The adults in an idyllic suburb let their anxieties get the better of them.
This ambitious satire about a wealthy suburb is the kind of movie that wins lots of awards, said Andrew O'Hehir in Salon.com. But that's just its problem. It's 'œa type of movie rather than an individual movie.' It's pretty, it's knowing, and it treats the problems of ordinary upper-middle-class Americans with high seriousness. But almost every character surrounding its almost too-luminous star is a crude caricature, and that leaves director Todd Field with very little story to tell. Kate Winslet is remarkable as Sarah Pierce, a bored stay-at-home mom who falls into an affair with the hunkiest of the playground dads, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. She 'œregisters every flicker of Sarah's pride, self-doubt, and desire,' and no viewer could help but love her. Two other stunning performances add life to the film's subplot about a sexual offender who has just been released to the custody of his mother, said Carina Chocano in the Los Angeles Times. Phyllis Somerville and Jackie Earle Haley are neighborhood pariahs, but the connection between the two is 'œastonishingly layered with disappointment, resignation, and wary hope.' In fact, this is a movie an audience has to be patient with. It begins by choosing easy targets, but develops into an insightful indictment of bullying in all its forms.