December 18, 2022

 

 

 

 

Coming of Age Movies

Here you will find some of the best Coming of Age movies ever produced. We are ever growing this list of movies, but also desire to keep it succinct in its length. Coming of age movies are those movies which show growth and struggle. Rocky instantly comes to mind as an amazing coming of age movie in that we begin with a 1/2 rate boxer who has a heart of gold and a desire to win, but not enough focus to move beyond his current arena of life. Then there is Good Will Hunting where again there is an individual with untapped talents who learns that the past does not define the future unless you allow it to.

We hope you find a movie that you may not have seen before, or a classic that can be watched over and over again.

The List of Coming of Age Movies

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Romeo and Juliette
The Joy Luck Club
Wuthering Heights
Rocky
Good Will Hunting
The Breakfast Club
The Karate Kid

Stand By Me
The Outsiders
Almost Famous
The Truman Show
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
The War
Billy Elliot
Dead Poets Society
Mona Lisa Smile
Menace II Society

 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Director(s):
Elia Kazan
Writer(s):Frank Davis, Tess Slesinger
Producer(s):Louis D. Lighton
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG(Child Classic)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Awards:
1945 – Film Daily – 10 Best Films
1945 – New York Times – 10 Best Films

 

When a book becomes an all time favorite, it can be hard to find a film that does it justice. This 1945 version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn does not disappoint. In fact it completely rises to the occasion and stays true to the story. The American actress Dorothy McGuire captures the hard but sincere nature of Katie Nolan, and Peggy Ann Garner, child actress at the time, personifies the determined, wise and inquiring nature of Francie Nolan, and makes very believable Francie’s coming of age in, at times, extreme poverty. The set in the movie matches the description told in the book. It is so well done, after the first few moments of watching I long forgot it was in black and white.

 

Brief Description of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

James Dunn won an Academy Award for his performance in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Based on the best-selling novel by Betty Smith, the film tells of the woes of a turn-of-the-century Brooklyn family. The father is a likable but an irresponsible alcoholic whose dreams of bettering his family’s lot are invariably doomed to failure. The mother, Dorothy McGuire, is the true leader, holding the family together no matter the crisis. The coming of age movie is told from the of view of the daughter , a clever realist who would like to believe in her father.

Cast of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Dorothy McGuire – Katie Nolan
James Dunn – Johnny Nolan
Peggy Ann Garner – Francie Nolan
James Gleason – McGarrity
John Alexander – Steve Edwards
Ferike Boros – Grandma Rommely
Adeline Reynolds – Mrs. Waters
Mae Marsh – Tynmore sister
Susan Lester – Flossie Gaddis
Lillian Bronson – Librarian
Charles Halton – Mr. Barker
Joseph J. Greene – Hassler
Harry Harvey, Jr. – Herschel Knutson
Art Smith – Charley the iceman
George Meader – Principal of Schools
Martha Wentworth – Mother
Peter Cusanelli – Barber
Robert Malcolm – Doctor
Joyce Tucker – Girl
Teddy Infur – Boy
Harry Seymour – Floorwalker
Joan Blondell – Aunt Sissy
Lloyd Nolan – Officer McShane
Ted Donaldson – Neeley Nolan
Ruth Nelson – Miss McDonough
B.S. Pully – Christmas Tree Vendor
John Farrell MacDonald – Carney the junkman
George Melford – Mr. Spencer
Vincent Graeff – Henny Gaddis
John Berkes – Mr. Crackenbox
Alec Craig – Werner the butcher
Al Bridge – Cheap Charlie
Virginia Brissac – Miss Tilford
Bob Anderson – Augie
Norman Field – Principal of School
Erskine Sanford – Undertaker
Francis Pierlot – Priest
Mickey Kuhn – Boy
Constance Purdy – Woman
Robert Strange – Doctor
Nicholas Ray – Bakery Clerk
Al Eben – Union Representative


 

 

Romeo and Juliette (1968)

Rome and Juliette
Director(s):
Franco Zeffirelli
Writer(s):Masolino D’Amico, Franco Zeffirelli, Franco Brusati
Producer(s):Anthony Havelock-Allan, Lord John Brabourne
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG(Mild Violence, Suitable for Teens, Adult Situations)
Categories:Romance

Romeo and Juliet Awards:
1968 – Golden Globe – Best Foreign Film – English Language
1968 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Foreign Film – English Language
1968 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – New Star of the Year – Female
1968 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – New Star of the Year – Male
1968 – National Board of Review – Best Director

One of the best presentations of the Shakespearean coming_of_ age love story between two teens caught up in a family feud that makes their relationship forbidden. The setting of Verona Italy late 16th century is true to the play. The acting is exceptional. To this day, Olivia Hussey is -the Juliette- of all time; whenever envisioning Juliette, it’s her face I see. The British stage actor John McEnery plays a humorous but intense Mercutio (my favorite character). If you’re in the mood for a love story with the unstoppable passion of youth then this is definitely a movie you want to watch.

 

Brief Description of Romeo and Juliet

Seventeen-year-old Leonard Whiting plays Romeo, with 15-year-old Olivia Hussey as Juliet. The youthfulness and inexperience of the leading players works beautifully in the more passionate sequences (some of these breaking further ground by being played in the nude). Among the younger players are Michael York as Tybalt and John McEnery as Mercutio. The duel between Romeo and Tybalt starts out as a harmless, frat-boy exchange of insults, then escalates into tragedy before any of the participants are fully aware of what has happened. Photographed by Pasqualino DeSantis on various locations in Italy, Romeo and Juliet was one of the most profitable film adaptations of Shakespeare ever produced. Its most lasting legacy is its popular main theme music, composed by Nino Rota.

