Little Men at Real Art Ways

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Little Men

When 13-year-old Jake’s (Theo Taplitz) grandfather dies, his family moves from Manhattan back into his father’s old Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends the charismatic Tony (Michael Barbieri), whose single mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia), a dressmaker from Chile, runs the shop downstairs.

Soon, Jake’s parents Brian (Greg Kinnear) and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) — one, a struggling actor, the other, a psychotherapist — ask Leonor to sign a new, steeper lease on her store. For Leonor, the proposed new rent is untenable, and a feud ignites between the adults.

At first, Jake and Tony don’t seem to notice; the two boys, so different on the surface, begin to develop a formative kinship as they discover the pleasures of being young in Brooklyn. Jake aspires to be an artist, while Tony wants to be an actor, and they have dreams of going to the same prestigious arts high school together. But the children can’t avoid the problems of their parents forever, and soon enough, the adult conflict intrudes upon the borders of their friendship.

Directed by Ira Sachs (LOVE IS STRANGE, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, FORTY SHADES OF BLUE) with his trademark humanism and insight, LITTLE MEN highlights the New York City landscape with a story of life-defining friendships in the midst of familial turmoil.

"Sachs, a clear-eyed humanist, honors all his characters' pained perspectives."

Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

"This small film examines the jewel of the human heart from a few angles, not all of them, not with a big explosive ending, not with the awarding of a Nobel Prize or lovers riding off into the sunset. It's just one Brooklyn story well told."

Allen Salkin, New York Daily News

"The best reason to watch "Little Men" is Michael Barbieri, who musters a blend of soulfulness and aggression that would be remarkable at any age."

Anthony Lane, New Yorker