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Being a teenager is an extremely big deal. A man and woman’s formative years are what moulds them; defines their views and interests, and exposes them to the cold, harsh realities of adult life.

Below, we’ve compiled the definitive list of cinema that best captures that six-year period of hormones, strife and acute discomfort. From classic coming-of-age tales, to gritty1 black and white portraits of urban struggle, these are the movies that bottle2 our most awkward years.

Lady Bird (2017)

“I wish I could live through something.”

It’s arguable that Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is one of the most keenly and truthfully observed movies about the modern adolescent experience, capturing as it does all the posturing3, insecurity, fractiousness4 and fervour that comes with it. Which is all well and good, of course, but did we mention it’s also a flat-out5 hoot6?

The backbone of Lady Bird is the relationship between a strung-out7 mother (Laurie Metcalf) and her high-minded8 daughter (Saoirse Ronan) whose lofty self-image is somewhat let down by her work ethic, or lack thereof. Lady Bird, as Ronan’s character re-names herself, also has the usual teen perils to contend with: complicated female friendships and pretentious9 suitors.

Moonlight (2016)

“At some point you’ve got to decide for yourself who you gonna be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.”

Long after the Oscars ‘best picture’ kerfuffle10 has faded, Barry Jenkins’ bona fide11 masterpiece about three stages in the life of Chiron, a young African-American man growing up in Miami, Florida, struggling with poverty, his mother’s drug problem, and coming to terms with12 his own sexuality, will stand the test of time.

Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, three different actors—Alex R Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes, respectively—portray Chiron as a young boy, teenager and young man, with all the fear, vulnerability, anger and sadness that churn in him as he tries to make sense of his life, and of himself.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

“If you only knew how little I really know about the things that matter.”

Luca Guadagnino’s romantic Eighties-set drama, based on André Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same name, in no way undercuts13 the dreamy narcissism, both painful and pleasurable, of being a teenager. On the contrary it revels in it, as the delicately handsome 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet), vacationing with his folks in Northern Italy, begins a passionate relationship with a visiting grad student, Oliver (Armie Hammer).

The film was noteworthy not only for the tender portrayal of young love, but for the sumptuousness14 of the setting, the elegance of the clothes, the beauty of the cinematography and so on. Never has a holiday in the Italian countryside—yes, even with your parents—looked so appealing. We’d also be not in the least surprised, if it did wonders for the sale of soft fruits.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

“It is his fault he didn’t lock the garage.”

The definitive teenage fantasy film, Matthew Broderick’s portrayal of the eponymous Ferris became the template for a generation of slacker, troublemaker protagonists15.

So ’80s it hurts—in the best way possible of course—Ferris Bueller’s Day Off explored the great unknown transition from juvenility to adulthood, and made everyone who watched it dream of sacking off school, ignoring your parents and taking ownership of the keys to a Ferrari.

Boyhood (2014)

“I sure as shit don’t know. Neither does anybody else, okay? We’re all just winging it, you know?”

Richard Linklater’s poignant16 or pretentious (you decide) 166-minute epic was famously filmed over the course of 12 real time years, with the cast reconvening17 each year to pick up the story.

Charting the course of a young man’s life from infancy to his first day at college (hence the clever name), Boyhood may have been perceived as too meandering18 and earnest by some, but what you can’t argue against is its emotional and authentic take on the trials of a normal existence.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”

Not to be confused with that trendy breakfast place where you have to queue up for ages, The Breakfast Club is broadly considered to be the definitive high school movie and is still a stone cold classic.

Following five teenagers from different school cliques as they’re forced into morning detention, the sentiment might be a bit obvious now, but the comedy timing and unconventional character development stop it from ever straying into soppy territory.

La Haine (1995)

“The world is ours.”

One of the most beautifully shot films you’re ever likely to see, this French classic ignited huge social discussions upon its release, as it gave a platform to the bored, lost and listless youths of France’s untouchable ghettos.

While the subject matter might be harsh, the fundamentals for a classic young man’s movie are all there. From the tense challenges of friendship to the longing for adventure and escape.That ending too...

Donnie Darko (2001)

“Don’t worry. You got away with it.”

Made over just 28 days with a budget of $3.8 million, Donnie Darko was the mind-bending19 sci-fi drama that gave Jake Gyllenhall his big break, playing a teenager who befriends an apocalyptic20 rabbit who may or may not be there...Yes, it’s a bit weird.

While its theatrical release bombed, it has since gained a cult following thanks to its challenging themes of death, depression and parallel universes. Perfect for anyone who is feeling a bit existential and pretentious.

























别搞错, 《早餐俱乐部》并不是要人排队排到天荒地老的那种新潮早餐场所,而是人们普遍认为的中学题材佳片,至今仍是绝对的经典。











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