by J.R. Jones
I just got done rewatching Little Children, the second feature by Todd Field (In the Bedroom), and though I’m even more convinced it’s one of the year’s best movies, it doesn’t have much chance of winning a decent audience. It opened in Chicago two months ago, and despite stellar reviews it’s still showing on only one screen in the city and one in the suburbs. According to the web site Box Office Mojo, it’s grossed only $1.8 million nationwide.
Early year-end awards haven’t been any help. The Gotham Awards and the National Board of Review both stiffed it (though the latter saw fit to include in its top-ten list the dippy Devil Wears Prada ). About the only good news is that New Line actually sent me a screener, which must mean it’s still behind it. Of course all that might change if it starts turning up on critics' year-end lists. But nabbing some Oscar nominations is the only way a movie like this can keep going, and small movies don’t seem to get the nod unless, like Crash or Brokeback Mountain, they’ve already got box office momentum behind them.