Doctor Strangeblog (DrStrangeblog)Middle America
Doctor's Recent Reviews
In the final analysis, I find it a little difficult of what to make exactly of my reactions to Little Children. While there are lots of little children populating the screen, the title refers to the behavior of the main characters who have trouble growing up and reconciling their wish-fulfillment fantasies with regards to their spouses, thereby being drawn towards having an affair that seems like salvation but is only a mirage. Kate Winslet puts on her best American accent, truly making me forget her point of origin, and really inhabits Sarah Pierce, an unhappily married and somewhat dumpy housewife looking for an escape from her mundane routine, the highlight being a daily walk with a kindly neighbor. Patrick Wilson very vividly creates the character of Brad Adamson, a stay-at-home dad who has twice failed the bar exam. He's something of a slacker and keeps trying to recapture the joys of his youth by watching skateboarders instead of studying for exam #3, and joining his cop friend's night touch football league. Other favorable performances come from Jennifer Connelly as Brad's wife who doesn't realize the effects of her offhand emasculating tendencies, leading to a great piece of silent acting when she detects a hint of sexual tension during a dinner party, and a small but hilarious bit from an unknown actor (perhaps Raymond J. Barry) as a wheelchair-bound football coach. The script is well-written with some choice profound and/or amusing anecdotes provided by a curious omniscient third-party voiceover, and rather bold in showing a world where having children can be a burden as much as a blessing. There are some strange developments though, particularly the extensive substory of a registered sex offender entering the community and Brad's disgraced cop buddy obsessed with tracking his every move. This pushes the film past a comfortable length without really adding much to the mix. As is, it is long but I did not get bored, as I was engaged by the performances, perceptive dialogue, and indeterminate progression towards an honest, fitting conclusion.
Starts slowly but builds interest as a newly paired sheltered journalist (Jennifer Connelly) and subversive photographer (Antonio Banderas) who works "in the shadows" uncover military atrocities in 1970s Chile. He comes off as a real prick in the opening scenes but the story develops in a way that makes their close working relationship turn into a believable love affair with both reacting to a desperate need to cherish life amidst a country full of tragic stories under the domineering thumb of a fascist government. Novelty to see Connelly cast as a Chilean, she's positively gorgeous and her accent is not bad at all, it's the Spanish & South American actors speaking English with heavy accents that can be hard to understand! The stars share a passionate love scene in the mountains outside an abandoned mine, now that would be one hearty good-lookin' baby.
Doctor's Favorite Movies
The blackest of black comedies released during the height of the Cold War is sheer genius. Peter Sellers masterfully plays three roles while George C. Scott takes a hilarious turn as a gung-ho general. Scathing, sobering, and an all-time classic.