Best Coming-of-Age Films of recent times
written by Souranath Banerjee
Coming of Age Films – the stories relating to the mysterious leap of the protagonist from their childhood/youth to the adulthood, growing up not only in height/weight but also in maturity.
The coming of age genre has become pretty popular for some time now. Many acclaimed film directors have taken up the challenge of portraying their lead-characters as confused or ill-tempered juveniles who as the film progresses get rid of their ‘teenage miseries’ and finally opens up to life and owns it!
Most of the films in this list are based on such young rebellious minds who struggle to survive the typical awkwardness and embarrassments of adolescence.
And so, let the young minds bloom!
10. Submarine (2010)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CAntLzsQ74
The story of a young boy and his problems of growing up – teen anxiety, miscommunications and an overall sense of confusion.
A much underrated British comedy not to be missed.
9. Sing Street (2015)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_YqJ_aimkM
Dublin,1980s – a young boy starts a band to impress a girl he fancies, but soon the band takes off pretty well but does he finally get the girl?
Directed by John Carney, this is a unique story of artistic awakening, of young love, of bonding, friendship and some unavoidable suffering as well.
A funny musical coming of age film that will make you emotional as well.
8. The Way Way Back (2013)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwNo1i3jkCo
Starting new relations is not so easy especially if you are a shy teenager, but then you realize that making friends is not that difficult after all.
Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, starring Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Liam James this one is a brilliant story of a young mind – his equations with his mother, his new step dad and his belief in love and friendship. A remarkably smooth, crisp and highly entertaining film to consider.
7. Mistress America (2015)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z8MCW16uZY
A lonely college freshman goes to meet with her adventurous stepsister-to-be and her world changes in a wink.
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5rh7O4IDc0
A freshman in college gets to bond with a few seniors, they hang out, they enjoy their young lives – but it’s not as simple a plot as it seems.
Directed by Stephen Chbosky, although pleasantly funny, the film deals with some very serious topics like drug, alcohol and sexuality.
Rare but in this case the film is as good as the book written by the director himself. Specially recommended for Emma Watson fans.
5. Dope (2015)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L41xwM8tIRQ
Being a geek in a tough neighborhood, life is not easy for young Malcolm. But then everything will change since he (along with his friends) get a chance invitation to a big underground party – an adventure of a lifetime and also the moment for him to prove himself a dope!
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, this is a cool coming of age comedy, believable acting and full of fun.
4. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eOI3AamSm8
When two young souls deeply in love decide to explore the world on their own! But then again, the film is also about the reactions of all the other characters surrounding them!
Uniquely stylized as expected from master director Wes Anderson, a classic tale of young love and it’s consequences full of dry comedy and wit. Storytelling at its absolute best!
3. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qfmAllbYC8
A film where a character has cancer generally takes a sad route but not this one. It’s the story of a young teenager who is forced to befriend a girl who has leukemia but then they have a super cool time together!
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, this film is amazingly quirky and innovative specially in its execution. It often takes on pretty serious matters but always with enough humor and laughter.
2. The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB6Gecy6IP8
Life never really seems fair to a young confused high school junior (Hailee Steinfeld) but then it becomes miserable when her best friend starts dating her ever-impressive older brother!
1. The Kings of Summer (2013)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoPPhItyA74
A group of teenagers plan to build a house in the midst of the forest and live out there, entirely cut off from the civilization – their idea of complete independence!
But soon their friendship is to be tested in a way they have never imagined.
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, a superb story that elegantly binds the characters with each other and with nature as well.
and (The ‘+1’ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most crazy one. A must watch).
+1. Boyhood (2014)
film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4
A film so real and shot through such an unreal time-span that it gives you the feel of being a part of the journey with Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who was a 7 year old boy when Richard Linklater started filming and 18 when he finally the film was wrapped up.
Boyhood is an emotional coming of age film, a daring experiment in the history of Cinema!