Cast of Romeo and Juliet

Olivia Hussey – Juliet
Milo O’Shea – Friar Laurence
John McEnery – Mercutio
Natasha Parry – Lady Capulet
Keith Skinner – Balthazar
Dyson Lovell – Sampson
Bruce Robinson – Benvolio
Antonio Pierfederici – Lord Montague
Roberto Bisacco – Count Paris
Aldo Miranda – Friar John
Murray Head – The Chorus
Leonard Whiting – Romeo
Michael York – Tybalt
Pat Heywood – The Nurse
Robert Stephens – Prince Of Verona
Richard Warwick – Gregory
Ugo Barbone – Abraham
Paul Hardwick – Lord Capulet
Esmeralda Ruspoli – Lady Montague
Roy Holder – Peter
Dario Tanzini – Page to Tybalt
Laurence Olivier – Narrator of Prologue


 

 

The Joy Luck Club (1993)

The Joy Luck Club
Director(s)
:Wayne Wang
Writer(s):Amy Tan, Ronald Bass
Producer(s):A. Tan, Ralph Bass, Amy Tan
Theatrical MPAA Rating: R(Adult Situations, Not For Children, Questionable for Children)

An excellent representation of Amy Tan’s book. The Joy Luck club follows the mysterious and turbulent lives of four women, of Chinese heritage, and their daughters. The movie centers on the interacting stories between the mothers and daughters. The mothers’ determination for their daughters to assimilate into a new society but still respect the old traditions and customs of the homeland, creates confusion and conflict in the mother/daughter relationship. The acting is superbly done, capturing the essence of each character in the book. Actress Ming-Na becomes the struggling character of Jing-Mei as she faces the death of her mother and comes to grip with the issues that divided them. When reading the book a second time after watching the movie it was Ming-Na’s face I pictured as the narrator. This movie will be well loved by Amy Tan fans for the "true to the book" acting and scenery. A few of the smaller stories and lessons are lost from the book, but the main theme is captured.

 

Brief Description of The Joy Luck Club

Effectively interweaving sixteen mother-daughter tales in their silken film version of Amy Tan’s best-selling novel about the clash between generations. This coming of age movie takes place in present-day San Francisco, focusing on a group of late-middle-aged Chinese women. Since arriving in the United States after World War II, the women have met often to play mah-jongg and to tell stories. The Joy Luck Club is made up of four women — Suyuan , Lindo , Ying Ying , and An Mei . But when Suyuan dies, the three surviving members invite Suyuan’s daughter June (Ming-Na Wen) to take her place. Along with the daughters of the other members — Waverly (Tamlyn Tomita), Lena (Lauren Tom), and Rose (Rosalind Chao) — June is a Chinese-American with only a passing interest in her rich cultural heritage. But through vignettes that switch back and forth in time, the daughters begin to appreciate the struggles of their mothers to start their families in the optimistic promise of the United States.

Cast of The Joy Luck Club

Tsai Chin – Lindo
Lisa Lu – An Mei
Rosalind Chao – Rose
Lauren Tom – Lena
Michael Paul Chan – Harold
Christopher Rich – Rich
Vivian Wu – An Mei’s Mother
Diane Baker – Mrs. Jordan
Lisa Connolly – Singing Girl
Victor Wong – Old Chong
Risa Bramon Garcia
Chao Li Chi – June’s Father
Elizabeth Sung – 2nd Wife
Kieu Chinh – Suyuan
France Nuyen – Ying Ying
Tamlyn Tomita – Waverly
Ming-Na Wen – June
Andrew McCarthy – Ted
Russell Wong – Lin Xiao
Jack Ford – Mr. Jordan
Kim Chew – Mrs. Chew
Lucille Soong – Popo
Irene Ng – Lindo–Age 15
Philip Moon – Ken
Heidi Levitt
Nicholas Guest – Hairdresser


 

Wuthering Heights (1992)

Wuthering Heights
Director(s):
Peter Kosminsky
Writer(s):
Anne Devlin
Producer(s):Simon Bosanquet, Mary Selway
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG(Violence, Mild Language, Adult Situations)
Categories:Romance

There are many movies representing Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, but for those of us who are die hard book fans the one that reigns supreme is Peter Kosminsky’s 1992 version starring Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes. Coming of age on the moors in England, Heathcliff and Cathy are foster brother and sister that hold a bond far deeper than sister and brother. Societal customs of class and position confuse and discourage the growing children until eventually a dark divide threatens their friendship and eventually their lives. The setting in this movie is stunning and comes straight from the pages of the book. Ralph Fiennes portrays perfectly the dark, stormy nature of Heathcliff only to rival Juliette Binoche in her perfect representation as Cathy, young and old. Nothing seems to be forgotten by director Kosminsky, only a more eerie supernatural essence that adds to the overall presentation of the movie. A must see for those who love a passionate coming of age romance!

 

Brief Description of Wuthering Heights

Ralph Fiennes plays the role of Heathcliff, a wanderer who was adopted by the father of Cathy. Heathcliffe is looked down upon by his stepbrothers and becomes a servant. He is further crushed when Cathy, the love of his life, marries another man. Heathcliffe disappears for quite some time, but returns, to revenge and finalize a hatred for Cathy’s family the only thing on his mind.

Cast of Wuthering Heights

Juliette Binoche – Catherine Earnshaw
Janet McTeer – Ellen Dean
Simon Shepherd – Edgar Linton
Jeremy Northam – Hindley Earnshaw
John Woodvine – Mr. Earnshaw
Sinéad O’Connor – Emily Bronte
Robert Demeger – Joseph
Ralph Fiennes – Heathcliff
Sophie Ward – Isabella Linton
Simon Ward – Mr. Linton
Paul Geoffrey – Mr. Lockwood
Trevor Cooper – Dr. Kenneth
Jennifer Daniel – Mrs Linton
Dick Sullivan – Parson


 

 

Rocky (1976)

Rocky
Director(s):
John G. Avildsen
Writer(s):Sylvester Stallone
Producer(s):Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG(Violence, Suitable for Teens, Adult Situations)
Rocky Awards:
1998 – American Film Institute – 100 Greatest American Movies
1976 – Directors Guild of America – Best Director
1976 – Golden Globe – Best Picture – Drama
1976 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Picture – Drama
1976 – Los Angeles Film Critics Association – Best Picture
1976 – National Board of Review – Best Supporting Actress
1976 – New York Film Critics Circle – Best Supporting Actress

 

Even as a child, watching rocky for the first time, I was amazed. It was as if this movie was made for me. Rough, tough, not the smartest, but kind and with a good heart. I remember in Rocky 2 when he decides to stop fighting and Adrian wakes from a coma and tells him to win… I remember this as one of the most amazing movie moments ever.

 

Brief Description of Rocky

Rocky Balboa, a boxer, is one step removed from bum. A once-promising fighter, he’s taking any bouts and running strongarm for a loan shark. Even his supportive trainer, Mickey , has given up on Rocky. All this changes thanks to boxer Apollo Creed . With the Bicentennial celebration coming up, Creed must find a "Cinderella" opponent for the big July 4th bout, some unknown.

