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Best Coming Of Age Movies You Must Watch Now!

Growing up is something that we all go through. Although no two individuals experience the same coming-of-age narrative, we are attracted to many of the same youth-centered storylines on film, calling them classics and rewatching them again and over.

A coming-of-age film that depicts a particular generation, society, or subculture seems like a unique and precious thing for those who are mirrored on screen, especially when the film catches a spectator during their most formative period.

A good coming-of-age picture may become a touchstone, a reflection of a transitory, emotional period of life that is both profoundly personal in its depiction and universal in its appeal to everyone who has gone through it.

Coming-of-age films at their finest combine nostalgic familiarity, impressionistic experiences, and a dash of harsh honesty that comes with adolescence's startling, sometimes unwanted knowledge of the adult world.

That last section is typically passed down in time from the more experienced director to the younger protagonist, a retroactive method unique to the subgenre that gives the best coming-of-age tales a prismatic mix of innocence and knowledge.

Despite the fact that the films on this list span eight decades, there are a large number of recent releases. Has the quality of coming-of-age films improved over time?

Maybe not, but in recent decades, American films have become more likely than ever to represent the varied realities of the off-screen world, so it's no surprise that the greatest new adolescent tales each seem honest, distinctive, and ageless.

It's worth mentioning that we took the editorial choice to remove any would-be classics that are too recent to be considered classics, which means even staff favorites like Booksmart and Little Women from 2019 aren't included in the list.

Growing up is something that we all go through. Although no two individuals experience the same coming-of-age narrative, we are attracted to many of the same youth-centered storylines on film, calling them classics and rewatching them again and over.
Growing up is something that we all go through. Although no two individuals experience the same coming-of-age narrative, we are attracted to many of the same youth-centered storylines on film, calling them classics and rewatching them again and over.

The Poker House 2008

Lori Petty's directorial debut, The Poker House (later renamed Behind Closed Doors), is a 2008 American indie drama film written and directed by her.

The film portrays a terrible day in the life of Agnes (Jennifer Lawrence), an adolescent girl who is parenting her two younger sisters, Bee (Sophi Bailey) and Cammie (Chlo Grace Moretz), at their mother's whorehouse, based on Petty's early life during the 1970s.

Critics gave the film mixed reviews, praising the characters, screenplay, and performances of the ensemble cast (especially Lawrence's), while criticizing the storyline. Lawrence received an Outstanding Performance Award for her performance at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

The Edge Of Seventeen 2016

Kelly Fremon Craig's directorial debut, The Edge of Seventeen, is a 2016 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by her.

Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, and Haley Lu Richardson appear in the picture. Principal photography in Vancouver started on October 21, 2015, and concluded on December 3, 2015.

On September 16, 2016, the film debuted at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, and STXfilms distributed it in theaters on November 18, 2016. It garnered excellent reviews and earned over $19 million against a budget of $9 million, with Steinfeld's performance receiving critical praise.

Lady Bird 2017 

Greta Gerwig's solo directorial debut, Lady Bird, is a 2017 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Greta Gerwig. It is a coming-of-age tale about a high school senior and her difficult relationship with her mother, set in Sacramento, California between 2002 and 2003.

Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith appear with Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf as a mother and daughter pair.

On September 1, 2017, the film debuted at the Telluride Film Festival, and A24 distributed it in the United States on November 3, 2017. Gerwig's writing and directing, as well as Ronan and Metcalf's performances, garnered critical praise.

Many reviewers regarded it as one of the greatest pictures of 2017, as well as one of the best films of the decade. Lady Bird was named one of the ten greatest films of the year by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and Time magazine.

It received five nominations for the 90th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Metcalf), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director.

The film won two Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy (for Ronan) and was nominated for two more at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. It was also nominated for three Academy Awards in the United Kingdom.

Daisies

Growing up sometimes means realizing how selfish the world can be. In Vera Chytilová's 1966 film Daisies, this is the situation with Marie I (Jitka Cerhová) and Marie II (Ivana Karbanová).

Chytilova was a pivotal figure in the Czech New Wave, an experimental cinema movement in which Czechoslovak filmmakers experimented with narrative, often in the name of politics. With Daisies, Chytilova accomplished just that.

These two little girls see how pampered the rest of the world is and decide that they, too, want to be spoiled. They fill their faces, taunt men, and defy traditional female roles.

They don't want to be like the rest of the world. The Maries want to be themselves and figure out how they want to go through life. They get a bit dirty in the process, but they have a great time doing it.

Chytilova crafts a nonlinear coming-of-age tale that refuses to provide any sort of narrative pleasure using the absurdist cinematic methods that define the Czech New Wave.

