Review: Giant Little Ones
Adolescence is a rich source for films. We get several coming of age films each year. This can make it hard for one to stand out and offer up something new. Giant Little Ones does so by focusing on the sexual fluidity of one young man as he figures out who he is attracted to.
Set in an upper-class community, the film follows Franky Winter (Josh Wiggins). He is best friends with Ballas (Darren Mann) with whom he spends most of his time with at the start of the film. Ballas often brags about his sexual experiences to Franky, who is a virgin. The two seem inseparable until one night after drinking for Franky's birthday, they share a sexual experience that changes everything.
Giant Little Ones could be a simple coming out story from here but the film does something unexpected. While it explores the underlining homophobia in its high school setting, it also complicates Franky's sexuality. He is as uncertain as Ballas as to what the situation means. He doesn't view himself as gay and is still attracted to women. Ballas is threatened by the situation and soon tells everyone at school that Franky is gay. In the process, he destroys Franky's world.
Writer-director Keith Behrman avoids many cliches as he explores the fluidity of sexuality at this age. It is a mature and honest approach that lets the film stand out from other films of its kind. The terrific cast ensure that the film feels grounded and real even as the drama intensifies. Wiggins in particular is a standout, swaying effortlessly from wide-eyed attraction to shame and anger. The film also wisely avoids wrapping things up to neatly.