9 International Queer Coming of Age Films You Should Watch

in Entertainment & LifeStyle

Call Me By Your Name

“Mr. Guadagnino is very good at catching the indolent drift of long summer days, with their sleepiness and bared limbs. Everyone seems to move in slow motion at the villa, except perhaps the family’s hard-working maid. This languor fits the tempo of Elio and Oliver’s relationship, which evolves over meals, drowsy idylls, a little work and a spontaneous piano recital that becomes an overture to seduction.” – Manohla Dargis


My Summer of Love

“Within the Yorkshire Dales’ sunlit expanses, (Pawel Pawlikowski) has created a swooning love story with wit, flair, eroticism and some New Wave attitude. His two young leads, Nathalie Press and Emily Blunt create a delectable, upwardly-mobile soufflé of a film. Even as its mood turns dark, this tone is managed with superb insouciance, helped by a saturnine performance from Paddy Considine. When the summer ends, as all summers must, sexual obsession, claustrophobia and despair are elegantly resolved with a clever twist in the narrative tail.” – Peter Bradshaw


Blue is the Warmest Colour

“What a passionate film it is. At the outset, Exarchopoulos’s Adèle is a shy, smart high-schooler who finds that she is lonely and tentative in her social life. A good-looking boy who likes her is rewarded with a brief relationship, but he is merely John the Baptist to the imminent Christ: Emma, played by Séydoux, a twentysomething art student. The romantic spark between them is a lightning bolt.” – Peter Bradshaw


Y Tu Mamá También

“The film’s depiction of bisexuality struck a chord with me immediately. It’s one of the few films I’ve ever seen that actually shows bisexuality the way it really is–not the way most people erroneously think it is, or wish it was. For this reason alone Y Tu Mamá También is a landmark picture, but even beyond that it’s a fascinating and well-made look at Mexican society at the dawn of the 21st century.” – Sean Munger



“If you didn’t know the title of the French movie “Tomboy,” an intimately scaled film about a 10-year-old girl who wants to be a boy, or at least enjoy some boyish freedoms, you might not know the sex of the pretty child in the opener. And you might not think it mattered.” – Manohla Dargis



“The scope of Boys is that of exploring the insurmountable power of first love and focusing on the idealism of romance rather than sexual passion. Yet the sexual awakening is there, hinted at, just in the sweetest of ways and it comes across so nuanced in subtext through the outstanding performances of the two teenage actors portraying Sieger and Marc. Gijs Blom and Ko Zandvliet are absolutely fantastic at conveying all their emotions with mostly their eyes, their faces and their whole body language.” – Francesco Cerniglia


Water Lillies

“Allusions to Monet may provide a prettier picture, but consider that the original French title of the film Water Lilies is Naissance des Pieuvres — which translates to “birth of the octopuses,” those eight-armed geniuses of aquatic camouflage that are genetically programmed to die after they reproduce. Association with such a dark fate might explain the anxiety and awkwardness that engulfs three French girls on the cusp of adult sexualities in this new film by out lesbian director and screenwriter Céline Sciamma.” – After Ellen



“Few narrative dramas (if any) have more sensitively explored the nuances of growing up transgender, the bravery required to transition, and the struggle for self-acceptance that can motivate or define that process. Likewise, few narrative dramas (if any) have more palpably distilled the pain of being deadnamed, the humiliation of being reduced to your body, and the cruelty of being misrepresented as something that you’re not.” – David Erhlich



“The French-Canadian film is a gay-themed coming of age story, tracing three decades in the life of Zac, born on Christmas day 1960. All the major events in Zac’s life always come back to his sexuality and the problems this creates for his relationship with his father. The film’s ingenious way of linking characters with their favourite music – the father to Patsy Cline, Zac to Pink Floyd and Ziggy Stardust – as well as careful attention to period details, great performances, and a painfully full-on depiction of dysfunctional family life makes for a sharp, funny and original memoir of growing up in Montreal.” – Melin Alsanjak

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