When the economy collapses, Luke (Aaron McCormick) and his younger brother Scott (Kale McCormick) must flee home and travel 1,200 miles to Uncle Ralph’s Arizona ranch.
Along the way, they experience the world’s harshness and rely on their resourcefulness and strength to survive.
That is the Coming-of-Age film Collapse, written, directed, and produced by Dave McCormick.
As he cast his sons in lead roles, it was something of a family project, even if it failed to compare with more sophisticated films about a similar subject matter.
Judging by how easily one can pick out the transition from one scene to the next, there is a great need for improved editing. This may result from a limited budget, but it plays a massive role in determining how one feels about the story. A better transition between scenes would make the story flow more smoothly, making it more enjoyable and easier to follow.
In the case of Collapse, that is unfortunately not the case as it adheres to all the stereotypes of the post-apocalyptic genre, from settings to the small group of survivors, limited resources, and dangerous environments to moral dilemmas. As the story is told from the point of view of young boys, there is a solid Coming-of-Age motif. Still, one does not truly get to engage or care about the story’s characters on a personal level.
The actors are enthusiastic, but their lack of experience or the lack of competent directing is painfully apparent. A film’s status as an independent production won’t justify such a judgment because there are many independent films with excellent acting performances. Despite the film’s inferior quality, one must appreciate the lead actors’ charm and the effort they put into it.
In this instance, I would refrain from recommending the film. If you are not a self-taught critic like myself and need to watch the film so you can write about it, save yourself 90 minutes and watch something else instead.
When the economy collapses, two young boys must flee home and travel 1,200 miles to their uncle's Arizona ranch.
Hugo Chetela‘s short film Rewind features an engaging and original storyline with a heartwarming and nostalgic feel. A Canadian production filmed in French, the film follows the journey of a young boy who finds himself stumbling upon his grandfather’s old Walkman and discovers that it can alter time. The past and present collide in unexpected ways.
This eight-minute film uses a mix of musical scores blended with sound effects and skillful editing to convey an emotive intergenerational Coming-of-Age narrative against an emotional background, delivering a clear message in its eight minutes of screen time. In other words, it is a film that affects the audience’s memory, emotions, and imagination and is still capable of being interpreted in various ways. In the narrative, a simple yet profound message is imbued with power: a person’s happiness is never far away. It is not beyond the ocean but is reflected in their family and friends through the eyes they hold dear to their hearts.
Written and directed by David Colombo-Léotard,Silent Anger (Original title: Les Poings serrés) is a moving and thought-provoking exploration of a young boy’s experience with abandonment.
In the film, Théo Van de Voorde delivers a stunning performance as Julian, a 12-year-old boy who becomes separated from his father in a busy supermarket. His efforts to find him are in vain. Then Julian makes a decision and tries to carry on with his daily life as usual, while maintaining a façade of normalcy. However, an unmistakable sense of fear and vulnerability is visible beneath his calm exterior.
The film does an excellent job of conveying the boy’s emotional turmoil through subtle facial expressions and body language. As the days pass, the boy’s isolation and loneliness become increasingly palpable. He tries to fill the void by exploiting his newfound freedom, but a sense of danger lurks in the background.
In Silent Anger, the camerawork and framing convey Julian’s stress and vulnerability. Tracking shots, close-ups, and selective focus convey Julian’s perspective and immerse the viewer in his world. The use of slow motion in some of the scenes is also very effective.
One has to pay close attention to the action on the screen to understand the motivation behind Julian’s actions and, even then, no easy answers are provided. This open-endedness allows for various interpretations and adds more complexity to the story.
Although identifying with Julian may be difficult, the viewer can sympathize with his unfortunate fate because of Théo Van de Voorde’s outstanding performance and appealing features. A powerful but ambiguous climax makes Silent Anger a powerful Coming-of-Age story. I highly recommend it.
Silent Anger is a moving and thought-provoking exploration of a young boy's experience with abandonment.
Young performers often bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the stage, and their skills are often impressive. This can be intimidating for more seasoned performers who have been in the business for a while and may not be used to this level of enthusiasm and skill. Such is the case with Michael Cash Savio.
