If “Transparent” introduced transgender adults to a wider audience, then “A Kid Like Jake” will highlight the ways children explore gender and how their identity is shaped by the views of the adults around them.
Starring Claire Danes and Jim Parsons as well-meaning parents, the New York-set “A Kid Like Jake” promises a nuanced portrait of contemporary parenthood, as told through the lens of a little boy who likes to wear skirts. The first trailer shows moments glorious and discomforting, as well as a few tears of joy. With an all-star cast and an authentic take on a topical issue, “A Kid Like Jake” is a huge step forward for trans cinema.
The story follows Alex and Greg Wheeler (Danes and Parsons), parents to Jake (newcomer Leo James Davis), as they navigate New York’s competitive elementary school application process. When the school counselor, Judy (Octavia Spencer), suggests they play up Jake’s “gender expansive play,” they begin to question if playing up Jake’s differences will, well, make him feel different. “A Kid Like Jake” also features Priyanka Chopra, Amy Landecker, and Ann Dowd as an opinionated grandmother.
The trailer opens and closes with intimate handheld shots, announcing Silas Howard as a director with vision and heart. A director on “Transparent” and the upcoming “Pose,” this is Howard’s biggest film to date. As a transgender man, his hiring represents a progressive shift toward authentic representation in Hollywood.
IFC Films will release “A Kid Like Jake” in theaters on June 8. Check out the trailer below.