(85 min, US, 2016) Director: Ira Sachs. Screenplay by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias. Cast: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina Garcia, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barber, Alfred Molina.
In New York City, real estate is drama of the highest order. Out director Ira Sachs’ previous movie, Love Is Strange, starred John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a newly married couple who were forced to give up their cramped Manhattan apartment and live apart. In Little Men, it is a young teenager named Jake and his parents who are pushed out of pricey Manhattan to a less-posh section of Brooklyn. Luckily, he quickly meets Tony, and their friendship blooms as they skateboard, play video games, explore the city, and dream of going to the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. But when Jake’s parents raise the rent on Tony’s family business, the feuding adults – while never shown as evil – endanger the most important bond in their sons’ lives.
“Their connection is purely platonic, and even leaves room for Tony to hit on a girl in his acting workshop, though the possibility exists that Jake could later turn out to be gay (another way in which their connection echoes “Love Is Strange,” which toyed with our assumptions as to its teens’ sexuality). The fact is, what these two boys share is beautiful.” Peter Debruge, Variety
“Ira Sachs has become one of our great New York filmmakers!” Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
NYTimes Critics’ Pick