Tag Archives: coming of age stories

Throwback Thursday: Never Let Me Go (2010)

When we are kids, we can’t wait to grow up. But then it happens and we question how it went so fast.

The 2010 film, Never Let Me Go, is based on the book of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro. Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightley), and Tommy (Andrew Garfield) grew up in a beautiful and isolated boarding school in the English countryside. Besties as children, they were never far from each other. Now reunited as adults, Kathy starts to look back at their memories and piece together the gifts that will shape the rest of their lives.

This film is best described as a coming of age story with a subtle current of science fiction lurking quietly beneath the surface. As I remember my experience to be, the film was ok. The acting is fantastic, but I recall not quite understanding the final scene.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Labor Day-Tense and Suspenseful

Romantic dramas and coming of age stories usually fall into two categories: Sappy and predictable or suspenseful and unpredictable.

Labor Day, thankfully falls into the second category.

Based on the book of the same name by Joyce Maynard, Labor Day is a love story, but also a coming of age story.

Adele (Kate Winslet) is a divorced single mother who has become anxious and isolated since her husband Gerald (Clark Gregg) left her for another woman. Her son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith) tries to make up for his father’s absence, but is lacking. When a convict, Frank (Josh Brolin) uses them as a means to hide until he can escape from the police, he becomes the father Henry needs and provides the love that Adele needs. 

I enjoyed this movie. It sort of had a Wonder Years type of narrative. Toby Maguire narrates the story as an adult Henry, remembering those fateful 5 days.  It could have been sappy, cliched or predictable. But it wasn’t. I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin have electric chemistry, Gattlin Griffith plays his character as both a young boy on the edge of growing up, but also taking on the responsibility of being the man of the house.

I may just read the book.

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