By EW Staff
Updated August 11, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Little Children: Robert Zuckerman
  • Movie

Despite the movie’s family-friendly-sounding title, this romantic drama, the first film from director Todd Field since his multi-Oscar-nominated In the Bedroom, is most definitely not for kids. An adaptation of the 2004 novel by Election author Tom Perrotta, Little Children relates the story of two suburbanites (Patrick Wilson’s stay-at-home dad and Kate Winslet’s underappreciated housewife) who embark on an affair. Meanwhile, a pedophile returns from prison to live with his mother in the neighborhood.

The community-worrying ex-con is played by Jackie Earle Haley, the former child star still best remembered as Kelly Leak from the original Bad News Bears, who has been AWOL from movies since the early ’90s. ”He struggled,” says Field of Haley, who will also be seen this fall in All the King’s Men. ”Jackie told me a story about delivering pizza to a guy who had been an editor on one of his films. Then he wound up in Texas directing television commercials. But he got his hands on an early draft, made a tape, and sent it to me. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.”

As for Wilson, this marks his second 2006 movie (the first was the little-seen Hard Candy) to tackle the subject of pedophilia. ”That’s actually [the kind of film] I prefer now,” Wilson laughs. ”As long as there’s some creepy child molester in each movie I do, I’m good.” (Please don’t write letters. He’s only kidding.)

Little Children

  • Movie
  • R
  • 130 minutes
  • Todd Field