A teen (Josh Wiggins) struggles with his sexual identity in Keith Berhman's raw look at self-discovery

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Teenage sexuality, identity and confusion are at the heart of "Giant Little Ones," writer-director Keith Behrman's emotionally honest and heartfelt look at figuring out one's path through the difficult journey of adolescence. 

Josh Wiggins is Franky, a high school swimming star getting ready to celebrate his 17th birthday. Franky and his girlfriend Priscilla (Hailey Kittle) have plans to lose their virginity together that night, but things take a turn when Franky and his best friend Ballas (Darren Mann) get wasted and wind up fooling around in bed. 

Scared and confused about what transpired, Ballas spreads rumors about Franky all over school. And Franky — whose father, Ray (Kyle McLachlan), left his mother for another man — is tasked with asking himself tough questions about his own sexuality, his wants and his desires, all while under the scrutiny of his peers. 

"Giant Little Ones" tackles its subject matter with a clear head and full heart. It examines the hurt incurred after losing a lifelong friend when Franky and Ballas are suddenly at odds with one another, and gives voice to Franky's anger — and later his acceptance — over the situation with his father. 

Behrman gives Franky several strong females in his life, including his transgender friend Mouse (Niamh Wilson), Ballas' sister Natasha (Taylor Hickson) and his mother, Carly (Maria Bello). 

"Giant Little Ones" deals with difficult, emotionally complex subject matter but Berhman is careful and considerate with his material. He fills this teenage story with depth and wisdom beyond its characters' years. 

'Giant Little Ones'

GRADE: B

Rated R: for sexual content, language and some drug/alcohol use – all involving teens

Running time: 94 minutes

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

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