Having made his Broadway debut at the tender age of eleven in The Music Man, one of the greatest treasures of American musical theater, this dancer has a wealth of talent.
Showcasing talented dancers is like shining a spotlight on a hidden gem, revealing their beauty and showing off the rare gift they have to offer the world.
A reminder that at TheSkyKid.com, we coverBilly Elliot the Musical extensively, including all the performers on the global stage. Showcasing talented dancers is just one of the things we do.
A native of Florida, Michel Cash has competed and won national titles at the Dance Awards and at Radix. As was mentioned earlier, his most recent project was his Broadway debut, appearing in the revival of the musical The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman. And speaking of Billy Elliot The Musical, The Music Man also featured the dancing talents of three former Billys as well.
Through his movements, Michael can interpret music beautifully. Practicing gymnastics and dance, his Instagram and YouTube clips are full of contagious positivity and energy. He’s another young male dancer helping to breakdown stereotypes and paving the way for future generations of male dancers. And Michael does it all with a smile and a positive attitude. He’s truly a role model for everyone, especially when it comes to knowing how to bust a move!
Another young dancer you may want to check out is JT Church, and you can find an article about him over at Rivenmaster.com
Charged with repressed tension and emotions, the 2017 short film Janek/Bastard features a powerful narrative that stays in the viewers’ minds long after the final credits have rolled.
The story, told in a flashback by the main protagonist recalling his childhood days in 1942 Poland, provides a poignant window into the harrowing experiences of children living in a time of extreme turmoil and oppression.
A sense of tension gradually builds throughout the film as viewers observe the uneasiness that surrounds the daily life of the family, which has accepted a shy, introverted boy as an extra member. His presence awakens the jealousy of the lead character Krzysztof (portrayed by Jesse Willhite). Close-up shots of his face allow us to understand his emotions and serve as an effective plot device to highlight the story’s intensity.
Poignantly and in an original manner, the film’s director, Muriel Naim, captures the innocence and vulnerability of children in a way that won’t leave anyone indifferent. The aesthetics of the picture bring beauty and naturalistic realism to the story. That is a result of a well-told and well-shot short – as the film is characterized by first-class cinematography, evident from the scenes’ exceptionally well done and very competent lighting.
According to Muriel Naim, her film: “questions the human morals and one’s fear and explores the darkest corners of a boy’s soul.” (1)
A melancholic drama with horror and Coming-of-Age motifs intertwined – that’s the best way to describe Michael Williams‘s 2017 film The Atoning.
The story is intriguing and genuinely captures one’s attention, but that will only happen if one is patient enough to struggle through the first thirty or so minutes during which the action drags, the acting feels subpar and the whole atmosphere feels somewhat sterile and unreal.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was bored throughout most of the movie and was contemplating bashing it in my review, saying that sometimes an intriguing cover art can mislead the viewers — when the story took a turn for the better. The film, while echoing influences of other flicks (such as the one with Haley Joel Osment in the lead role), became engaging and intriguing, which is why I’d like to encourage any potential viewers to give the story a chance to develop (not easy yet a rewarding task).
The Coming-of-Age aspect of the movie is due to the fact that the only character that the audience seems to develop genuine care for and concern about is the one portrayed by Cannon Bosarge, who plays a young boy of ten years old who is trying to figure out why his parents have started acting in an unusually weird way. Even if there are times when the story can’t focus on just one main character, the magnetic presence that Cannon brings to the screen is what has the potential to save the plot from its sluggish pace.
The Atoning Official Trailer
Jump scares, whispers, creaking doors (a ridiculous amount), and spooky visuals occasionally introduce the horror to the story – but it never fully transforms the film into an effective horror flick, which is fine as long as it remains an intriguing drama with spiritual messaging of buried secrets and the confrontation of coming to terms with the harsh realities of life.
The Atoning (2017)
The Atoning is a melancholic drama with horror and Coming-of-Age motifs intertwined.
Do children these days still play Cowboys and Indians? Or is their time now spent in front of phones and other screens?
