We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
The biggest surprise in "Little Secrets" is that Ozzie and Harriet don't live next door. The movie takes place in an improbably perfect suburban neighborhood where all the kids wear cute sportswear and have the kinds of harmless problems that seem to exist only so that they can be harmless problems. Then of course there are some Big Problems which are rendered harmless, too. This is a very reassuring film.
The heroine of the movie, Emily (Evan Rachel Wood) is a budding young violinist who as a sideline runs a Little Secrets stand in her back yard, where kids can tell her their secrets at 50 cents apiece. The secrets are then written on scraps of paper and locked in a chest.
The theological and psychological origins of her practice would be fascinating to research. The neighborhood kids sure take it seriously. When she's a few minutes late in opening her stand, there's a line of impatient kids clamoring to unburden themselves. The 50-cent price tag doesn't discourage them; these are not kids who remember the days when a quarter used to buy something.
But what kinds of kids are they, exactly? Consider Philip and David. Philip tells David, "Her name is Emily. Like Emily ..." "... Dickinson?" says David. "And Emily Bronte," says Philip. Heartened as I am to know that the grade school kids in this movie are on first-name terms with these authors, I am nevertheless doubtful that Dickinson and Bronte will ring many bells in the audience.
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The RogerEbert.com staff picks for the Oscars.