Cast of Rocky

Sylvester Stallone – Rocky Balboa
Burt Young – Paulie
Burgess Meredith – Mickey
Joe Spinell – Gazzo
Kathleen Parker – Paulie’s Date
Stan Shaw – Dipper
Diana Lewis – TV Commentator
George Memmoli – Ice Rink Attendant
Don Sherman – Bartender
Jane Marla Robbins – Gloria, Pet Shop Owner
Lou Filippo – Championship Fight Announcer
Bill Baldwin – Fight Announcer
Lloyd Kaufman – Drunk
Frank Stallone – A Street Corner Singer
George O’Hanlon – TV Commentator
James Gambina – Mike


 

 

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Good Will Hunting
Director(s):
Gus Van Sant
Writer(s):Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
Producer(s):Lawrence Bender
Theatrical MPAA Rating: R(Adult Situations, Profanity, Questionable for Children, Watch With Your Teen)
Good Will Hunting Awards:
1998 – Berlin International Film Festival – Silver Bear for Outstanding Individual Performance
1997 – Broadcast Film Critics Association – Best Original Screenplay
1997 – Broadcast Film Critics Association – Breakthrough Performer
1997 – Broadcast Film Critics Association – Best Original Screenplay
1997 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Screenplay
1997 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Screenplay
1997 – National Board of Review – Special Achievement
1997 – National Board of Review – Special Achievement
1997 – Screen Actors Guild – Best Supporting Actor

I swear I’ve seen this movie a hundred times.  So inspired by it was I that I actually switched my major to mathematics… for about 2 semesters.  Then I realized I wasn’t mathematically inclined, or at least not to the level that Matt Damon’s character was. 

 

Basically the movie is about a kid who grows up in a rough part of Boston and deals with it as best he can.  When we enter his life he is working a janitor job at MIT and living on the outskirts of some of the brightest minds the college has to offer. 

 

So after solving a major math problem for everyone to see, a professor becomes interested in what this kid can do and kind of takes him under his wing in hopes of giving him some direction, other than bricklaying.  But the trauma that this kid has experienced in his life keeps him distant and constantly on guard and it’s not until Robin William’s character comes in and starts peeling back the layers and helping him come of age as a person whose destiny is much larger than he could have imagined, that we see a brighter side of his life.

 

To me, this is a definitive coming of age movie in that there is emotional growth, help and guidance from others, who actually care, and a story that at times gets me choked up.

 

Brief Description of Good Will Hunting

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck co-scripted and star in this coming of age movie, which takes place in Boston. This is a story about a rebellious 20-year-old janitor Will Hunting who is gifted with a photographic memory, hangs out with his South Boston bar buddies, his best friend Chuckie , and his affluent girlfriend Skylar After MIT professor Lambeau stumps his students with a diffucult math formula , Will provides the correct solution, stimulating Prof. Lambeau to find the elusive young genius. As Will’s troubles with the police continue, Prof. Lambeau offers to help out, but with two conditions, visit a therapist and weekly math sessions.

Cast of Good Will Hunting

Matt Damon – Will Hunting
Ben Affleck – Chuckie
Stellan Skarsgård – Lambeau
Cole Hauser – Billy
Robin Williams – Sean McGuire
Minnie Driver – Skylar
Casey Affleck – Morgan
George Plimpton – Dr. Henry Lipkin


 

 

The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club
Director(s):
John Hughes
Writer(s):John Hughes
Producer(s):Ned Tanen, John Hughes, Dale Pollock
Theatrical MPAA Rating: R(Not For Children, Adult Humor, Suitable for Teens, Youth Substance Use, Profanity, Adult Situations)

“Smoke up Johnny” about sums up this movie to me.  What’s interesting, in terms of a coming of age movie, is the fact that we only experience a single day in these kids life, but the setting, dialogue, and characters rang true enough that I felt, even after the first couple of minutes watching, that I had some understanding of these kids. 

 

So who am I… the jock, the stoner, the nerd?  Who are we all?  I think a part of each of them is in all of us, sometimes feeling awkward, sometimes desiring to be left alone, and at other times reaching out in desperation for help from a caring hand.

 

Is it safe to say that the students represented in this movie are archetypes that still exist today?  I think so, just take out the internet and there you have it.  Which brings up a good question, how have these archetypes changed since the introduction of the internet?

 

A great movie about the trying times of high school for kids, but it also shows that there can be a bonding between clicks and I loved the soundtrack.

 

Brief Description of The Breakfast Club

John Hughes wrote and directed this 1980s high school drama showcasing the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped in a day-long Saturday detention in a prison-like school library are Claire, the princess , Andrew, John, Brian, and Allison, the basket case. These strangers begin the day with nothing in common, each to his/her place in the high school caste system. But the students bond together when faced with the mean principal , and they soon find out that they have more in common than they may think, including a hatred for adults. The Breakfast Club had a following to this day, as a great look at 80’s coming of age in high school..

Cast of The Breakfast Club

Emilio Estevez – Andrew Clark
Molly Ringwald – Claire Standish
Ally Sheedy – Allison Reynolds
John Kapelos – Carl
Perry Crawford – Allison’s Father
Maureen McGovern
Tim Gamble – Claire’s Father
Mercedes Hall – Brian’s Mother


 

 

The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid
Director(s)
:John G. Avildsen
Writer(s):Robert Mark Kamen
Producer(s):Jerry Weintraub
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG(Suitable for Teens, Mild Violence, Watch With Your Kids)
Categories:Family & Kids

Who can forget the crane kick, a deadly move that set the Cobra Kai back years.  When Daniel-son and his mom moved into a shabby apartment complex, he would never have guessed how much his life was about to change. 

 

The story is like any coming of age story, a person gets put into a tough situation and works their way out of it, with the help of others, all the while learning valuable life lessons and growing as a person.

 

What I especially like about the karate kid is the setting with which the growing takes place.  I’ve always appreciated martial arts and desperately hoped to find a master the likes of Mr. Miyagi; an old man who at first appearance seems harmless, but get him going and he will unleash a fury of fists upon those who would seek to cause him harm.  I still remember the wax on and wax off scene as Mr. Miyagi heads into the house, leaving Daniel-son to do the ridiculous job of waxing all the cars that Mr. Miyagi owns, but after much disgruntled work Daniel-son comes to realize that lessons and movements were being embedded all the while.

 

One of the most important things that I think this movie shows is a need for patience and practice, two things I hated as a child, and still wrestle with today, as an adult.

 

Brief Description of The Karate Kid

Newly arrived in California from New Jersey, teenager Daniel (Ralph Macchio) almost immediately runs afoul of karate-trained high school bullies. He is rescued by Japanese janitor Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), who agrees to teach Daniel how to harness karate for good instead of brutality. The film culminates in a championship karate bout, pitting Daniel against his sworn enemy Johnny (William Zabka) — the cruel and thuggish boyfriend of Ali (Elisabeth Shue), with whom Daniel has fallen in love (and vice versa). Real-life karate champ Chuck Norris was offered the role of Kreese, the sadistic coach who goads Johnny into fighting dirty, but Norris turned down the role, refusing to be shown utilizing his skills negatively onscreen. Vastly popular, The Karate Kid spawned three sequels of rapidly descending merit, as well as a Saturday-morning cartoon series.

