Wednesday, August 30, 2017

LITTLE MEN


A terrific little film that I came across on Netflix. Two 13 year old boys meet when Jake's family inherits a brownstone from a grandfather. Tony is the son of the tenant, a seamstress and dress shop owner. Both boys desire a career in the arts so this immediately bonds them. The parents however are in an immediate war over the rent paid for the dress shop, which is far too low for the neighborhood. No one is a villain and yet no one is totally likable. That's what made it work so well. And sadly, the boys' friendship can't survive the parents' predicament. A wise, sad and complex film.

What film about childhood do you like?

23 comments:

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Hope and Glory by John Boorman. King of the Hill by Steven Soderbergh. And my favorite The 400 Blows by Francois Truffaut. Truffaut also did a film called Small Change about kids which is quite entertaining.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, this does sound good, Patti, and it's one I've not seen. Thanks for the recommendation.

George said...

STAND BY ME.

George said...

Also THE PARENT TRAP (both versions).

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I love HOPE AND GLORY and THE 400 BLOWS and definitely SMALL CHANGE.

Older kids, but I liked A LITTLE ROMANCE (Paris, and a gorgeous young Diane Lane).

There was another small film set in Manhattan but I am totally drawing a blank. It was sort of a first romance story (early teens, I think). I'll try and think of it.

In Brooklyn, there was THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, about two boys dealing with their parents' divorce. Jackie mentioned STAND BY ME.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I see George and Jackie are on the same page.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

THE BAD NEWS BEARS
BOYHOOD
the Harry Potter series
Chronicles of Narnia
HUGO
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA
HOLES

Jackie says her favorite from childhood was PIPPI LONGSTOCKING. She wanted her life - her own house, no parents, plenty of adventures.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Have seen and enjoyed all of these. Except have never seen HUGO.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

MOONRISE KINGDOM
JUNO
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
RUNNING ON EMPTY

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

We saw HUGO in 3-D and it was one of the few (like AVATAR) where I think it really enhanced it.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I found the movie I referred to up there: LITTLE MANHATTAN. The kids were only 10 and 11, and the boy was played by Josh Hutcherson, who went on to play Peeta in the HUNGER GAMES movies. His parents were Cynthia Nixon and Bradley Whitford.

It was a very Manhattan movie - Central Park, etc.

Rick Robinson said...

A CHRISTMAS STORY.

Gerard Saylor said...

JUNIOR MISS and MELODY, they`re both loaded with charm.

Todd Mason said...

I was thinking that Jeffrey's not-quite-remembered title was RICH KIDS, which was one I dug as dealing with things rather more relatably, even given how well-off the kids were, than A LITTLE ROMANCE and certainly THE BLUE LAGOON remake, which both had some similar appeal to the young and horny (as most young are). Not that outre didn't have its appeal, as another favorite of mine was THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVED DOWN THE LANE. And speaking/writing of Lane, she was cute as an actual kid but wasn't devastating till adulthood, as she remains. (She's my age, so clearly we are destined for each other.) WALKABOUT made a similar impression, even if more pretentiously...the San Francisco cable "superstation" ran it uncensored in 1979, when I was 14, apparently to their own surprise, and I enjoyed seeing that much of Jenny Agutter as she frolicked with David Gulpilil.)

I was Even Younger when I saw such Not Sexy films as THE 400 BLOWS and FORBIDDEN GAMES on WGBH, from the Janus Films Collection before it spun off Criterion a half-decade later. I liked such films as THE ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS and THE HIDEAWAYS when I saw them, if not as much as their source novels (FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER, in the latter case). I liked BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN less, but appreciated where it was coming from. And PAPER MOON and THE BAD NEWS BEARS were favorites of mine back when.

Since adolescence, one which sticks in my mind, that I described to you some time back, Patti, is PONETTE...a film I was ready to hate till its resolution, which turned it around.

Among the many other literary adaptations, the Disney JOHNNY TREMAINE wasn't too shabby, and most of the Sawyer and Finn films and Robert Louis Stevensons and the non-Disney JUNGLE BOOKs and such were fine...among those that come to mind...THE CBS CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL, hosted by Kukla, Fran Allsion and Ollie, was a staple of my young-childhood viewing on Saturday mornings/afternoons.

Todd Mason said...

Or even Fran Allison. A decent series, a lot of British films, as I recall. Most probably telefilms.

Todd Mason said...

(I do mean the 1979 RICH KIDS, fwiw. Haven't seen the latter-day vaguely porny-looking item of that title. I suppose MANHATTAN might count, from that era, as well...really, how Woody Allen's, shall we put it, questionable judgment ever came as any sort of surprise to anyone was beyond me...I had him pegged as a creepy narcissist, if occasionally a funny one, from jump.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Did anyone say FOXES?
Todd managed to come up with lots I haven't seen.

Cap'n Bob said...

Lord of the Flies.

Todd Mason said...

No one mentioned FOXES before you, I believe...nor FOXFIRE (albeit those were all women pretending to be teens). Alice's interest in kids' films has led me to seeing more than I might've otherwise...the Dinsey animations LILO AND STITCH and MULAN have been among the better ones. And SHOW ME LOVE and THE INCREDIBLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF TWO GIRLS IN LOVE, among many others thus.

Todd Mason said...

The almost happier version of LORD OF THE FLIES, ZERO FOR CONDUCT. (To say nothing of the first kids version of THE TENTH VICTIM, BATTLE ROYALE.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

You are a walking GOOGLE.

pattinase (abbott) said...

How could we forget LORD, Bob. Thanks!
LITTLE WOMEN.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Patti-rent Hugo. Very good film.
How did I forget A Christmas Story?