Many people had treasured memories of childhood days when our imaginations transformed the backyard into the open plains and rugged terrain of the Wild West, complete with Cowboys riding horses, Indians riding on buffalo, and all sorts of other exciting adventures. And who has not heard of Karl May’s famed hero – the young Apache chief Winnetou?
When I was a kid, Mays’ books were among my favorites. Yet even if you have not read anything by the German author, the 2022 movie titled The Young Chief Winnetou is guaranteed to evoke a lot of nostalgia and inspire a whole new generation of kids should they get the opportunity to watch it.
Granted The Young Chief Winnetou is first and foremost a children’s film, so an adult audience will have to see it with a certain mindset. But even when one has to suspend his disbelief, the story still teaches children about the importance of courage, determination, and standing up for what you believe in.
The Young Chief Winnetou ( 2022) official trailer in German
The Young Chief Winnetou shares some common traits with other German films made for children: lush visuals, a sympathetic young cast, great location (this film was shot in the Spanish region of Andalusia where many westerns have been filmed in the past), and a humorous vibe. The actors in the lead roles, Mika Ullritz as Winnetou and Milo Haaf as Tom Silver, are both cute as buttons, which is a plus for any children’s film, but also keeps one well aware that the film is primarily aimed at a very young audience.
In this film, the adults are relegated to supporting roles, while the children are the ones who live through an exciting and perplexing adventure. The friendship between the young thief (Silver) and the son of the Apache chief — and the trials and tribulations they go through — are filled with an adventurous spirit that is a joy to watch. Of course, you can’t expect anything of the sort of what Winnetou & Old Shatterhand go through in their legendary adventures, but if you have the imagination and will to picture them as kids, this might just fit the bill.
While I yearn to watch a harsh realistic story based on Karl May’s novels, this film with child actors is an enjoyable way to fill one’s time. The atmosphere in the film is not that different from those of other Coming-of-Age children’s films I have seen and reviewed on the site: namely Winnetou’s Son (2015), Tom und Hacke (2012), and Devil’s Kickers (2010). The Coming-of-Age motifs, while minimal, are still present and I don’t hesitate to recommend the film – especially to a young kid who will hopefully get inspired to use his imagination and go play outside.
The Young Chief Winnetou ( 2022)
The Young Chief Winnetou has lush visuals, a sympathetic young cast, great location (this film was shot in the Spanish region of Andalusia where many westerns have been filmed in the past), and a humorous vibe.
Our Own Land (Original title: Nous n’irons plus en haut), released in 2021, is a prime example of a Coming-of-Age short film whose story lingers in the viewer’s mind long after the final credits have rolled.
Atmospheric and beautifully shot, it tells the story of Jacob and Theo, two young brothers aged eight and twelve, who are being left alone in a big farmhouse in the peaceful Breton countryside.
We observe their interaction while trying to decipher the plot. To achieve that, one has to pay attention to a variety of subtle details hidden in their conversations and actions. As challenging as that might be, it is a rewarding process thanks to the sincere and poignant acting performances of Noe and Swann Vallee (real-life brothers who portray Jacob and Theo).
In addition, the camerawork — which is marked by an abundance of close-up shots, long-range pans, nature, fuzzy highlights, and attention to detail — further draws the viewer into the drama.
By the final scene, one has a pretty good idea of what has happened. Yet different viewers may reach different conclusions based on their own predicaments and personal experiences. Thought-provoking and emotionally powerful, the film is a gem of Coming-of-Age cinema and receives my highest recommendation.
In the Coming-of-Age genre, there are a lot of movies that have been made. Not all of them make a great Christmas movie. Some people might say that a Christmas holiday is the best time to watch a family comedy or an old classic.
Christmas movies are always a good distraction from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite Coming-of-Age Christmas movies, so grab some hot cocoa, and let’s get started!
1. A Christmas Story (1983)
While primarily an American Christmas movie, A Christmas Story also has the reflections of an older Ralphie Parker on how his perspective has changed since a very important Christmas when he was 9 years old.
A humane, heart-warming Christmas movie – without a trace of commercialism. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey will appeal primarily to adult audiences, even though it’s based on a children’s book. Yet, the story is family-friendly. So, potentially, the whole family may enjoy it.
