In Little Men, a tale of two teenagers

Monumental Pictures

In Ira Sachs’s Little Men (out now in limited release around Australia), the hefty task of playing progress is placed on the skinny shoulders of two 13-year-olds. Tony (Michael Barbieri) is a mini “you talkin to me?” Robert De Niro with a career aspiration to match (acting), still growing into his swagger. Jake (Theo Taplitz) is a shy, sensitive artist, his personality matched by Tony’s braggadocio. The old world is Tony’s mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia)’s shop, rented to her by Jake’s recently deceased grandfather at a rate that hasn’t changed in years as Brooklyn has grown up and out around it. The new world is upstairs, where Jake and his parents (Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle) move in and his father wants so raise the shop’s rent so Leonor cannot afford it. Caught in between it all are Tony and Jake, their friendship growing as the adults get increasingly bitter.


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