Tag Archives: boyhood

Best Coming of Age Films of recent times (10+1list)

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, Coming-of-Age-Filmsgrowing 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

Coming-of-Age-Films

The story of a young boy and his problems of growing up – teen anxiety, miscommunications and an overall sense of confusion.

A superbly fresh and funny coming of age drama directed by Richard Ayoade, and brilliantly acted by Craig Roberts – beautiful visuals, superb music and great story telling.

A much underrated British comedy not to be missed.

9. Sing Street (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_YqJ_aimkM

Coming-of-Age-FilmsDublin,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

Coming-of-Age-Films

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 RockwellSteve CarellToni 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

Coming-of-Age-FilmsA lonely college freshman goes to meet with her adventurous stepsister-to-be and her world changes in a wink.

(Click for Review)

Directed by one of the most acclaimed comedy director of our times Noah Baumbach, and such amazing performances by Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke. A film of great wit and humor.

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5rh7O4IDc0

Coming-of-Age-FilmsA 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

Coming-of-Age-FilmsBeing 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

Coming-of-Age-FilmsWhen 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

Coming-of-Age-FilmsA 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

Coming-of-Age-FilmsLife 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!

Directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, this one is an unexpectedly brilliant comedy with great storytelling and superb performances. And then the presence of Woody Harrelson makes it even more special!

1. The Kings of Summer (2013)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoPPhItyA74

Coming-of-Age-Films

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

Coming-of-Age-Films

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.

(Click for review)

Boyhood is an emotional coming of age film, a daring experiment in the history of Cinema!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

Everybody Wants Some!! review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Philosophical, often hilarious, and otherwise pretty much Dazed and Confused!    

My Ratings: 4/5

Movies generally follow a pattern to create enough drama that eventually leads to a theatrical climax, following a conclusion that ultimately resolves all related confusions whatsoever.

But again, there are a few films that are structured exactly like a piece of life – small day to day incidents and dialogues wrapped with genuine emotions, with surprisingly non dramatic endings, more everybody-wants-some-poster1inclined to portray a realistic overview of life.

Everybody Wants Some!! is one such film, rare and ingenious!

The groovy 80s is the setup – the trendy rock and roll music, the colourful disco lit parties, youth dressed in the-then fashionable outfits, classic hairdos and stylised moustaches; and in the midst of all we have a team of young Texas college baseball jocks enjoying their moments to the fullest!

Essentially though, it’s the story of Jake (Blake Jenner), a surprisingly cool and composed freshman pitcher who steers his way through various new experiences that includes getting along with the other baseball jocks (his frat mates) and also finding love with beautiful Beverly (Zoey Deutch).

Be it BoyhoodSchool of Rock or the “Before” trilogy, when you watch a Richard Linklater movie, you never give enough credit to the actors because they look so natural – it’s like they don’t seem to act at all!

Tyler Hoechlin,  Ryan GuzmanWyatt RussellGlen PowellTemple BakerJ. Quinton JohnsonWill Brittain every one of them have put their best and made their presence felt in the film. 

everybody-wants-some-poster2Overall Everybody Wants Some!! is more focused around the ‘male bonding’ part, where a group of crazy, irresponsible, drunk, high and almost always looking for sex type of  youngsters (highly competitive as well), who share the same space and create new experiences of their own!

Crisp combination of Shane F. Kelly‘s cinematography, period-look costumes by Kari Perkins and Sandra Adair‘s editing gives the film the authenticity and edge it deserves.

A continuation to either Linklater’s previous film Dazed and Confused (1993) or may be even a follow up of Boyhood (2014) – but even as a separate individual film Everybody Wants Some!! has all the right reasons to be on every cinema-lover’s favourite list.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Best of Hollywood 2014

Best of Hollywood 2014 

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Best of Hollywood 2014 – is not at all an easy list to make. 2014 being an awesome year for film-lovers and thanks to Hollywood for giving us such a balanced dose of entertainment; Thrillers, Hollywood-2014SciFis, Comedies, Love stories War Dramas, Horror flicks and lots of Biographies.

