Entries Tagged 'Coming of Age' ↓

little women

This sepia toned film is a tribute to the original book. Starring Winona Ryder as the ever-independent Jo, it also features a strong ensemble cast including Susan Sarandon and Kirsten Dunst. Re-read the book, and then rent the film on a cozy autumn night. You won’t be disappointed. [us, 1994]

children of heaven

A sweet, affecting tale of a brother and sister who scout the streets of urban Iran in search of a pair of battered sneakers while juggling school and home responsibilities. Despite the shoe-crisis and a basic poverty, they remain respectful, strong, and enchanted by life’s simple joys be they soap bubbles or sparkling goldfish. As do we. Naturalistic performances and a touching portrayal of deep family love rarely seen on this continent make it a movie gem. [iran, 1997]

my brilliant career

Judy Davis stars in Gillian Armstrong’s portrait of a headstrong, young woman determined to become a writer in turn of the century Australia. Davis’ character, convinced of her own brilliance, is forced to make a choice between love, marriage, and family with the earnest Sam Neil, and pursuit of her own writing career. This film is both beautiful to watch and captivating. Based on a true story. [australia, 1979]

to kill a mockingbird

Harper Lee’s classic tale of bigotry, compassion, and justice in small town America. Told through the eyes of 7-year old Scout, it’s also the story of a young girl’s admiration for her father, in this case, Gregory Peck in an Oscar® winning performance. A flawless, timeless film that will invoke real tears. What are you waiting for? [us, 1962]

ever after

Make no mistake, this is not your grandmother’s fairy tale: this damsel is not in distress. In this update of Cinderella, Drew Barrymore rescues the prince, fights for the downtrodden, espouses socialism, befriends Leonardo Da Vinci, swordfights the villian, and finds true love. Recommended for those in need of a good fairytale makeover. [us, 1998]

bend it like beckham

“Who’d want a girl who plays football all day but can’t make chapattis?” This crowd pleasing cross-cultural girl sports movie breaks a new movie taboo: Girls can not only play sports – and well – but they can be Asian as well. Here Jess plays a soccer-obsessed teen of Indian heritage who’ll do anything to play her favorite game, and spends most of the movie evading her traditional parents’ watchful eyes. Pic features not just culture clash gags, but genuinely athletic footage and a cameo by the titular hero. (uk, 2002)

girl, interrupted

Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie star in this overly long film based Susanna Kaysen’s memoirs of one year in a psychiatric hospital. After swallowing a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of vodka, Kaysen (played by Ryder) checks herself into a mental institution. Kaysen is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, but many of the underlying themes revolve around perceptions of promiscuity and craziness. Touches of humour keep it from being too melodramatic, and Jolie picked up an Academy Award for her portrayal of an unhinged vixen. Whoopi Goldberg plays the ward nurse, and Vanessa Redgrave has a supporting part as an understanding psychiatrist. You might want to read the book first. [us, 1999]

lost and delirious

This well-acted teenage love story is loosely based on the novel “The Wives of Bath” by Susan Swan. Polly and Tori are best friends, roommates, and lovers in a small girls boarding school. The story is told by their new roommate Mouse, which provides some distance and perspective. As with most young love, and especially lesbian love depicted in the movies, things do not run smoothly-Tori starts dating a boy, and Polly faces her own obsession. Featuring Canadian favorites Grahame Greene as the sage gardener and Jackie Burroughs as the compassionate, but slightly ineffectual headmistress. Also notable for featuring our faves Ani DeFranco and Meshell Ndegйocelloon the soundtrack. [canada, 2001]

me without you

Holly and Marina are lifelong friends who cannot imagine existence without each other from girlish pacts to interest in boys through sharing lovers they are together for better or for worse. This film challenges how women define best friends, what they give and receive in the bargain, and how friendship is often as dark and dangerous as it is fulfilling and supportive. Strong performances by Dawson’s Creek’s Michelle Williams as Holly and by Trudy Styler as Marina’s mother bring emotional depth to a familar coming of age story. Recommended, especially for viewing with childhood friends. [uk, 2002]