It is always depressing to see a really good film die at the box office. But it is worse when you have a creeping feeling that it will struggle to find an audience and then dies anyway. Such is the fate of Little Children, one of the most intelligent and well crafted dramas to be released this year.
In the US it has grossed just over $1 million dollars despite a gradual release on limited screens and mostly positive reviews. In the UK it was a similar story and it only just crept in to the top 10 after its release last week. Maybe it was the enigmatic trailer. Maybe people were putting off by a glut of reviewers inaccurately describing one of the main characters.
One person I spoke to, who did actually go and see it, was non-plussed – his chief complaint was “I couldn’t tell you what it was about”. Is it just me or is it a sad day when films like this, that dare to be complex, subtle and different, don’t get given a chance by studios or audiences?
Everyone is right in hindsight, but surely this was a film that would have benefited from being released later in the awards season? it is also easy to blame the marketing department but here in the UK it seemed to have a very light promotional push.
It was at the London Film Festival and Winslet appeared on Parkinson but there seemed to be little in the way of print or poster ads. And, of course, it opened in the same week as the box office phenomenon known as Borat.
It may still get award recognition (Kate Winslet still looks good for a Best Actress nomination) but it seems like this is going to be sadly overlooked. A great shame indeed.