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6 Authentic Journeys Into Womanhood: A Definite Film List

We’re here to recommend 6 sensational films that showcase authentic journeys into womanhood that you have to add to your watchlist immediately.

The coming-of-age genre seemingly expands every single day. From the Classical Hollywood era with Aubrey Hepburn and Judy Garland taking centre stage to Greta Gerwig’s ardent teenage worlds stealing every girl’s heart in the 21st century, there’s something for everyone. This definite list whittles down the abundance of coming-of-age films that are readily available to a mere 6 that showcase authentic journeys to womanhood in their own remarkable ways.

Of course, there’s plenty more than 6, so scroll till the end for our list of honourable mentions that we can’t leave out completely!



Director: Carolina Cavalli

Amanda Film Review: Complete Comfort – Loud And Clear Reviews
Film Review: Amanda showcases what it’s truly like to be a mid-twenties woman in a life that’s often isolating.

At the time of writing this, Amanda is my favourite film of 2023. Amanda (Benedetta Porcaroli) is a character who I instantly fell in love with. She has an allure people can only dream to have. As Amanda navigates her 20s, we take a front row seat to witness both her adversities and her nonchalant activities. Amanda is a character you want to be and the girl you want to be friends with: it’s an on-the-spot devotion. We witness Amanda try to rekindle a childhood friendship, steal a horse she’s been told not to go near, and even go to raves alone to try and meet a future spouse.

Cavalli’s debut feature has simplistic ideas, but it’s executed in such a way that it feels so personal. Amanda’s dedication to making friends to eradicate her loneliness reminds me of so many people I know. Your 20s are a lonely time and Amanda portrays this so effectively, something a lot of films tend to miss. I’ve only seen the film once, but I want to scream from the top of the highest mountain to make sure everyone watches this unbelievably fabulous and authentic coming-of-age drama.



Director: Emmanuelle Nicot

Love According to Dalva: Film Review – Loud And Clear Reviews
Film Review: Love According to Dalva explores childhood manipulation, as Dalva learns how to be a young girl again when she is forced to grow up.

After watching Love According to Dalva, it lit a spark in my head that there are so many underappreciated gems that are hidden in the coming-of-age genre. Many know and love the new classics, like Lady Bird or Booksmart, but are so enamoured by them that they fail to venture out. Nicot’s first feature is a tough watch for the most part due to the upsetting themes throughout, but it is an essential watch.

Zelda Samson, who plays the lead Dalva, gives a strong, exceptional performance in a role where she’s forced to grow up in the wake of spending her preteen years being abused. When she moves into a foster home, Dalva begins to relearn her true self again whilst surrounding herself with like minded individuals. For most of the 83 minute runtime we slowly watch Dalva come out of her shell, as her day to day activities in the children’s home are documented. It feels so personal to the point it’s like we’re there with her. Love According to Dalva reminds you what it’s like to be human, especially growing up as a girl in a sometimes cruel world.



Director: Eliza Hittman

Never Rarely Sometimes Always: Film Review – Loud And Clear Reviews
Film Review: Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a genre-defying road movie on the beautiful difficulties of facing the challenges of adulthood.

Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always is one of the most transfixing films to ever grace our screens. Sidney Flanigan is the ultimate leading lady of the 20s so far. Autumn (Flanigan), a teenager who has fallen pregnant in a state where she cannot get an abortion, must embark on the most harrowing journey of her life. Along with cousin and best friend Skylar (Talia Ryder), Autumn travels to New York City to undergo a medical abortion.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is an extensive look into what happens when women aren’t allowed to make a simple choice about their own bodies in the city they live in. The Academy may have overlooked this one in 2020, but do yourself a favour and watch this incredible journey of Autumn emerging into womanhood. It’s an outstanding coming-of-age film. 



Directors: Kathleen Hepburn & Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

loud and clear reviews 6 Authentic Journeys Into Womanhood Film List The Body Remembers When the Body Broke Open
6 Authentic Journeys Into Womanhood: A Definite Film List – The Body Remembers When the Body Broke Open (Oslo Pictures)

Ever so often, a film sticks with you to the point you think about it week after week. Hepburn and Tailfeathers’ staggering Canadian feature, centred around womanhood, was shown in a class I had with Kazik Radwanski, a fellow Canadian writer and director, back in early 2020. The two lead Indigenous women, Rosie (Violet Nelson) and Áila (Tailfeathers), are both on separate journeys, but cross paths arbitrarily when Áila finds Rosie crying on the street.

Áila learns that Rosie needs a place to stay after being assaulted by her boyfriend and offers to take a cab with her to find room at a women’s shelter. As the day goes on, the pair become more acquainted and comfortable with each other, sharing jokes and life advice. The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open shows how women can come together in a time of need, even when they don’t know a thing about each other.



Director: Céline Sciamma

loud and clear reviews 6 Authentic Journeys Into Womanhood Film List girlhood
6 Authentic Journeys Into Womanhood: A Definite Film List – Girlhood (Studiocanal)

If you haven’t indulged in any of Sciamma’s films by now, what are you doing? From Portrait of a Lady on Fire to Petite Maman, Sciamma has it all. With only 5 features, Sciamma has made a name for herself in the coming-of-age genre, especially with the underrated Girlhood. Marieme (Karidja Touré) is the centre of attention in Girlhood, a drama all about a girl trying to fit in with a new group of friends in the suburbs of Paris.

What makes Girlhood so special is how it captures exactly what it’s like being a girl when all you want is to feel like you belong to a group of people and feel loved. You of course want your own identity and to still be yourself, but the feeling of being adored by people you relish is the best feeling in the world. Sciamma embodies that emotion all too well, making it a key film to watch when it comes to looking at journeys into womanhood.



Director: Maggie Carey

loud and clear reviews 6 Authentic Journeys Into Womanhood Film List the to do list
6 Authentic Journeys Into Womanhood: A Definite Film List – The To Do List (3 Arts Entertainment)

The To Do List is like if 16 Wishes and American Pie had a baby. It’s comical yet relatable in the best ways. Losing your virginity before going off to college shouldn’t be the biggest thing occupying your mind, but for Brandy (Aubrey Plaza), it’s the only thought she can set her mind on. Brandy writes a list of various sexual activities that she has to complete before setting foot in her freshman dorm. She’s inexperienced and wants to be a master at everything. Brandy is determined to tick everything off of her list and nobody will get in her way.

Nothing brightens up the room more than seeing Plaza in the limelight, especially when it’s the utterly droll The To Do List. Carey’s only directorial credit is full of laughs, and takes an authentic, charismatic approach to the coming-of-age genre. Don’t pass up an opportunity to watch The To Do List.


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