Directed by Ira Sachs
From 23rd September 2016
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
This film, which ultimately is a story of little substance, is seen almost wholly through middle-class eyes.
A couple plus their son from Manhattan, have inherited a large apartment in Brooklyn following the death of the father of Brian (Greg Kinnear), an unsuccessful actor. They also own the lease on a dress fashion shop downstairs run by a world-weary Leonor (Paulina Garcia), who was allowed to run the premises at very low cost by the deceased man.
But Brian is left with the task of asking her to pay triple the rent she is currently charged to cover the extra costs he and his physiotherapist wife Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) have incurred in moving to their new location.
How hard done by they are! I state in ironic fashion. Typical middle class whinging about so-called lack of money to keep up with other ultra consumerists. If the two of them had any sense they would have immediately sold the apartment, made lots of money and either stayed in their former cramped apartment or moved to a bigger place in Manhattan.
It is difficult to empathize with any of the characters, except for working-class shop owner Leonor, who is increasingly alienated by the ever growing spread of capitalism, and is a prime example of hard working but poorly remunerated folks being edged out by wanton greed by those with stacks of cash and financial assets.
There is a constant focus on the burgeoning friendship between Jake (Theo Taplitz), son of Brian and Kathy, and Tony (Michael Barbieri), the child of Leonor. But ultimately it is a minor aspect of the movie.
Despite being only 82 minutes long some of the scenes did go on too long, notably the one depicting a kids disco, which added nothing to the sometimes threadbare (sorry about the pun in reference to the dress shop!) narrative.