Cast of The Karate Kid

Ralph Macchio – Daniel
Elisabeth Shue – Ali
Randee Heller – Lucille
Ron Thomas – Bobby
Bruce Malmuth – Ring Announcer
Pat E. Johnson – Referee
Chad McQueen – Dutch
Scott Strader – Eddie
Molly Basler – Cheerleading Coach
David de Lange – Waiter
Todd Lookinland – Chicken Boy
Frank Burt Avalon – Chucky
William H. Bassett – Mr. Mills
Jeff Fishman – Billy
Juli Fields – Susan
Joan Lemmo – Restaurant Manager
Israel Juarbe – Freddy


 

 

Stand By Me (1986)

Stand By Me
Director(s)
:Rob Reiner
Writer(s):Ray Gideon, Bruce A. Evans
Producer(s):Bruce A. Evans, Ray Gideon, Andrew Scheinman
Theatrical MPAA Rating: R(Mild Violence, Profanity, Questionable for Children, Suitable for Teens)

 

Brief Description of Stand by Me

After the Stephen King story The Body, Rob Reiner’s coming of age movie is set in Castle Rock, OR. Four friends set out in search of a dead body that one of the boys overhears his brother talking about. The friends consists of smart kid, a born leader, an emotionally tramatic kid, and a fat kid. Their adventures en route to the elusive body are colored by the personal pressures brought to bear on all of them by the adult world.

 

Cast of Stand by Me

Wil Wheaton – Gordie Lachance
Corey Feldman – Teddy Duchamp
Richard Dreyfuss – The Writer
Lee McCain – Mrs. Lachance
Jason Oliver – Vince Desjardins
Jason Naylor – His Friend
Marshall Bell – Mr. Lachance
Charlie Owens – Lardass Hecklers
Gary Riley – Charlie Hogan
Geanette Bobst – Mayor’s Wife
Bruce Kirby – Mr. Quidacioluo
Popeye – Chopper
Scott Beach – Mayor Grundy
Scott Korey Pollard – Moke
Madeleine Swift – Waitress
O.B. Babbs – Lardass Heckler #1
River Phoenix – Chris Chambers
Jerry O’Connell – Vern Tessio
Kiefer Sutherland – Ace Merrill
Kent Lutrell – Ray Brower
Dick Durock – Bill Travis
Andy Lindberg – Lardass Hogan
Matt Williams – Bob Cormier
William Bronder – Milo Pressman
Casey Siemaszko – Billy Tessio
Art Burke – Principal Wiggins
Susan Thorpe – Fat Lady
Bradley Gregg – Eyeball Chambers
John Cusack – Denny Lachance
Rick Elliott – Jack Mudgett
Ken Hodges – Donelley Twin
Chance Quinn – Gordon’s Son


 

 

The Outsiders (1983)

The Outsiders
Director(s):
Francis Ford Coppola
Writer(s):Kathleen Knutsen Rowell, Francis Ford Coppola
Producer(s):Fred Roos, Francis Ford Coppola, Gray Fredrickson
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG(Adult Language, Suitable for Teens, Violence)

 

Brief Description of The Outsiders

. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Outsiders tells the story of the ongoing conflict between the Greasers and the Socs in rural Oklahoma. Ponyboy, the youngest of three orphaned boys who pal around with the local hoods known as the Greasers. When Ponyboy and his friend get into a deadly confrontation one night, the two go on the run from the cops, and they grow up quickly and soon realize the insignificance of their petty posturing. Matt Dillon stars as theleader of their group and Patrick Swayze is Ponyboy’s brother. This coming of age movie shows what it is like to be on the wrong side of the tracks, from the beginning.

 

Cast of The Outsiders

C. Thomas Howell – Ponyboy Curtis
Ralph Macchio – Johnny Cade
Rob Lowe – Sodapop Curtis
Diane Lane – Cherry Valance
Leif Garrett – Bob Sheldon
Darren Dalton – Randy Anderson
Gailard Sartain – Jerry
William Smith – Store Clerk
John Meier – Paul
Ed Jackson
Matt Dillon – Dallas Winston
Patrick Swayze – Darrel Curtis
Emilio Estevez – Two-Bit Matthews
Tom Cruise – Steve Randale
Glenn Withrow – Tim Shephard
Michelle Meyrink – Marcia
Tom Waits – Buck Merrill
S.E. Hinton – The Nurse
Janet Hirshenson
Sofia Coppola


 

Almost Famous (2000)

 

Almost Famous
Director(s):
Cameron Crowe
Writer(s):Cameron Crowe
Producer(s):Cameron Crowe, Ian Bryce
Theatrical MPAA Rating: R(Adult Situations, Watch With Your Teen, Drug Content, Adult Language)
Almost Famous Awards:
2000 – American Film Institute – AFI’s Top 10 Films of the Year
2000 – British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Best Original Screenplay
2000 – British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Best Sound
2000 – Broadcast Film Critics Association – Best Supporting Actress
2000 – Broadcast Film Critics Association – Breakthrough Performer
2000 – Broadcast Film Critics Association – Best Original Screenplay
2000 – Chicago Film Critics Association – Best Picture
2000 – Chicago Film Critics Association – Best Supporting Actress
2000 – Chicago Film Critics Association – Best Screenplay
2000 – Chicago Film Critics Association – Most Promising Actor
2000 – Golden Globe – Best Picture – Musical or Comedy
2000 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
2000 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Picture – Musical or Comedy
2000 – Los Angeles Film Critics Association – Best Supporting Actress

 

Brief Description of Almost Famous

Camerom Crowe’s real life inspired this coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old boy hitting the road with an up-and-coming rock band in the early 1970s. Elaine Miller is a fun, loving, but strict single parent whose distrust of rock music and fears about drug use have helped to drive a wedge between herself and her two children, Anita and William . Anita rebels by dropping out of school and becoming a stewardess, but William makes something of his love of rock & roll by writing album reviews for a local underground newspaper. William’s work attracts the attention of Lester Bangs, editor of renegade rock magazine, who takes William under his wing and gives him his first professional writing assignment. While William is unable to score an interview with the headliners, the opening act, Stillwater, are more than happy to chat with a reporter, even if he’s still too young to drive, and William’s piece on the group gains him a new admirer in Ben Fong-Torres, an editor at Rolling Stone. Torres offers William an assignment for a 3,000-word cover story on Stillwater, and over the objections of his mother, Williams joins Stillwater, where he becomes friends with guitarist Russell Hammond. William also becomes enamored of Penny Lane, a groupie with the band who is no older than William, but is deeply involved with Russell. Almost Famous’ original score was composed by Nancy Wilson of Heart (who is also Crowe’s wife).