Chrismas Story is an engaging heart-warming family film perfect for your holiday viewing. I also believe the film will be highly beneficial to parents whose kids are curious about Santa. Instead of showing them some sugar-coated film filled with stereotypes, show them Christmas Story.
Based on a best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, Wishin’ and Hopin’ is a delightful comedy flick with a cast led by its adorable young protagonist: 10-year-old Felix Funicello. It is advertised as a Christmas film, but it can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Such uplifting stories are always welcome to brighten up our everyday lives.
Based on Matt Haig’s best-selling novel, this tells the story of a boy who loves toys, befriends a reindeer, and assists some elves. “A Boy Called Christmas” is a regal origin story for Santa Claus, complete with a star-studded cast, sumptuous visuals, and some somber details to keep it from being too sugary.
This film chronicles the Buckley family, which consists of four brothers. Every year they have a practice of covertly giving gifts to a different family, and 11-year-old Matthew is disappointed to learn that his mother chose the family of the worst bullies. While you can probably guess what happens next, it’s a lovely reminder that during this time of year, everyone deserves a little empathy.
With a teenager in the lead role, the Coming-of-Age tribulations are inevitable. Falling in love for the first time, first work experience, and growing up to understand that sometimes giving can be more rewarding than receiving – all of those are part of Christmas Story 2.
In one haunted evening, embittered old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who has soured on the world and his fellow man, learns the true spirit of Christmas from three ghostly visitors. After moving visions of long-dead happiness, of past and present remorse and a fearful glimpse into the future, Scrooge receives the chance to change his life for the better on Christmas morning.
9. The Boy who saves Christmas (1998)
We all need to believe in miracles, especially in the run-up to Christmas. Jeremiah did so by sending a letter to Santa with a very unusual request. But Santa Claus himself has to help. Because suddenly Atnas, his brother, appears. He wants to disrupt the holiday with his malware. The only one who can help kind Santa is Jeremy …
10. Lost Christmas (2011)
A screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by David Logan. The Christmas TV movie tells the story of Anthony, a mysterious stranger who suddenly wakes up in the middle of the street and does not know who he is, where he is, or what to do now. But, he has one extraordinary ability – to find the lost.
In Samuel Theis‘s 2021 film Softie (Original Title: Petite nature), ten-year-old Johnny (Aliocha Reinert) lives in the German border town of Forbach with his mother, distant elder brother, and young sister. His quiet appearance and natural timidity conceal the fact that he is a crucial cog in the family’s wheel. Since his mother has an alcohol problem and spends much of her time socializing with men, Johnny is the one who is responsible for taking care of his younger sister.
When a new teacher arrives at Johnny’s school, there are some changes, but they aren’t always improvements. The teacher takes Johnny under his wing after witnessing the fallout from Johnny’s mother’s rage and realizing the young child is both intelligent and sensitive. As Johnny continues to explore the uncharted waters of sexual awakening, he will inevitably make incorrect assumptions in pursuing the affection he so desperately needs.
While the story is undoubtedly a Coming-of-Age one, given its focus on the loss of innocence and the age of the main protagonist, the relatively weak character development does little to engage or intrigue. That’s unfortunate, as Aliocha Reinert delivered a natural performance while his looks in front of the camera revealed insights about his character’s personality.
Characterization through appearance is the director’s chosen approach, which mostly works. When it doesn’t, one has the continuity of time to blame. The best scene in the film featuring Reinert is at the film’s finale and by then viewers would have already picked up most of the hints.
Softie reminds me of Philippe Claudel’s A Childhood, due to its portrayal of a marginalized family and growing up prematurely. As in most similarly themed Coming-of-Age films, the father figure is absent or his role is filled with temporary replacements. Despite those similarities, the story does not feature many cliches, and the small amount of controversy makes the story it tells stand out.
The story does not feature many cliches, and the small amount of controversy makes the story it tells stand out
Hunt (original title: Jakt), by Gjertrud Bergaust, is a daring short film with a compelling and controversial narrative and is a perfect example of a heartbreaking Coming-of-Age drama.
