Thursday, October 12, 2006
From Director Todd Fields (In The Bedroom), comes another excellent adult drama. Kate Winslet gives one of her best performances as an unsatisfied suburban mother who begins an affair with Patrick Wilson, a man dreaming of a lost adolescence, trying to find his place in an adult world. The film also features a strong performance by Jackie Earl Haley as a convicted child sex offender looking for his identity in a world that reviles him.
A sadness permeates the film as it explores the relationships of these people and the other affected by them, family, friends, and enemies alike. All the characters are damaged to a degree and by the end, one can only imagine hope for at least some of them.
There is heavy stuff here but also flashes of humor, particularly in the 3rd person narration. This is the kind of film that should spark post screening conversation. I overheard someone leaving the theater say "it was like Desperate Housewives meets Happiness". A pretty accurate composite (without the campiness). I wish I had thought of it first.