Monday, November 6, 2017

Little Boxes (2016)

Number Rolled: 26
Movie Name/Year: Little Boxes (2016)
Tagline: None
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Kid Noir Productions, Mighty Engine, Related Pictures
Producer: Cary Fukunaga, Wyatt Gatling, Gary Gilbert, Jared Goldman, Jordan Horowitz, Ken H. Keller, Rosemary Lombard, Caron Rudner, Rose Troche
Director: Rob Meyer
Writer: Annie J. Howell
Actors: Melanie Lynskey, Nelsan Ellis, Armani Jackson, Oona Laurence, Janeane Garofalo, Christine Taylor, Miranda McKeon, Maliq Johnson, Nadia Dajani, Veanne Cox, David Ebert, Will Janowitz, Julie Hays, Dierdre Friel, Christian Whelan, Gabriel Rush, Mark Gessner, Jabari Gray, Yasha Jackson, Eric Charles
Stunt Doubles: None

Blurb from Netflix: After moving from New York City to a small town in Washington state, an interracial couple and their preteen son struggle to adjust to their new life.

Selina’s Point of View:
Little Boxes was a relatively interesting peek into the life of an interracial family looking to move their life into a town smaller than they’re used to. It’s a film that touches on racism, classism, paranoia, and gender roles. It actually went into a lot more than I thought it would.

From the trailer, I was expecting to see a lot of overt racism, but that’s not what I got. It touched more on the subtle side of things. Those things that a person might roll their eyes at but not immediately consider damaging. It then showed how that perspective damages a person, a family or a reputation more than you might have initially believed.

I live in New York, and my husband and I have been talking about moving to a smaller town to raise our daughter. Clearly, we don’t have to face a lot of the issues the family in this film does, but watching Little Boxes has still made me aware of the research that goes into more than just a house when you move.

I enjoyed the film.

There were a few minor cringe-filled moments that had me looking away from the screen, but I did my best to plow through them. In the end, it was worth.

Cat’s Point of View:
I remember coming across the trailer for this movie as I was putting together my list for this past April’s Top 20 movie recommendations. I can’t remember why this didn’t make the cut of my final list, but I do know that it was in contention for a good bit. Let’s just call it an honorable mention, now that we’ve gotten a chance to watch it.

I remember that I thought the story looked compelling and certainly relevant. It definitely delivered on that.

The pairing of Melanie Lynskey (Digging for Fire, Togetherness, 1 Mile to You) and the late Nelsan Ellis (Secretariat, Get on Up, Elementary) was magic. It’s a bit of a bittersweet note for me, considering Ellis passed back in July – just a handful of months after this movie released.

It was an odd feeling to both relate to the kid in this movie and his parents.

I moved a few times when I was young. While I only went at most one state away, or even just across the same state, there are always similarities in the experience even when going cross-country isn’t involved. I can only imagine adding culture shock into the mix would be absolutely horrifying. As it was, being the new kid and trying to figure out how to fit in is the universal plight of the relocated. I feel like Armani Jackson (Cooties, Grey's Anatomy, The Last Witch Hunter) did a bang-up job with his quest for acceptance in the new town.

While the story of young Clark Burns definitely struck a nerve with me, I found myself drawn to his parents. I appreciated the parallels and contrasts between what the young boy was going through and their own adjustments.

All told, I definitely enjoyed this movie. I feel like the film delivered on the promise its trailer made – providing moments of laughter and cringe rolled up in a well thought out family drama. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 50%
Metascore - 53/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13 

Movie Trailer:

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