 

Cast of Almost Famous

Patrick Fugit – William Miller
Frances McDormand – Elaine Miller
Jason Lee – Jeff Bebe
Zooey Deschanel – Anita Miller
Fairuza Balk – Sapphire
John Fedevich – Ed Vallencourt
Eion Bailey – Jann Wenner
Jimmy Fallon – Dennis Hope
Jay Baruchel – Vic Munoz
Michael Angarano – Young William Miller
Billy Crudup – Russell Hammond
Kate Hudson – Penny Lane
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Lester Bangs
Anna Paquin – Polexia Aphrodisia
Noah Taylor – Dick Roswell
Bijou Phillips – Estrella Starr
Terry Chen – Ben Fong-Torres
Daniel Wilson – Journalism Teacher
John Patrick Amedori – Himself


 

 

The Truman Show (1998)

 

The Truman Show
Director(s):
Peter Weir
Writer(s):Andrew Niccol
Producer(s):Ed Feldman, Andrew Niccol, Adam Schroeder
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG(Adult Situations, Questionable for Children, Adult Humor)
The Truman Show Awards:
1998 – Chicago Film Critics Association – Best Original Score
1998 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Actor in a Drama
1998 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Original Score
1998 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
1998 – Los Angeles Film Critics Association – Best Production Design (Runner-up)
1998 – National Board of Review – Best Supporting Actor

Brief Description of The Truman Show

Truman Burbank is unaware that his entire life is a hugely popular 24-hour-a-day TV series. In this real-time documentary, every moment of Truman’s existence is captured by concealed cameras and telecast to a giant global audience. His friends and family are actors who smile pleasantly at Truman’s familiar catchphrase greeting, "In case I don’t see you later, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!" Employed at an insurance company, Truman is married to merry Meryl , and they live in the cheerful community of Seahaven, an island "paradise" where the weather is always mild and no unpleasantness intrudes. This is the basic situation of the series, which has grown over the years into a billion-dollar franchise for the TV network. As an unwanted pregnancy, Truman was adopted by the network and raised in the zoolike environment of a TV soundstage. Thus, the TV audience became hooked when Truman was very young. Now, at age 30, he still doesn’t know he’s a prisoner on an immense domed city-size soundstage, simulating Seahaven. Both the illusion and the ratings will collapse if Truman ever leaves Seahaven. In addition to elaborate events staged to make sure he stays put, Truman is given constant reminders of how wonderful Seahaven is compared to dangers in other parts of the world. However, his growing suspicions make him curious enough to try to leave, and the show’s director and master manipulator Christof must constantly devise ways to thwart Truman’s escape attempts. To enter the harbor, Truman must overcome his fear of water, intentionally instilled in him when his father "died" in a boating accident and was written out of the script.

Cast of The Truman Show

Jim Carrey – Truman Burbank
Ed Harris – Christof
Natascha McElhone – Lauren/Sylvia
Brian Delate – Truman’s Father
Paul Giamatti – Control Room Director
Peter Krause – Lawrence
Heidi Schanz – Vivien
Laura Linney – Meryl
Noah Emmerich – Marlon
Holland Taylor – Truman’s Mother
Una Damon – Chloe
Philip Baker Hall – Network Executive
John Pleshette – Network Executive
Blair Slater – Young Truman


What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Director(s):
Lasse Hallström
Writer(s):Peter Hedges
Producer(s):Meir Teper, Bertil Ohlsson, David Matalon
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG13(Adult Situations, Questionable for Children, Sexual Situations)
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape Awards:
1992 – Los Angeles Film Critics Association – New Generation Award
1993 – National Board of Review – Best Supporting Actor
1993 – National Society of Film Critics – Best Supporting Actor (Runner-up)

Brief Description of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom’s follow-up to the underrated Once Around earned far more attention than its predecessor thanks to the judicious casting of perennial thinking woman’s heartthrob Johnny Depp and a certain up-and-coming thespian by the name of Leonardo DiCaprio. A prisoner of his dysfunctional family’s broken dreams in tiny Endora, IA, Gilbert (Depp) serves as breadwinner and caretaker for his mother and siblings following his father’s suicide and his older brother’s defection. Momma (Darlene Cates) is a morbidly obese shut-in who hasn’t left the house in seven years; her children include retarded Arnie (DiCaprio), who’s about to turn 18 despite a host of negative medical forecasts, and terminally embarrassed Ellen (Mary Kate Schellhardt), who’s emerging from an awkward adolescence. When he’s not taking care of the difficult but tender Arnie, Gilbert spends his time fixing up the family’s tattered farmhouse, working at a failing mom-and-pop grocery store and hanging with local misfits Bobby (Crispin Glover), an overly ambitious junior undertaker, and Tucker (John C. Reilly), a handyman who hankers after a job at the new burger franchise. Into this complicated but essentially unchanging social universe steps Becky (Juliette Lewis), a thoughtful young woman who’s been escorting her nomadic grandmother from state to state in a mobile-home caravan. As Becky teaches Gilbert to finally consider his own happiness for a change, she disrupts both his family obligations and his long-running affair with a lonely housewife (Mary Steenburgen). Adapted by Peter Hedges from his own novel of the same name, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape was the first and only film role for non-actress Cates, whom the filmmakers discovered on an episode of the Sally Jesse Raphael Show titled "Too Heavy to Leave Their House."

Cast of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Johnny Depp – Gilbert Grape
Mary Steenburgen – Betty Carver
Darlene Cates – Momma
Mary Kate Schellhardt – Ellen Grape
John C. Reilly – Tucker Van Dyke
Penelope Branning – Becky’s Grandma
Tim Green – Mr. Lamson
Mona Lee Fultz – Bakery Worker
Susan Loughran – Mrs. Lamson
Libby Villari – Waitress
Juliette Lewis – Becky
Leonardo DiCaprio – Arnie Grape
Laura Harrington – Amy Grape
Kevin Tighe – Mr. Carver
Crispin Glover – Bobby McBurney
George Haynes – Dave
Joe Stevens – Burger Barn manager
Brady Coleman – Sheriff Farrel
Cameron Finley – Doug Carver


The War (1994)

The War
Director(s):
Jon Avnet
Writer(s):Kathy Mcworter
Producer(s):Jordan Kerner, Jon Avnet, Kathy Mcworter
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG13(Adult Situations, Questionable for Children)

Brief Description of The War

The War is set in the rural south and brimming with lessons on social consciousness. During the summer of 1970 in woods of Mississippi, Stephen Simmons is struggling vet and breadwinner for his family. His wife Lois provides the income. until Stephen gets a job in a mine and saves a friend who has been injured, helping him erase the guilt he had over abandoning another friend during a firefight in Vietnam. Tthe Simmons children, Stu and Lidia are battling with an even dingier family of in the neighbourhood, the Lipnickis, over access to a tree fort that Stu and Lidia built.

