices and compromises often made in the pursuit of societal ideals.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The film raises questions about the nature of happiness and the paths individuals take in search of fulfillment. It explores whether true happiness can be found in conformity or if it requires embracing one’s desires, even if it means challenging societal norms.

“Little Children” is a complex and thought-provoking drama that examines the intricacies of suburban life, desire, and the pursuit of happiness. Through its nuanced storytelling and compelling performances, the film explores the consequences of individuals grappling with their unfulfilled longings and the pressures of conforming to societal expectations. It challenges viewers to contemplate the complexities of human relationships and question the boundaries imposed by society. “Little Children” serves as a powerful reminder that beneath the surface of ordinary lives, there are often profound desires, struggles, and yearnings waiting to be explored and understood.

Duration: 137 min.

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