Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway
"Little Men" is yet another stirring and percussive film from director Ira Sachs (Love Is Strange). The film is compressed and potent, having the power of a good short story.
The two boys grow so close that they want to go to the same school, LaGuardia High. But, all is not harmonious. Under pressure from Brian's sister, Audrey (Talia Balsam) the father agrees to raise the rent on Leonor's dress shop, which in turn puts a strain on the boys' friendship.
The film is excellent in portraying the insecurity and need for bravado at early adolescence. There is one rave music episode in particular, highlighting the overconfident swagger of Tony that is as funny and real as anything by Woody Allen.
"Little Men" also points to the grim circumstance of money, of selfish (but not monstrous) urges and the unavoidable gentrification of a quaint Brooklyn. In a brilliant turn, the film makes Jake and Tony into star-cross'd friends in the manner of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.
One late scene showing Jake spotting the uninhibited Tony with a transfixed wanting from across a museum floor proves the piece de resistance.
Before puberty, childhood friendship is the ultimate drive.
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