Echoes of "Madame Bovary" in the American suburbs. Sarah's in a loveless marriage, long days with her young daughter at the park and the pool, wanting more. Brad is a househusband, married to a flinty documentary filmmaker. Ronnie is just out of prison - two years for indecent exposure - living with his mother; Larry is a retired cop, fixated on driving Ronnie away. Sarah and Brad connect, a respite of adult companionship at the pool. Ronnie and Larry have their demons. Brad should be studying for the bar; Larry misses his job; Ronnie's mom thinks he needs a girlfriend. Sarah longs to refuse to be trapped in an unhappy life. Where can these tangled paths lead?
The Alliance for Women Film Journalists awarded Kate Winslet the Best Depiction of Nudity or Sexuality Award for this film during the EDA 2006 awards; she received the honor for her nude portrayal that was "tastefully filmed and in service of the story, rather than feeling tacky, sensational or exploitative"; in her Oscar-nominated performance, Kate Winslet took the role of bored suburban wife and mother Sarah Pierce who had an adulterous affair with her neighbor Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson) - in one scene, on a laundry room sink; remarkably, Winslet has appeared naked in more films than any non-porn star of her generation (previously, she was also nude in Heavenly Creatures (1994), Jude (1996), Titanic (1997), Hideous Kinky (1998), Holy Smoke (1999), Quills (2000) and Iris (2001)).