There’s nothing preachy about Jinn, even though Nijla Mu’min’s elegant debut feature is about a teenager coming to terms with her mother’s newly embraced religion.
Focusing on Billy’s vulnerability as much as his flamboyance (Alex Lawther handles both with aplomb), Trudie Styler charts his hard-won maturation with sobering insights into his warring parents and fellow students cowed into obedience.
The coming-of-age movie is the go-to genre for directors in their twenties and thirties still feeling the reverberations of those excitable years. But an octogenarian? Terry Sanders embraces naïve wisdom in the wispy drama Liza, Liza, Skies Are Grey.
In his debut film Some Freaks, writer/director Ian MacAllister-McDonald focuses on teenage misfits. Tagged as irredeemable outsiders in their Rhode Island high school, three seniors cope with indignation and hopelessness.
The defanged film adaptation of Stephen Karam’s 2007 play Speech & Debate takes a Breakfast Club approach to high school characters, defining each by a single trait. There’s journalism nerd Solomon (Liam James), theater geek Diwata (Sarah Steele), and openly gay Howie (Austin P. McKenzie).