Asgaut (Havid Kringstad Hagen), the film’s protagonist, is a 14-year-old kid whose idyllic day of dyeing his hair and strolling around the Norwegian countryside is abruptly interrupted by a group of older lads. I was expecting again another film about bullying, but the plot turned out to be far more complex than I had anticipated.
Asgaut gets some much-needed assistance from a nearby farmer named Kjell (played by Cato Skimten Storengen), and the two end up being good friends. The teenage boy takes pleasure in lending a hand to his newfound friend on the farm. Kjell becomes a role model and a father figure to the young boy, who thrives as a result of the friendship and mentoring.
You might think you know where this narrative is going, but you’ll be taken aback by some truly terrible turns of events. The film’s devastating climax provides a moral dilemma that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
Even though prejudice and injustice are the primary concerns explored in the film, there is a strong emphasis placed on the characters. Everything seems genuine, and a large part of the credit for that goes to Havid Kringstad Hagen’s convincing performance as Asgaut. His character is stigmatized and has difficulty finding his place in the world, which contributes significantly to his acute sense of vulnerability.
The most impressive aspect of Hunt is undoubtedly its gripping story. When the story finished, it was difficult for me to refrain from passing judgment since I disagreed with the resolution of the ethical dilemma that a particular character had to face.
The film is available for free in Norwegian and on Amazon Prime Video (with English subtitles).
Hunt (original title: Jakt), by Gjertrud Bergaust, is a daring short film with a compelling and controversial narrative and is a perfect example of a heartbreaking Coming-of-Age drama.
Lately, a lot of quality Coming-of-Age indie cinema is being produced in Belgium. The latest of these is a film I came upon recently. What I had read about it, the poster artwork and opening sequences of Lukas Dhont‘s 2002 drama Close did little to prepare me for the profound emotional experience that was to follow.
The first third of the movie follows the friendship between Leo (Eden Dambrine) and Remi (Gustav De Waele), both 13 years old. We are treated to a wonderful depiction of their friendship as they go on bike rides, engage in a wrestling match, and talk about their hopes and goals for the future. Each one has created his own perfect world and they can fully understand the other’s subtleties. The Belgian director’s camerawork captures every nuance of the characters’ interactions, from fleeting glances to full-body movements.
As they begin the new school year together, their classmates have begun to notice how close they are to one another and have begun to speculate about their relationship. Léo begins to distance himself from Rémi, who is clueless to the reason. As a result, a conflict arises as Rémi is heartbroken when Léo grows distant since he doesn’t know why they’ve grown apart.
The movie then takes a dramatic turn that is shocking not only for the characters but for the audience as well.
Some of the story’s most prominent themes include friendship, peer pressure, societal conformity, as well as betrayal and grief. Its universal elements make it easy to relate to the protagonists. Who doesn’t remember their childhood best friend?
Mine would always include me in the starting lineup for soccer games, despite my less-than-stellar skills behind the ball, and vice versa. By the time summer was through, I’d be laying in bed, yearning for the days we’d spent together. A friendship is a type of love, or vice versa, although intimacy need not always be accompanied by romantic feelings.
The entire cast offers fantastic performances, yet it is Eden Dambrine — whose role evolves from being dreamy, to disconnected, to vulnerable — who is worth a special mention.
Both young performers are newcomers to the cinema and once again they provide a performance that outshines many of their seasoned colleagues.
Visually, the film succeeds thanks to its use of contrasting bright colors to depict gentle and emotional scenes bursting with emotional sentiment, a shaky camera to emphasize distress, and emotional close-up shots on the eyes of the protagonist, all of which convey a great deal of intimacy without the need for dialogue or additional explanation.
The sound design is also exceptionally well crafted, and while the score does not draw attention to itself, the amplified and muffled noises heighten the emotional state of the young protagonists in the film, which in turn greatly enhances the effect that the scenes have on the audience.
For all its emotional intensity, Close moves at a glacial pace, reminiscent of a low-budget independent film. It might be predictable at times, but it still provides a great, if somewhat downbeat, viewing experience.
Close ( 2022) Trailer
Close ( 2022)
It might be predictable at times, but it still provides a great, if somewhat downbeat, viewing experience.
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