Cast of The War

Elijah Wood – Stu Simmons
Mare Winningham – Lois
Christine Baranski – Miss Strapford
Bruce A. Young – Moe
Charlotte Lewis – Amber
Nick Searcy – John Ray Wilkens
Judson Vaughn – Soldier
Tim Ware – Fat Man at Auction
Afemo Omilami – Quarry Man
Bill Coates – Catfish Man
Tom Even – Doctor
Kevin Costner – Stephen
Lexi Randall – Lidia
Raynor Scheine – Mr. Lipnicki
LaToya Chisholm – Elvadine
Gary Basaraba – Dodge
Lucas Black – Ebb Lipnicki
Debra Zane
Mary Nell Santacroce – Mrs. Higgens
Jay Brooks – Old Man
Dorothy Davis – Nurse
J. Don Ferguson – Mine Foreman


Billy Elliot (2000)

Billy Elliot
Director(s):
Stephen Daldry
Writer(s):Lee Hall
Producer(s):Jon Finn, Greg Brenman
Theatrical MPAA Rating: R(Adult Language, Questionable for Children, Watch With Your Teen)
Categories:Independent Films
Billy Elliot Awards:
2000 – British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Best Supporting Actress
2000 – British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Best Actor
2000 – British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Best British Film
2000 – Broadcast Film Critics Association – Best Child Performer
2000 – National Board of Review – Best Young Actor
2000 – National Board of Review – Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor

Brief Description of Billy Elliot

An amazing story about a boy who just doesn’t see eye to eye with the ideas of his miner father, the other kids in town, nor his boxing coach. Billy Elliot is one boys journey to self fullfilment in the face of what is seemingly an overcomable obstacle. This coming of age story will touch the heart of anybody who has strove for something when it felt like everyone else didn’t want you to have it.

Cast of Billy Elliot

Julie Walters – Mrs. Wilkinson
Gary Lewis – Dad
Stuart Wells – Michael
Jamie Draven – Tony
Jamie Bell – Billy Elliot
Jean Heywood – Grandmother
Nicola Blackwell – Debbie


Dead Poets Society (1998)

Dead Poet's Society
Director(s):
Peter Weir
Writer(s):Tom Schulman
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG(Adult Situations, Adult Language, Suitable for Teens, Questionable for Children)
Dead Poets Society Awards:
1989 – British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Best Picture
1989 – British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Best Original Film Score
1990 – French Academy of Cinema – Best Foreign Film

Brief Description of Dead Poets Society

The Welton Academy is an amazing and well-respected prep school, but the education is a boorish and rote. However, several of the students have thoughts on the learning process when a new teacher shows up. Mr. Keating is not a conventional kind of teacher, who tears chapters of his textbooks. Mr. Keating shows his students poetry, and free-thinking. Mr. Keating tells his students to grab the hour and live their lives to the fullest; but when this has an unexpected tragedy. Mr. Nolan fires Keating, and his students come to the defense. This coming of age movie was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Williams; it won one, for Tom Schulman’s original screenplay.

Cast of Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams – John Keating
Ethan Hawke – Todd Anderson
Gale Hansen – Charlie Dalton
Allelon Ruggiero – Steven Meeks
Norman Lloyd – Mr. Nolan
Carla Belver – Mrs. Perry
Joe Aufiery – Chemistry Teacher
John Cunningham – Mr. Anderson
Melora Walters – Gloria
Alan Pottinger – Bubba
Welker White – Tina
Charles N. Lord – Mr. Dalton
Robert Sean Leonard – Neil Perry
Josh Charles – Knox Overstreet
Dylan Kussman – Richard Cameron
James Waterston – Gerard Pitts
Kurtwood Smith – Mr. Perry
Leon Pownall – McAllister
Debra Mooney – Mrs. Anderson
George Martin – Dr. Hager
Alexandra Powers – Chris Noel
Jane Moore – Mrs. Danburry
Kevin Cooney – Joe Danburry
Lara Flynn Boyle – Ginny Danburry


 

Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

Mona Lisa Smile
Director(s):
Mike Newell
Writer(s):Mark Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner
Producer(s):Paul Schiff, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Deborah Schindler
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG13(Sexual Situations, Suitable for Teens, Adult Situations)

 

Brief Description of Mona Lisa Smile

Mona Lisa Smile tells the tale of Katherine Watson, a young art history teacher at a fancy college, an all female campus with a knack for academic awesomeness. However, Watson soon realizes that they are more interested in getting a producing mate than getting good grades and goals. She steps up and sets then to task and the other faculty in hopes of broadening their vision.

An excellent show, filled with character and heart, a growing compassion for the values and choices we all have.

 

 

 

