A little more than three months have passed since Magnolia Pictures released its heartfelt indie flick Little Men. The nearly 90-minute movie is a heartfelt work that will appeal to diehard indie flick fans and to the genre’s more casual consumers. That is due in part to the movie’s story. This will be discussed shortly. The movie’s editing is just as important to examine as its story in analyzing its overall presentation. It will be discussed later. The work of the movie’s cast rounds out is most important elements. It is directly connected to the bonus “Making of” featurette that is included in the movie’s extras. They will be discussed later, too. Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s overall presentation. All things considered, Little Men proves in the end that sometimes, big things truly do come in small packages and that indie flicks can be just as entertaining as any big screen blockbuster.
Magnolia Pictures’ recently released drama Little Men was one of last year’s top new independent releases. It is proof that sometimes indie flicks can be just as entertaining as their more well-known counterparts. That is due in part to the movie’s story. The story at the center of this movie follows the budding friendship between Jake (Theo Taplitz) and Tony (Michael Barbieri—Spiderman: Homecoming, The Dark Tower) as their parents bicker over the rent being paid by Tony’s mother. The boys’ friendship drives home the oft used message that sometimes kids are more grown up than their adult counterparts. What’s interesting here is that as easy as it would have been for writer/director Ira Sachs and co-writer Mauricio Zacharias to go over the top with the drama, they didn’t let it go that over-the-top route. If this movie had been accepted by one of Hollywood’s “Big Six,” there’s no doubt it would have been turned into some overly dramatic, unnecessarily heart wrenching piece that would have quickly become forgotten weeks after its release. Thankfully that didn’t happen here. Instead, Sachs and Zacharias expertly controlled the story’s dramatic elements from start to finish. The end result is a story that is powerful in its simplicity, and that as a result, is entertaining and engaging from start to finish. It is just part of what makes this movie so impressive. The movie’s editing is just as important to discuss as its story.
The editing within Little Men is just as important to discuss in analyzing its presentation as the story itself. That is because it keeps the movie’s pacing solid throughout the course of its 85-minute run time. Audiences will note that the story is told through a series of segments that are short yet tell just enough of the story within each to keep audiences engaged. It’s like watching a play on screen without the feel of a play. Go figure, star Greg Kinear (Little Miss Sunshine, Ghost Town, As Good As It Gets) plays a hard on his luck thespian. Whether or not that connection was intentional is anyone’s guess as it isn’t discussed in the movie’s bonus material. Regardless, it can be said that the short yet concise scenes crafted through the movie’s editing are handled expertly. When that attention to detail is coupled with the movie’s fully believable story, the two elements show even more why this movie stands out and why it is well worth the watch. They are not its only important elements, either. The work of the movie’s cast rounds out its most important elements.
The story at the center of Little Men and its editing are both key pieces of this surprisingly enjoyable indie flick’s overall presentation. They work both by themselves and collectively to make this movie a surprisingly enjoyable offering from Magnolia Pictures. They are not its only key elements. The work of the movie’s cast is important to examine, too. The cast’s work on camera is so important to note because of the subtlety in each cast member’s work. It has already been noted that rather than let this movie’s story get out of control with its dramatic elements, its writers tamp down that drama. The cast follows suit, opting for the same subtlety in its acting. A key example comes as Jake and Tony agree to their vow of silence against their parents. This would have been a moment for any big screen actor (and writer) to go overboard. That didn’t happen here. Again, that didn’t happen here, though. The simple fashion in which the boys agreed to the vow felt so natural that it makes one believe that it is something one would see in an everyday setting. Brian (Kinear) and Leonor’s (Paulina Garcia)’s discussions on the rent are also examples of the importance of the cast’s work to the movie’s presentation. It would have been just as easy for the pair to go over the top as Taplitz and Barbieri when they took their vow of silence. Yet, they didn’t go over the top either. The simple subtle work on the part of both actors makes both performances just as believable as those presented by the actors’ younger counterparts and those of the rest of the cast. All things considered in terms of the cast’s work, this element puts the finishing touch on a presentation that was already worth watching to begin with. The discussions on the cast’s work in the movie’s bonus “making of featurette” explains why the subtleties in the cast’s work are so believable. It is the very last positive touch on a work that true cinephiles will appreciate. When it is joined with the cast’s work, that of the movie’s editing team of Mollie Goldstein and Affonso Goncalves, and the work of the movie’s writing team, the whole of this little indie flick that could proves to be a work that proves big things can and do often come in “little” packages.
Magnolia Pictures’ indie human drama Little Men is proof that sometimes indie flicks can be just as entertaining as their more well-known counterparts if not more so. It mixes a simple, believable story with expert editing and wholly believable and engaging acting for a presentation that was one of last year’s top new independent movies. It can be purchased online now here. More information on Little Men and other titles from Magnolia Pictures is available online now at:
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