But then again, it’s the time to remember the best performances of this year (no foreign language films included in this list), the awesome directorial ventures, those brilliant visuals and mesmerizing background scores – the films that touched your heart, amazed you and made you fall in love with Cinema (all over again).

But first a few honorable mentions (films that almost made the list) – WildInherent ViceThe Hundred-Foot JourneyPrideAmerican SniperCalvaryStill AliceCamp X-RayPredestinationKill the MessengerCake and Mr. Turner

And now the countdown begins.

10. Selma

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

Hollywood-2014

It was 1965 and Martin Luther King leaded the epic march from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama), a nonviolent protest demanding for the right-to-vote for all black men and women in the country.

(Click for the film review)

Such a powerful film evidently backed by some outstanding performances. A must watch.

9. Gone Girl

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGn-xKFZdU

Hollywood-2014

Gone Girl is fast paced film that demands your full attention, a superbly crafted thriller that plunges into the depths of a psychologically twisted marital relationship.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performance by Ben Affleck but the real stunner is Rosamund Pike; she proves to be the perfect cast possible for the ‘gone girl’ character.

Hollywood-2014A dangerously realistic, gritty tale based on the concept of our unconscious satisfaction in watching other people’s loss and tragedy. Thanks to the news channels.

(Click for the film review)

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) – is he a scavenger or a survivor, a psychopath or a potential businessman, a cold-hearted predator or an insane professional?

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk

Hollywood-2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most stylish comedy I have seen in years.

(Click for the film review)

Wes Anderson’s obsession for perfect production design, bold color schemes, faultless framing and as always the cheeky humor brings out an unique creation. Simply wonderful to watch, probably his best work till date.

6. Interstellar

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSWdZVtXT7E

Hollywood-2014

A Sci-Fi starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathway and Jessica Chastain, Interstellar is a film about space and black holes, about dimensions and relativity; and then again it’s also about love and betrayal.

(Click for the film review)

By the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan and undoubtedly one of his best films ever.

5. The Theory of Everything

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Salz7uGp72c

Hollywood-2014

The Theory of Everything tells the emotional story of Stephen Hawking and his then wife Jane Wilde.

(Click for the film review)

Eddie Redmayne this year won the Oscar (in the Best Actor category) playing Stephen Hawking’s character with extraordinary authenticity and brilliance. A must watch.

4. Foxcatcher

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8361stZ8n0w

Hollywood-2014

Foxcatcher is a film that tells the tale of two troubled souls, a multimillionaire and a wrestler, both disturbed and consumed by their own ambition and distorted personal lives.

(Click for the film review)

The film doesn’t fit the mainstream, melodramatic sport-movie pattern but after watching i am sure you will be thankful it didn’t.

3. Whiplash

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d_jQycdQGo

whiplash-poster

The intense story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old aspiring jazz drummer and Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his brutal school music instructor.

(Click for the film review)

Whiplash is a gritty and uncompromising take on ambition and success – it stretches the boundaries of all previous student-mentor relationship based dramas.

2. Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJfLoE6hanc

Hollywood-2014

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and this year’s Oscar winner.

(Click for the film review)

Michael KeatonEdward NortonNaomi WattsZach GalifianakisEmma Stone and all others are magical in front of the camera.

The whole film is edited to look like one continuous shot, a tremendous effort and brilliantly executed.

1. Boyhood

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4

Hollywood 2014

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 this boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who was 7 years old when Richard Linklater started filming and 18 when he finally felt it’s time to wrap up.

(Click for the film review)

Boyhood is something very special, a daring experiment and totally worth it.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Imitation Game

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5CjKEFb-sM

Hollywood 2014

Based on the life of an unsung war-hero, a genius mathematician and a troubled soul who never got the recognition he deserved – Alan Turing.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley The imitation game is one of the best biographies made last year – a perfect combination of history and good cinema.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight – the ultimate Romantic Trilogy.

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight – the ultimate Romantic Trilogy.

written by: Souranath Banerjee.

It was June 16, 1994. On a train traveling from Budapest, a beautiful French girl Celine (Julie Delpy) meets Jesse (Ethan Hawke), a young handsome American traveller and soon enough they fall in love!