Cast of Mona Lisa Smile

Julia Roberts – Katherine Watson
Julia Stiles – Joan Brandwyn
Juliet Stevenson – Amanda Armstrong
Ginnifer Goodwin – Constance Baker
John Slattery – Paul Moore
Jordan Bridges – Spencer Jones
Donna Mitchell – Mrs. Warren
Laura Allen – Susan Delacorte
Tori Amos – Wedding Singer
Charles Techman – Harvard Dorm Monitor
Julie Wagner – Bartender
Daisy Baldwin – Art History Student
June Miller – Cape Cod Hostess
Christopher Braden Jones – bartender
Jennie Eisenhower – Girl At The Station
Amy Montminy – Art History Student
Michele Hillen – Art History Student
Stella Hao – Art History Student
Kate Glass – Art History Student
Megan Marie Ford – Art History Student
Shelby Bond – Wet Girls
Richard O’Rourke – Igor
Emily R. See – Wet Girls
Devon Jencks – Art History Student
Annette Nicole – Dancer
Maria Levinstein – Dancer
Nickolay Khazanov – Dancer
Richard Jones – Dancer
Betina Hershey – Dancer
Melanie Angelique Moyer – Christmas Student
Chris Burke – Custodian
Jennifer H. Anderson – Projectionist
Peter J. Rowan – Wedding Photographer
Jackie Sanders – Band Announcer
Kristen Marie Holly – Christmas Student
Kim Villanueva – Dancer
Solomon Singer – Dancer
Daniel Ponickly – Dancer
Lance Olds – Dancer
Sid Grant – Dancer
Maria Vicens Girau – Dancer
Nicole Frydman – Dancer
Melissa Deles – Dancer
Mary S. Pascoe – Photographer
Megan Tropea – Art History Student
Brandy Tipton – Art History Student
Lily Rabe – Art History Student
Kristyn Coppola – Art History Student
Nikki Coble – Art History Student
Jennifer Bowen – Art History Student
Emily Bauer – Art History Student
Krysten Ritter – Art History Student
James Callahan – John Brandwyn
Ebon Moss-Bachrach – Charlie Stewart
Becky Veduccio – Blue Ship Hostess
Lisa Roberts Gillan – Miss Albini
Chuck Montgomery – Tall Man
Rony Clanton – Porter
Kirsten Dunst – Betty Warren
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Giselle Levy
Dominic West – Bill Dunbar
Topher Grace – Tommy Donegal
Marcia Gay Harden – Nancy Abbey
Marian Seldes – Jocelyn Carr
Terence Rigby – Dr. Edward Staunton
Lou Brock – Dancer
Joel Palmer – Dancer
Dan Weltner – Dancer
Janine Barris – Art History Student
Lauren Adler – Art History Student
Ed Peed – Taxi Driver
Lily Lodge – House Matron
Paul Vincent Black – Joseph O’Neill
Annika Marks – Art History Student
Walker Hays – Art History Student
Amanda Gruss – Art History Student
Lauren Fruchter – Art History Student
Michael Choi – Dancer
Katherine Argo – Dancer
Rob Buntzen – Wedding Planner Host
Erin E. Richardson – Wet Girls
Laura M. Flahive – Wet Girls
Kellydawn Malloy – Dancer
Nadia Kravets – Dancer
Jerry Jordan – Dancer
Yuval Hod – Dancer
Canedy Knowles – Christmas Student
Dorothy Dwyer – Faculty
Lindsey White – Projectionist
Brad Mehldau – Pianist
Denise Zadroga – Dancer
Carrie Ann Kaye – Christmas Student
Sarah Billings Wheeler – Dancer
Gabriel Vaughan – Dancer
Tony Scheppler – Dancer
Christian Perry – Dancer
Madeleine Hackney – Dancer
Natalie Gomez – Dancer
Noelle Gibson – Dancer
John D. Fowler – Dancer
Elise Passamani – Phyllis
Maja Walpvszyl – Art History Student
Trisha Trokan – Art History Student
Katherine Reilly – Art History Student
Kimberly Ehly – Art History Student
Kristen Connolly – Art History Student
Angelique Claire – Art History Student
Kirstie Bingham – Art History Student
Taylor Roberts – Louise
Liliane Thomas – Woman On Train
John Scurti – Stan Sher
Kevin Osborne – Band Announcer
Larry Grenadier – Bass Player
Aleksa Palladino – Frances The Girl In Italian Class
Christopher Bonomo – Groomsman
Leslie Lyles – Housing Director


 

 

Menace II Society (1993)

Menace II Society
Director(s):
Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Writer(s):Tyger Williams, Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Producer(s):Darin Scott, Michael Bennett
Theatrical MPAA Rating: R(Graphic Violence, Adult Situations, Substance Abuse, Profanity, Not For Children, Strong Sexual Content)
Menace II Society Awards:
1993 – Independent Spirit Awards – Best Cinematography

Brief Description of Menace II Society

A critically-acclaimed urban crime film, this offering from brothers Hughes appearing in the wake of John Singleton’s Boyz N the Hood. Iin the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, the film is narrated by 18-year-old Caine , a drug dealer who lives with his grandparents. Caine has no goals beyond hanging out with friends, so the grandparents boot him. His troubles are his best friend O-Dog (Larenz Tate), a nasty thug wanted by the police, and the friends and family of the girl Caine got pregnant . The lone positive influence in his life is Ronnie , a single parent raising her son without the boy falling into the hood mentality. When they fall in love, Ronnie tries to convince Caine to move with her to Atlanta, but his life is cut short when he is shot and nearly dies.

 

Cast of Menace II Society

Tyrin Turner – Caine Lawson
Vonte Sweet – Sharif
Ryan Williams – Stacy
Charles S. Dutton – Mr. Butler
Bill Duke – Detective
Arnold Johnson – Grandpapa
Nancy Cheryl Davis – Teacher
Brandon Hammond – Five year old Caine
Yo-Yo – Girl at Party
Clifton Powell – Chauncey
Saafir
Toshi Toda – Grocery Store Man
Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez – Vato 2
Christopher M. Brown – Lloyd
Marilyn Coleman – Grandmama
Jada Pinkett Smith – Ronnie
Larenz Tate – O-Dog
Samuel L. Jackson – Tat Lawson
Glenn Plummer – Pernell
Mike Kelly – Officer Gadd
Rolando Molina – Vato 1
Reginald Ballard – Clyde
Eugene Lee – Man 1
Tony Valentino – Vato3
James Pickens, Jr. – Man
Chad Dowdell – White Guy in Street (uncredited)
Anthony Johnson – Tony
Khandi Alexander – Karen Lawson
Robert Gonzales – Car Dealer
Julian Roy Doster – Anthony

 

 

 

David Copperfield (1999)
BBC Video
Director: Simon Curtis
Writer: Charles Dickens
Producer: Kate Hardwood
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG for mildly offensive language, physical abuse and death.

An outstanding representation of the Dickens’ classic with top British actors, including an up-and-coming Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter). The setting is elaborately designed to give a true feeling of the era as well as meticulously crafted costumes.
The acting sets this film apart from all other adaptations. Dickens’ vivid characters are further brought to life by amazing performances from Ian McKellen, Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins to name a few.
David Copperfield is living the perfect life with his doting mother and devoted housekeeper, Peggotty, when his world is turned upside down by the entrance of a cruel stepfather, Mr. Murdstone. Strict discipline and physical abuse become a regular part of young Copperfield’s daily routine, until the untimely death of his mother gives Mr. Murdstone the excuse to send him to a toxic workhouse in London. David Copperfield manages to make the best of the torturously long days by embracing friendship with the Micawbers, but when they move out of the city David finds himself determined to look for a better life with an aunt who years before walked out of his family’s life. Will he find happiness or does fate have different plans for David Copperfield?