Two young ladies find fulfillment and pleasure in realizing that they don't have to be what society expects of them.

Best coming of age movie
Best coming of age movie

Winter's Bone 2010

Debra Granik directed Winter's Bone, a 2010 American coming-of-age[4] mystery drama film. It was adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini from Daniel Woodrell's 2006 book of the same name. Jennifer Lawrence plays Ree Dolly, a poor adolescent living in the remote Ozarks of Missouri, who must track down her father to save her family from being evicted.

The film examines how the widespread underworld of illicit meth laboratories influences the interconnected themes of intimate and distant familial connections, the power and speed of gossip, self-sufficiency, poverty, and patriarchy.

At the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the film received many prizes, including the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Film.

At the 83rd Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress in a Leading Role for Lawrence (who was the second-youngest Best Actress candidate at the time), and Best Supporting Actor for John Hawkes.

Lawrence was also nominated for the 68th Golden Globe Awards and the 17th Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama and Outstanding Leading Actress, respectively.

Hick 2011

Hick is a 2011 American comedy-drama film directed by Derick Martini and based on Andrea Portes' book of the same name, which includes non-fictional aspects. Eddie Redmayne, Ray McKinnon, Rory Culkin, Juliette Lewis, Blake Lively, and Alec Baldwin appear in the picture.

On September 10, 2011, it had its world debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Phase 4 Films released the film, which had a limited theater release on May 11th.

Mustang 2015

Mustang is a 2015 internationally co-produced drama film directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, a Turkish-French filmmaker making her feature debut. The film is set in a rural Turkish hamlet and follows the lives of five young orphaned sisters as they grow up as young women in traditional culture.

The incident at the beginning of the film that causes the family reaction against the five sisters is based on Ergüven's own life.

It debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight section, where it received the Europa Cinemas Label Award.

The film was chosen as France's entry for the 88th Academy Awards and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

At the 41st César Awards, it got nine nominations and won four, including Best First Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Original Music. The Mustang has gotten a lot of positive press.

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl 2015

The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by Marielle Heller and based on Phoebe Gloeckner's hybrid book of the same name. Bel Powley plays a 15-year-old girl who begins a connection with her mother's lover and becomes sexually active.

Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgard, Christopher Meloni, Quinn Nagle, and Austin Lyon also appear in the film. It debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was released on a limited basis by Sony Pictures Classics on August 7, 2015.

Sweet 20 2014

Sweet 20 is an Indonesian musical romantic comedy film produced by Star Vision Plus Indonesia and CJ Entertainment. It is a remake of the 2014 South Korean film Miss Granny.

Tatjana Saphira, Morgan Oey, Kevin Julio, Lukman Sardi, Niniek L. Karim, and Slamet Rahardjo appear in this film directed by Ody C. Harahap.

Fatmawati, a 70-year-old grandmother, suddenly transforms into her 20s after taking a picture at a secret photo studio in this video. On the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, Sweet 20 was published on June 25, 2017.

Girlhood 2014

Céline Sciamma wrote and directed the 2014 French coming-of-age drama film Girlhood (French: Bande de Filles, lit. 'Group of Girls'). Marieme (Karidja Touré), a young girl living in a tough neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris, is in the center of the story.

Sciamma's objective was to portray the experiences of black adolescents, characters she believes are undeveloped in French cinema; the film explores and questions notions of race, gender, and class. It was shown as part of the Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight section in 2014.

It was also shown at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema section. At the 40th César Awards, it earned four nominations, including Best Director for Céline Sciamma and Most Promising Actress for Karidja Touré.

What Is An Example Of A Coming-Of-Age Movie?

Coming-of-age films have traditionally focused on young males, but in the early twenty-first century, films concentrating on teenage girls have grown increasingly popular, such as The Poker House (2008), Winter's Bone (2010), Hick (2011), Girlhood (2014), Mustang (2015), and The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015).

What Movie Is A Bildungsroman?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is a classic example of a bildungsroman.

Why Do I Love Coming Of Age Movies?

Coming-of-age films often evoke nostalgia for a time when we were on the brink of maturity, a pivotal moment or set of events that shaped who we are. Coming of age films depict the experience of growing up and transitioning from one stage of life to the next, which everyone can identify with.

About The Authors

Jaya Mckeown

Jaya Mckeown - Jaya moved to Boston from New York to pursue a master's degree in corporate communications at Emerson College. This experience, combined with her undergraduate degree in psychology and teaching, has equipped her with valuable skills that she employs on a daily basis in real estate negotiations, homebuyer and seller education, and successful promotion of the team's listings. Jaya's clients often characterize her as meticulous, proactive, and enjoyable to be around.

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