I remember first watching the film in eighth grade and thinking it was boring or lacking something. After a second watch sophomore year of high school I cried myself to sleep with my body curled into a small ball. I had never seen such a clear depiction of a beyond desperate and broken character. Everything in this movie was carefully detailed and well thought to connect the characters present to his past which deepened the meaning of the film as a whole. It reimbursed my ideology that everything really does happen for a reason.
20th Century Women (2016)-
This movie’s uncoordinated and dysfunctional family was a comfort. This movie taught me that growing up isn’t perfect and that everyone’s story is messy in its own perfect way. A story that entails coming of age elements and follows unlikely human connections for a fresh perspective on what living authentically and being a strong woman means.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)-
Being based on a true story and real peoples gives even more credibility to this film. The character portrayed by Will Smith has been one of the easiest for me to deeply sympathize with. I experienced all the ups and downs of his financial security, living situations, and relationships with the character. It served as a reminder that if you really want something and work hard enough for it you can achieve anything, especially if your motivation comes from the people you love as well.
American Honey (2016)-
I rarely get to see good movies-let alone coming of age movies-that are led by black girls. This not only satisfied my need for representation but also the urge we all get sometimes to just pack up and never look back. The spontaneity of this film kept me on my toes the whole time. It also acted as a good reminder that despite hardships in life it is possible to remain a kind-hearted person. At the same time, it maintains a theory that in some situations it is okay to choose yourself!