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A Kid Like Jake - New Zealand International Film Festival 2018

It’s Halloween and Jake wants to be Rapunzel. Claire Danes and Jim Parsons are sensational as a Brooklyn couple with divergent responses to their four-year-old’s ‘gender-variant play’ in Silas Howard’s comedy-drama.

At the outset of this smart, topical and moving comedy-drama, one-time lawyer Alex (Claire Danes) and her psychiatrist husband, Greg (Jim Parsons), are plotting private school applications. Their young son Jake’s intelligence and imagination have won him impressive test scores. He is also expressing a preference for what Judy (Octavia Spencer), the proprietor of his preschool, labels ‘gender-variant play’. When she encourages them to play up Jake’s transgender leanings so that he might be considered a ‘diverse’ candidate for a progressive school, the parents are torn. Both want what’s best for their son, but as they struggle to agree on what that might be, the identity politics they have always embraced in principle begin to impact in painfully personal ways.

These are educated, privileged characters, who, along with their friends, talk things out – sometimes saying things best not said. The script, adapted by Daniel Pearle from his own play, provides fuel for illuminating fire, delivered by a superb cast, including the redoubtable Ann Dowd as Alex’s mother, and Amy Landecker as a patient exasperated by Greg’s Zen-like calm. Director Silas Howard, trans himself, is a veteran of Transparent.

Watch The Trailer Below


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Last updated: 11 June 2019