They got to spend one evening together in Vienna before Jesse took his flight back home. Celine and Jesse had each other’s company till Before Sunrise. So they decided to walk around the city and talk.

before-sunrise-poster1And this mystical romantic evening shared between Celine and Jesse is known as Before Sunrise, one of the best love stories ever made and the first of Richard Linklater‘s famous “Before” trilogy.

After Before Sunrise (1995) their followed Before Sunset (2004) and then Before Midnight (2013) in exact nine year intervals. 

In Before Sunset Celine and Jesse meet in Paris where they re-connect with each other and take a positive decision over their feelings.

And the third installment Before Midnight happens in Greece which portrays the sweet-bitter consequences that eventually follows each and every love story.

The extraordinary chemistry between Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke gets more and more enticing in each of these sequels.

It is interesting to note that on the two sequels, the director and both the lead actors have received equal screenwriting credits!

Richard Linklater, the master of experimental film making (Boyhood being another one of his ingenious projects recently released) has shot the two characters Celine and Jesse over a period of two decades to capture their evolving maturity as they age.

I guess François Truffaut was the only other director who followed a particular screen character named Antoine Doinel for a stretch of five films and over a period of 20 years. It was played by Jean-Pierre Léaud and the five films are collectively called ‘The adventures of Antoine Doinel’.

Coming back to the ‘Before’ trilogy, in all the three films the performance level of the two lead actors are simply outstanding.

In the words of the director himself ‘It’s a tribute to Ethan and Julie how well rehearsed and what good actors they are. It’s the kind of acting they don’t really give awards to because people accept it as real. It’s kind of like the apes at the  beginning of 2001 – they didn’t win best costume because they thought they were real. People think we just turn on a camera and we catch these dialogues.

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight – these films are not so called ‘mainstream’ cinema; they neither have loud comic sequences or CG dream worlds as backdrops, nor they have any eye-popping sex scenes to look forward.

And yet these films are the most critically acclaimed love stories of our times. A must watch for people who appreciate true love.

If St.Valentine was alive i bet the ‘Before’ trilogy would definitely be among his top ten list!

Boyhood (2014)

My Ratings: 4.5/5.

Boyhood is something very special.

Ok, what happens if you follow around a boy (and his family) with your camera for 12 years and then edit the best of your footage and make a film out of it?

What happens is Boyhood!

It’s a preplanned, well-scripted film shot over 45 days during a period of 12 years (2002 -2013). Wow!

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 this boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who was 7 years old when Richard Linklater (director) started filming and 18 when he finally felt it’s time to wrap up.

A unique experiment on celluloid, though Linklater said himself that if the audience see this merely as an experiment then he has failed at his task.

And believe me Richard Linklater is probably more successful with Boyhood than in any of his previous works which includes some beautiful films like Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Bernie and of course not to forget his ‘before’ series – Before sunrise, Before sunset and the very recent Before Midnight.

And like most of his brilliant films Boyhood also doesn’t have a definite start-middle-end to it; it’s like inviting the audience to relish the voyeuristic pleasure of watching somebody’s life passing by.

Amazing natural performances and such realistic dialogues, an over-simplified storyline and that’s probably the magic of this film’s popularity.

A string of somewhat insignificant events that eventually makes an impression in our minds, the casual talks with friends and family; may be it’s bowling game with your dad or some heated conversation with your mom – after all these little memories are what we are left with in our lives.

And Boyhood is full of life.

Ellar Coltrane plays Mason (the boy), Lorelei Linklater (Richard Linklater’s daughter playing the sister), Patricia Arquette (the mom) and who else but Ethan Hawke (the dad).

Each one of these actors deserves applaud and honors for playing their parts with such conviction and for being in their characters for over such a long period of time.

It was also decided that if Richard Linklater would die during this period of 12 years, Ethan Hawke would take over the directorial duties; just a precautionary measure I guess!

Beautifully edited by Sandra Adair, Boyhood is a must watch for all you film lovers who patiently waited for it.

A wait too long but it’s worth it.