Giant Little Ones

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Giant Little Ones
Giant Little Ones.png
Film poster
Directed byKeith Behrman
Produced byAllison Black
Written byKeith Behrman
StarringJosh Wiggins
Darren Mann
Taylor Hickson
Kyle MacLachlan
Maria Bello
Music byMichael Brook
CinematographyGuy Godfree
Edited bySandy Pereira
euclid431 pictures
Scythia Films
Storyboard Entertainment
Sugar Shack Productions
Distributed byMongrel Media
Release date
  • September 9, 2018 (2018-09-09) (TIFF)
  • March 1, 2019 (2019-03-01) (United States)
Running time
93 mins
Box office$166,896[1]

Giant Little Ones is a 2018 Canadian drama film, directed by Keith Behrman.[2] The film stars Kyle MacLachlan and Maria Bello as the parents of a teenage boy (Josh Wiggins), whose lives are upended after their son and a friend are involved in an incident at a party.[3]

The film was shot in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 2017.[2]

It premiered on September 9, 2018 at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and later received a limited release in the United States on March 1, 2019.[4]

In December 2018, the Toronto International Film Festival named the film to its annual year-end Canada's Top Ten list.[5] Behrman won the Vancouver Film Critics Circle award for Best Screenplay for a Canadian Film.[6]


Ray Winter (Kyle MacLachlan) leaves his wife, Carly (Maria Bello), for another man. Ray's popular, athletic son, Franky (Josh Wiggins), refuses to talk to his father despite Ray's pleas.[7][8]

The film begins some time later, as Franky is about to celebrate a birthday.[a] His best friend, fellow swimmer Ballas Kohl (Darren Mann), pressures Franky to sleep with girlfriend Priscilla (Hailey Kittle) just as Ballas and his girlfriend, Jess (Kiandra Madeira), have done.[7] (Ballas boasts of having had sex repeatedly.)[8] After Franky's birthday party, a partly-drunk Ballas attempts a homosexual act with an equally intoxicated Franky. Ballas is terrified that his actions have outed him, and he and his girlfriend begin to spread rumors that it is Franky who initiated the sex.[8] When several members of the high school swim team bully Michael (Carson MacCormac), Franky stands up to his teammates and defends the shy, skinny boy—reinforcing the belief by most kids at the school that Franky is gay.[7]

Franky begins to piece his life back together by befriending potentially transgender friend Mouse (Niamh Wilson).[7][b] He also rekindles his friendship with Ballas's sister, Natasha (Taylor Hickson), whom everyone (including Franky) ostracized some time ago as a "slut" after she was sexually assaulted at a party .[7] Franky finds himself romantically involved with Natasha.[8] Franky realizes that he should put off a serious relationship or sex until he's ready. The insight helps Franky come to terms with his father's homosexuality.[7]


The cast includes:[7]

  • Josh Wiggins as Franky Winter
  • Darren Mann as Ballas Kohl, Franky's lifelong best friend
  • Taylor Hickson as Natasha Kohl, Ballas's younger sister
  • Kyle MacLachlan as Ray Winter, Franky's father
  • Maria Bello as Carly Winter, Franky's mother
  • Hailey Kittle as Priscilla, Franky's girlfriend
  • Kiandra Madeira as Jess, Ballas's girlfriend
  • Carson MacCormac as Michael, a bullied boy
  • Niamh Wilson as Mouse, Franky's female friend (who may or may not be transgender)
  • Olivia Scriven as Deanne, Franky’s sister

Critical response[edit]

Giant Little Ones received positive reviews. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9] On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 92% approval rating, based on 52 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Giant Little Ones puts a complex and refreshingly nuanced spin on the traditional coming of age drama, further elevated by the admirable efforts of a talented cast."[10] Writing for CBC Arts in his regular Queeries column on LGBTQ entertainment, Peter Knegt praised the film as part of a rising and necessary trend of honest depictions of teenage sexuality and sexual identity issues.[11] He wrote that the film "feels like something of an antidote to last year's gay teen rom-com Love, Simon, which felt like it barely scratched the surface of what its characters were going through."[11]


  1. ^ Sources differ as to whether he is turning 16[8] or 17[7] years old.
  2. ^ Mouse's gender and sexual identity are not clearly defined in the film. Reviewer Dennis Harvey in Variety says Mouse is merely "a lesbian teen so butch she has penis envy."[8]
  1. ^ "Giant Little Ones (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Euclid431 Pictures gets ready to GLO". Playback, July 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Kyle MacLachlan Joins Maria Bello In YA Film ‘Glo’". Deadline, July 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "Lady Gaga, Julia Roberts, and Hugh Jackman lead TIFF’s 2018 lineup". The Globe and Mail, July 24, 2018.
  5. ^ "TIFF's Canada's Top Ten list skews a lot younger this year". Now, December 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "Vancouver Film Critics Circle names Edge of the Knife top Canadian feature film". Toronto Star, January 8, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h van Hoeij, Boyd (September 11, 2018). "'Giant Little Ones': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Harvey, Dennis (September 13, 2018). "Toronto Film Review: 'Giant Little Ones'". Variety. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "Giant Little Ones reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  10. ^ Giant Little Ones at Rotten Tomatoes
  11. ^ a b Peter Knegt, "Cinematic sex-ed: Giant Little Ones and why exploring teenage sexuality onscreen is vital". CBC Arts, March 27, 2019.

External links[edit]