This poignant and perceptive drama about the effect of money on human relationships finds writer-director Ira Sachs (Love is Strange) establishing himself as one of America’s most thoughtful and mature modern filmmakers. When struggling actor Brian (Greg Kinnear) inherits his father’s apartment the family’s resulting relocation to Brooklyn seems to solve their financial jitters, especially with the rental income they receive from longstanding tenant Leonor (Paulina Garcia), who runs the dressmakers downstairs. But Brian’s attempts to raise the rent runs into complications when his withdrawn son Jake (Theo Taplitz) strikes up an unexpectedly strong friendship with Leonor’s own outgoing offspring, Tony (Michael Barbieri).
As the two little men try to defy their parents’ antagonism they find it increasingly difficult to resist becoming avatars for the adults and their monetary concerns.
Sachs’ touching and empathetic drama is rewarded with a round of rich performances from its ensemble cast, with the two young performers particularly impressing. And it’s Barbieri’s turn as the cocky and charming Tony, sporting a brilliantly broad Brooklyn accent, that leavens this moving tale with moments of warm and understated comedy.