 

 

 

Little Women (1994)
Columbia Pictures Corporation
Director: Gillian Armstrong
Writer: Louisa May Alcott
Producer: unknown
Theatrical MPAA Rating: rated PG for two uses of mild language.
With their father fighting in the Civil war, the March girls decide to forget the hard times and focus on how to make their mother’s Christmas the best ever. This newer version of Louisa May Alcott’s classic captures the era with elaborate scenes and costumes as well as strong acting from some of America’s current celebrities. The movie is captivating, encompassing most of the key adventures from the book, and the major dramatic moments are captured and well acted. Fans of Little Women the book won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

Candleshoe (1977)
Walt Disney Productions
Director: Norman Tokar
Writer: David Swift
Producer: unknown
Theatrical MPAA Rating: Rated G for general audiences.
Candleshoe is a coming-of-age movie for all generations. Set in an old English manner in a small town, this mischievous adventure will keep everyone laughing. Jodie Foster plays the role of a teenage girl named Casey who’s messed up with a con man, Leo McKern. The con man and his wife discover a map for a long lost pirate’s treasure hidden in a stately manner owned by a widow, Helen Hayes. They devise a scheme using Foster’s character as the main ploy to convince the widow that she is a forgotten relative, creating an opportunity to plant Casey in the house. But, Casey soon realizes there are more important things in life than treasure as she discovers friendship and family in the unexpected group that lives under the widow’s roof. David Niven plays the eccentric but kindhearted butler. The plot thickens when Casey decides she doesn’t want to help the con man anymore. What will become of Candleshoe? A great cast of American and English actors makes this movie entertaining to the end.

 

 

 

 

13 Going on 30 (2004)
Revolution Studios
Director: Gary Winick
Writer: Jack Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa
Producer: Susan Arnold
Theatrical MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
Awards: 11 Nominations including nomination for People’s Choice Award.
In this romantic comedy touched with a bit of drama, thirteen-year-old Jenna Rink (played by Jenifer Garner) is given a dollhouse and magic wishing dust by her best friend Matt (Mark Ruffalo). Jenna desperately wants to be accepted by a girls’ clique and is tired of being picked on at school so she throws a party that doesn’t go so well, ending with her bumping into the wall, falling over and getting magic dust dumped all over her while at the same time wishing she was thirty. When she wakes a few minutes later after the fall, she’s thirty and living in an apartment on Fifth Avenue. Instead of having a mind to match her thirty-year-old appearance, Jenna’s mind is still the same thirteen-year-old she left behind. The interactions of a thirteen-year-old in the body of a thirty-year-old is quite comical as well as brings forth some compelling life issues, such as enjoying all moments of existence and careful what you wish for you just might get it. The romance that blooms between Jenna and her best friend Matt is also a heartwarming addition to the movie. This is an excellent coming of age movie with a time warp plot.

 

 

 

 

 

Juno (2007)
Fox Searchlight Productions
Director: Jason Reitman
Writer: Diablo Cody
Producer: John Malkovich
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG-13 with mature theme, some swearing, moments of drinking and drug use suggestion.
Awards: Academy Award, BAFTA, Critic’s Choice Award, Canadian Comedy Award, National Board Review, Independent Spirit Award, Rome Film Festival, Satellite Movie Award, National Movie Award.
Sixteen-year-old Juno finds herself pregnant by her long time friend, Paulie and she quickly has to decide what to do. She considers abortion, adoption and other avenues of options, but ultimately all of the thinking makes her find a better understanding of herself as well as sweeps away her own childhood years in one big stroke. The path Juno decides to take with her unborn child is interesting (I won’t spoil the movie by giving it away) in a dramatic comedy sort of way. The characters are real to life and played out well by the talented cast. Obviously the theme of this film makes it set for mature audiences but it’s definitely a hard hitting coming of age that will hold your interest until the end.

 

 

 

 

Hanna (2011)
Focus Features
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Seth Locchead
Producer: Leslie Holleran
Theatrical MPAA Rating: PG-13 violence, language, sexual theme.
Awards: Pending for a Young Artist Award.
Hanna Ronan is a young girl bred and raised like an elite soldier. She has strength, stamina, strategy and agility beyond the average man and the preciseness of a killing machine. Most of her life has been spent playing war games with her father in unpopulated and extreme regions of the world, but as a teenager her life takes an unpredictable turn when visitors enter her life, forcing her to engage in her first real life mission. Her world turns upside down when she realizes not everything about her is as it seems, dark secrets unravel as Hanna’s faced with questions about her family and her own humanity. This is a great coming of age fantasy adventure set in a contemporary background. The acting is top notch and compelling while the story keeps you at the edge of your seat. There are some strong philosophical and ethical issues as well as intense violence, a must see for the action lover.

 

 

 

 

Let Me In (2010)
Overture Films
Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Producer: Donna Gigliotti
Theatrical MPAA Rating: Rated R for horror and extreme violence, some sexual theme
Awards: Austin Film Critics’ Awards, Empire Awards, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Scream Awards
Owen is an unhappy twelve-year-old boy who is viciously bullied at school. He spends many a lonely day trying to entertain himself until one frigid winter night playing on the playground at his apartment complex a young girl, Abby, enters his world. She informs him that they can’t be friends but every night he goes to find her on the playground she’s always there, a friendship starts to bloom. The girl inspires Owen to stand up for himself at school and slowly brings him out of his shell, but Owen is starting to notice some strange things about his new found friend. This film has a great plot, especially for those who like a good horror flick. The actors are mostly unknowns, but do an exceptionally good job building their characters into real people that the audience relates to and feels for. There is some serious violence but to be expected from the horror genre. It’s one of the few coming of age horror films, an excellent film for those who like a bit of story along with some violence and gore.

 

 

 

 

Little Darlings (1980)
Paramount Pictures
Director: Ronald F. Maxwell
Writer: Kimi Peck, Dalene Young
Producer: Steven J. Friedman
Theatrical MPAA Rating: Rated R back in the 80’s but who knows now. Mature theme, strong language, teen smoking and drinking.
Awards: Young Artist Award Nomination
Ferris, Tatum O’neil, and Angel, Kristy McNichol, go to summer camp and decide to make a bet with one another on who can lose their virginity first by the end of the summer. Soon enough other girls hear about the bet and pick their own side on who they want to win. Ferris and Angel pick two guys from the camp and pursue them. Deep lessons about sex and love are learned and unexpected events occur, but all in all both girls walk away at the end of the summer much more mature than when they came. Little Darlings is a raw and somewhat cynical look at the pressures of sex on two teens from two different worlds. As a coming of age film it covers a darker and more reckless aspect of learning about one’s self. It’s definitely another interesting perspective in the come of age genre.

 

 

 

 

 

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