Watching Toronto- Young Women Coming of Age

by Melissa Silverstein on September 11, 2009

in Awards,Festivals

PreciousPosterThe Toronto Film Festival kicked off this week and there are some very special and excellent films about young women that are getting a lot of notice.  It seems that young women coming of age has emerged as one of the themes of the festival.  The great thing is that all the films look so cool and are getting great notices.

education_ver2Here’s what Cameron Bailey the festival’s co-director said to IndieWire last week:

“There’s been some really great films about the coming of age of young women,” he said. “It began probably at Sundance with films like ‘An Education’ and ‘Precious’ – two very different approaches to that turf – and then at Cannes in films like ‘Fish Tank.’  With ‘Cracks’ and ‘Tanner Hall’ – two new films that Toronto has – we see [those themes] picked up again.  It’s sometimes with women directors, and sometimes with men, but in every case you’re seeing a kind of new approach to the coming-of-age story. The coming-of-age story of a young man is kind of a staple in the movies, but I think we’re seeing filmmakers pay more attention to how young women come of age and what they’re going through.”

As he says- the coming of age for young men is so common and finally we are starting to pay attention to young women. FINALLY.

Even more important is that the conversation about both Precious and An Education are just beginning as they both get ready to roll out.  I am also going to throw Bright Star in here as a woman’s coming of age story.  Even though it’s basically a love story the growth of Fanny in the relationship and what she has to endure and live with after the death of her beloved is one of those life changing moments.  All three films are potential Oscar bait so I for one am psyched for these films and themes to be a part of our cultural conversation.


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