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Circuit Q&A: Best Youth-Centered A24 Movie?

waves
"Waves"

This decade, A24 has been an indie film cornerstone. They’ve also specialized in acquiring and producing youth-centered pictures with “Waves” being the latest example. Ever since its Telluride Film Festival premiere, “Waves” has become a critical darling. To celebrate its release, we’re wondering what your favorite film from the youth-driven catalog of A24 Films is.

When A24 made their debut in 2013, they released “Ginger and Rosa,” “Spring Breakers,” “The Spectacular Now,” and “The Bling Ring,” four movies depicting either adolescents or college-aged students. The latter film was quite divisive upon its release. However, “The Bling Ring” is a well-crafted critique of the shallowness of celebrity culture.

With “Room,” which came out a few years after, A24 broke their Best Picture glass ceiling. Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, “Room” follows the story of a kidnapped young woman (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who was born in captivity. After they escape, Jack begins to learn more about the outside world. In addition to getting nominated for Best Picture, it won the Best Actress Oscar for Larson.

moonlight film

Then there’s “Moonlight,” which achieved a monumental Best Picture win. It became the first LGBTQ+ movie, and the first film with an all-black cast, to win the coveted prize and with good reason. It’s a poetic gem about masculinity, identity, and queer love that made director Barry Jenkins a household name.

The next year, “Lady Bird” continued the trend of A24 being a Best Picture mainstay. Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” follows the titular protagonist as she navigates her way through her last year of high school. The movie earned five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Saoirse Ronan.

Lady Bird

Last year, “Eighth Grade” didn’t conjure much Oscar magic. Yet, it still earned rapturous acclaim. Particularly for leading actress Elsie Fisher who plays the demure Kayla Day. Writer/director Bo Burnham also earned plaudits for making his directorial debut, including the DGA Award for Best First Feature Film.

Which youth-centered A24 film is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by Matt St.Clair

Matt St.Clair is a freelance film journalist currently residing in Connecticut. He is a member of the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association and the Online Film & Television Association.

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Ryan

Moonlight

Clayton Davis

Moonlight for sure (in recent memory).

Of all time, Dead Poets Society and perhaps Radio Flyer.

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