Friday, August 5, 2016
A little movie brimming with little truths about modern life.
Heart-rending... [this] achingly humane family drama soars.
Luminous characterizations and big-hearted filmmaking.
Much like Love Is Strange, director Ira Sachs’s Little Men captures the modern New York City landscape with a tender and intelligent relationship portrait, this time through the life-defining friendship of two teens caught in the middle of familial tumult. When his grandfather dies, 13-year-old Jake (Theo Taplitz) moves with his family from Manhattan back into his father’s old Brooklyn home, where he meets Tony (Michael Barbieri), whose single mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia) runs a dress shop downstairs. Soon, Jake’s parents Brian (Greg Kinnear) and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) ask Leonor to sign another, more expensive lease for the store, which kindles a feud between the adults. The friendship struck by Jake and Tony forms the heart of the film, with Sachs observing this connection with humanism and insight to ultimately craft a timely, sophisticated story of displacement and class. A Magnolia Pictures release.