COMING OF AGE: THE ATTAINMENT OF PROMINENCE, RESPECTABILITY, RECOGNITION, OR MATURITY.
Every year there are films that point out to the common themes of loneliness, alienation & human connection. There were also stories that anchor a protagonist(s) freeing away from the shackles of the society, leading their own way into solace. As I look back at the year that went by, I couldn’t help myself from pointing out these 15 films that have the recurring theme of coming of age slowly tucked under them.
Kubo and The Two Strings | Director: Travis Knight.
Kubo and the Two Strings doesn’t shy away from the melancholia that surrounds tragedy. It embraces it will all the memorable moments which actually turn to magic and stories if you allow them to. Following Kubo on his mystical journey of finding himself, Travis Knight’s staggering epic has been beautifully animated. It presents a touching and heartfelt story about memories and their importance in one’s life.
Read Complete Review Here.
15. Closet Monster | Director: STEPHEN DUNN.
The 27 Years old Canadian film-maker Stephen Dunn takes an old coming of age genre and bends it with a twist that is propelled by internalized angst of the leading protagonist. Oscar’s life is shaped by the two childhood events that constantly haunt him. He is a passionate make-up artist who is uncertain about his future, discovering his sexuality, and finding solace in his only friend Gemma & a talking hamster. Like life, every twist in the film is uncertain and the intensity of uncertainty magnifies when the focus shifts to the relationship between Oscar and his abusive father. ‘Closet Monster’ has one of the best use of the music this year and it perfectly amalgamates with the psyche of Oscar giving the film a new dimension.
14. Indignation | Director: James Schamus.
Indignation is a wondrous film about a young adult failing to see beyond the canvas of his own personal intelligence. With one of the most profoundly written conversations in recent memory, Indignation is basically a coming-of-age film or to put it more accurately – an anti-coming-of-age film that leaves a mark on your permanent memory in spite of its strange editing choices.
13. Little Men | Director: Ira Sachs.
Much like his 2014 film – Love Is Strange, Ira Sachs offers a richly textured look into two parties (in here that about two families) and the understated yet powerful drama that goes behind consistent falling apart. Seen through the eyes of two teenage boys who circle around their rhythmic life, Little Men deals with characters who are forced into situations that they don’t want to be in.
Sachs’s direction, however, attunes us into these lives and their struggle to cope up with the situations and themselves (never seeming overly sympathetic, yet equally investing). With two stunning central performances, Little Men goes forward to present a tale of growing up, learning to accept life with all its flaws.
Read Complete Review Here.
12. Sing Street | Director: John Carney.
While being a terrific tribute to the late 80s bands that include the likes of Duran-Duran and The Cure, Sing Street is a heartfelt, feel-good coming-of-age film that plays all the right chords and glides along beautifully into the sea of emotions that run through your head. The first love and the first big decision is life have been presented with such delicacy that with all its issues, it still manages to win you over, again and again. Of all the compliments I can give to Carney’s film, it being absolutely adorable is the most fitting one.
Read The Complete Review Here.
11. Louder Than Bombs | Director: Joachim Trier.
We surround ourselves with people we love. We need to see them even though we walk half way across the world, we see things in them that might reminiscent our own being and yet we feel completely alone.There are possibilities at large & they might never actually form into something bigger but there are always flexible images that might plug & unplug our console as we try to fight life, live a new & mostly just be there. Louder Than Bombs is an interesting take on the various mundane issues that associate with grief & it’s results; where liars, lie, cheaters cheat & writers just try to find their way into that one stupid girl’s heart.
10. Hunt for the Wilderpeople | Director: Taika Waititi.
Funny, poignant and truly heartfelt, Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople talks about Ricky Baker – an overweight, rap-loving, ever-hungry orphan who runs away to the woods because he doesn’t know any better. The film is usually meet-cute but the way it deals with its two characters makes it a rather charming exploration of broken people finding love within themselves and each other. Ricky Baker’s adventures are often hilarious, fascinating and truly majestical when he finds human connection in the last person he would ever seek it in.
9. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping | Directors: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is this generation’s ‘This Is Spinal Tap.’ A constantly hilarious, engaging critic on the modern day music documentaries. There’s no stopping the force of this film that is so self-aware that even when ‘wolves’ show up and ‘deadmaus5’ crawl to eat it up, it stands tall on it’s ‘incredibly thoughts.’ What’s surprising is how well it presents a pretty generic yet charming coming of age story of a group of people who are screwed up by their own stupid stardom.