Everybody loves a good movies right? The coming of age genre is usually the best kind of film as it's the most relatable especially with college students. With the summer well and truly started it's time to catch up and get your fill of some of the great coming of age movies there are out there.
1. Diary of a Teenage Girl
The film follows Minnie Goetze played by the wonderful Bel Powley, who, like most teenagers is trying to find herself and her place in the big bad world. She yearns for romance, love and acceptance and finds it when she begins a complicated love affair with her mother's (played by Kristen Wiig) boyfriend (played by equally brilliant Alexander Skarsgard) Monroe Rutherford. The film brings us a funny, quick and genuinely judgement free look at a young woman as she both sexually and artistically awakens.
2. Francis Ha!
This is the perfect movie for any 20 something out there who has either recently graduated or is in that in between shitty phase of not knowing what to do with their life just yet. Take comfort with this film as the main character herself Frances is the personification of this. The movie is about coming of age in the very real sense of trying to finally actually 'adult' and live in the world. Starring the all talented Greta Gerwig as Frances, Gerwig co-wrote the movie with the director Noah Baumbach (who is also her boyfriend). It's set in New York and even though it is in black and white it still feels extremely modern and present. Full to the brim with laugh out loud awkward moments as Frances tries her best to navigate life to the best of her socially inept abilities-this is a must see for the summer.
Based on the book by Colm Toibin, Brooklyn is a coming of age story from the 1950s which follows the life of young Eilis Lacey played by the amazing Saoirse Ronan who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance this year. She moves to New York to find work and soon love. The movie slowly reveals a girl becoming a woman and the subtle transition from start to finish is stunning to see. Along with some stellar performances including a young Marlon Brando-esque turn from Emory Cohen as Tony, the costumes and settings are beautiful and add to this 1950's coming-of-age!
4. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
This bittersweet comedy and drama combined coming of age tells the story of Greg who along with his friend and co-worker Earl make parodies of films while in high school. However things change for them when they befriend a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer and find their outlook on life forever changed. Personally endorsed by non other than Martin Scorsese this film is certainly a must watch coming of age with a difference.
5. Rebel Without A Cause
This classic 1955 coming of age film starring the great James Dean, explores the theme of disillusioned youth and frustrated adolescence. Also starring talented actors who died too young, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo, the movie allows for sympathy for all characters as we are shown the emotions behind their actions. A film which like its frustrated teens is trying to find a voice and something to say and is all the more powerful because of that.
This 2011 coming of age movie from Joe Wright is a thrilling turn from the usual period piece romance genre we're used to from the director, however this film proves that the change was a success. Hanna is an action packed yet equally dramatic coming of age story that pulls the audience in. This teenage girl - Hanna - has been isolated from the modern world and now must learn to adapt and join modern society. The film deals with issues such as the advance of technology and the effect it has on the world along with what it means to be a teenage girl as we follow Hanna as she tries to fit in. The movie gives both Ronan and Blanchett some killer catch and chase, face to face scenes to rival De Niro and Pacino in Heat in my opinion.
7. Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrman)
This modern retelling of William Shakespeare's ultimate romantic tale directed by Baz Luhrman is a great coming of age of the highs and lows of young love. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes, the setting is in LA rather than Verona, Italy and follows two rival business families in the 1990s where guns are the weapons of choice rather than swords. This edgy, quick cutted and bright coloured film captures the vibrancy of the story and giving it a modern edge while remaining true to Shakespeare's roots by keeping with the original dialogue. With good old 90s Leo playing Romeo, be sure to fall in love with both him and this film as it dramatically captures the angst, joy and struggle of love and coming of age!
8. Dirty Dancing
This little 1980's gem of a film has become a classic movie of the coming of age genre!.We follow Baby played by Jennifer Grey who soon falls for the smoking hot dance instructor Johnny Castle played by Patrick Swayze and can we blame her. With some killer steamy dance scenes and retro music from the 1960s which the film is set, Baby comes of age in full swinging sixty's style!
9. Moonrise Kingdom
This Wes Anderson coming of age movie is as quirky and odd as it is quite sweet and endearing. It follows young love as a pair of young teens escape their New England town to be together and as a result a local search party forms to find them. With some great cameos from the Wes Anderson collection such as Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton who all make this film as fun as the kids in the starring roles do themselves. A great coming of age to watch this summer.
10. An Education
This was Carey Mulligan's breakout role and for a reason! This 1960's set film tells the coming of age of a teenage girl in London as she longs to go to Paris and be French. She soon falls for a mysterious helpful older stranger and in turn what follows is a rollercoaster of events. Soon she discovers deception and ultimately revelations of the truth about others and herself. A must watch for this summer!
Video: 30 Coming of Age Films Everyone Should See
Credit: Tom Bond