Year of Youth 2018

Rewarding Portrait of Boys Trying to Become Men

Last edited 13th December 2016

Rewarding Portrait of Boys Trying to Become Men

They’re mature for their age when the film kicks off, but nothing stimulates development more than being confronted with your own helplessness.

This whole story is performed and observed in Ira Sachs’ typically quiet manner, making for a very watchable and human film. Jacob (Theo Taplitz) is a nice kid. When his classmates are horsing around, he’d rather draw elaborate scenes from his favourite fantasy franchise. Jacob is the only child of actor Brian (Greg Kinnear) and doctor Kathy (Jennifer Ehle).

At the reception after his grandfather’s funeral, Jacob meets Tony (Michael Barbieri) and the pair hit it off. Tony is the son of Leonor (Paulina Garcia), who runs a struggling dress shop out of the Brooklyn storefront owned by Jacob’s grandfather.

With his passing, the store is left to Brian and his sister Audrey (Talia Balsam), and they soon realise that due to her friendship with Brian’s father, Leonor has been paying a fraction of the rent that the shop is worth.

They know that Brian’s father was very fond of Leonor and they’d like her to stay put, but they need her to start paying a more acceptable sum. She can’t possibly afford to meet their reasonable expectations, so something must give. The parents’ dispute spills over into their children’s friendship, with difficult consequences.

As this plays out between the adults, Jacob and Tony are forming a lovely friendship, and we are taken on an interesting exploration of morality and human relationships.

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