23 December 2006

Review: Little Children

Genre: Drama

Anyone who bemoan the utter lack of excellent films this year I urge to see director's and co-writer's, Todd Field's, masterpiece Little Children. Subtly sublime in almost all its ways, the film has truly topped the heap in this year's film frenzy, it easily beating out even its most formidable competitor, Stephen Frears' The Queen. Noteworthy are all its actors, especialy leaders Ms. Winslet who delivers yet another dazzlingly intricate performance and Mr. Wilson whose capabilities, though perhaps not as flawless as Ms. Winslet's, are still gloriously and surprisingly strong here; its score which enthralls, as is Mr. Newman's usual tact, but does so in a way new for him and his style (i. e., the usage of the train's horn and of the violins were particularly encouraging); its art direction; its cinematography which astounds at points for its beauty and eloquence; its direction, as Mr. Field proves himself a far more intelligent director than was even suspected upon the presentation of his last In the Bedroom; and its writing which geniusly utilizes a narrative voice-over to seal in the rougher for their quietness edges. A spectacular work of cinema, the film only hesitates from staggering greatness once, in its very last moments, and stemming from the delivery of a single line; but such a minute fluttering is relatively inconsequential when compared with the magnitude of its sustained accomplishments. It truly does what film, as art, ought do: it through narrative asks questions, questions not just interpersonal but even intrapersonal, sexual, psychological, anthropologkcal, sociological, and metaphysical; it becomes a well guided exploration of the person, always unfettered by place, whether literal or figurative, or time, epochal or individual. I have nothing more to add but that this film is certainly the best film I've seen yet this year and may expect to have seen still.

Grade: A

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