We the Animals Movie

At the beginning of “we animals” everything is calm, before it becomes a sweet and painful story of adulthood for 10-year-old Jonah (Evan Rosado), who will soon learn that you need to take the moments of joy with you wherever you can find them. So far, everything seemed to be joy.
Jonah, an introspective boy who keeps a diary consisting mainly of photographs, lives with his two brothers (barely older than him) and his parents in the early 90s in the northern state of New York. Ma (Sheila Vand) and Pops (Raul Castillo) were high school lovers who got married too young, and their romantic but tumultuous relationship became untenable. Pops is moving, my downward spiral; children who enjoy a carefree summer are neglected.
In the middle, they meet a slightly older boy, Dustin (Giovanni Pacciarelli), grandson of a neighbor, with whom Jonas falls in love (not that he understands his feelings). Dustin shows the guys a porn video. Jonas’s brothers are probably no better equipped for this than he is, but the film does not talk about them. Jonas was confronted with gender and other “mature topics” too early and lacked enough guidance to deal with it, and that aside from his burgeoning non-heterosexuality, hence the diary from which everything else follows.
Director Jeremiah Zagar, an adaptation of Justin Torres’ semi-autobiographical novel, handles sensitive subjects with discretion and grace. The film is full of wonderful and impressive details: children playing their parents on the phone and joking with their imitations; a lazy Sunday afternoon, when the whole family is resting quietly in the sunny living room; the summer antics of barefoot and shirtless children against the background of the lack of food in the house. Nick Zammuto’s grumpy electronic score and Mark Samsonovich’s simple animations add to the idyllic tone of this pretty, heartbreaking gem about weird alarm clocks and ill-conceived teenagers.

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