Film: Kate Winslet is back on the big screen
November 02, 2006
OVER the next few weeks it will be impossible to go to the cinema without seeing a clip of Reading’s own Kate Winslet on the screen.
The first of four films featuring her talents has just been released and a further three follow in the next month.
Political drama All The King’s Men opened last week and Friday sees the launch of Little Children.
Audiences in December will be able to hear Kate as Rita in Dreamworks’ latest animation offering Flushed Away, and then she will appear alongside Jude Law, Cameron Diaz and Jack Black in The Holiday.
No one can deny that Winslet’s career has been varied since she shot to stardom as heiress Rose aboard the ill-fated super ship Titanic.
Her latest movie, Little Children, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, paints a detailed portrait of fear and self-loathing in American suburbia.
Perrotta writer-director Todd Field masterfully adapt the book for the screen, shining a light into the darkest recesses of the human soul: desire, obsession, jealousy, retribution.
Certain narrative threads have been dropped between page and screen, forcing viewers to make emotional connections with the characters, often without fully understanding the motives for their behaviour.
The effect is both disorienting and utterly engrossing; the audience sympathies ebb and flow as good people make drastic choices to achieve their selfish dreams, and the threat of violence hangs heavily in the air.
Field effortlessly glides between the entwined plot strands, drawing together his disparate menagerie of wounded characters for a denouement that forcibly squeezes the very breath out of you.
Little Children’s power resonates from its refusal to make sweeping moral judgments.
Consequently, the tiniest flecks of humanity and vulnerability are seen in seemingly the most despicable figures, like a paedophile whose horrific past misdeeds are never revealed on screen.
Winslet continues to affirm her reputation as one of the finest performers of her generation.
The only actress to date to receive four Oscar nominations before her 30th birthday, Winslet should be one of next year’s five hopefuls for her stunning portrayal here of a lonely wife, clinging forlornly onto the one glimmer of a hopeful future.
During a trip to the local playground with her daughter Lucy (Sadie Goldstein), Sarah Pierce (Winslet) meets married man Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson) and his young son Aaron (Ty Simpkins).
A chance kiss between the two parents sparks a tempestuous affair behind the backs of his emotionally cold filmmaker wife Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) and her disinterested businessman husband Richard (Gregg Edelmann).
When Kathy begins to suspect her husband’s infidelity, the adulterers are compelled to face the repercussions for their actions.
Their fates become linked with a paedophile, Ronnie J McGorvey (Jackie Earle Haley), who has been released back into the community to live with his doting elderly mother May (Phyllis Somerville), but is being hounded out of town by terrified parents.
Ringleader of the protesters is unemployed ex-cop Larry (Noah Emmerich) and stalks the McGorvey home night and day, who readily confesses that “if I had a job, I wouldn’t be driving past this house five or six times a day”.
Little Children is a film of unsettling surprises and extraordinary catharsis.
Field conjures some truly unforgettable scenes like parents screaming for their children to get out of the local swimming pool when they spot Ronnie in the water.
It’s a film that is sure to be up there when the Academy Awards list for next year is unveiled and don’t be suprised if Winslet’s name isn’t again one of those in the frame for a gong.