Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., July 19
The vested proprietor of a dress shop (a slow-burning Paulina Garcia) whose decision it is to steadfastly use family secrets as a cudgel against the son (Greg Kinnear) of her recently deceased landlord and confidant — she insists it was his father’s desire that she stay there — makes it impossible for her little man (Michael Barbieri) to maintain a friendship with the new owner’s kid (Theo Taplitz). The teenagers, both newcomers to film, find their characters and never falter, but it’s Barbieri’s liberated exchange with an acting teacher that leaves an indelible impression. Shoring together small moments from the lives of believable characters, in a manner free of special effects and fluky plotting, and with the same dramatic and visual gusto one would apply to an epic is what independent filmmaking should be all about but seldom is. Directed by Ira Sachs. 2016.
- "Must-see movies of 2016" • December 28, 2016