Ira Sachs had a bit of a circuit hit a couple of years ago with Love Is Strange, his bittersweet tale of a mature gay couple wrenched apart by the price of New York real estate. That demon rears its head again in Little Men, this time specifically examining the effect Brooklyn’s gentrification is having on a personal level.
Greg Kinnear plays Brian, a New York actor married to a surgeon (Jennifer Ehle). They have a young teen-age son, Jake (Theo Taplitz). When Brian’s dad dies and he is left his Brooklyn apartment, it comes with a tenant, a new best friend for Theo, and some heavy choices to make.
It’s hard to make the film sound at all exciting from its premise, but Sachs deals in realism, minutiae, and the kind of dilemmas actual people face. His is the opposite of Superhero Cinema. As it moves calmly but deliberately along, the power of the dilemmas facing each of the main characters grows stronger. Inexorably, you can’t help but be drawn in.