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Billy Elliot (2000)
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Billy Elliot (2000)

County Durham, during the endless, violent 1984 strike against the Thatcher closure of British coal mines. Widower Jackie Elliot and his firstborn, fellow miner Tony, take a dim view of 11 year-old second son Billy's poor record in boxing class, which worsens when they discover he sneakily transferred to the neighboring, otherwise girls-only-attended ballet class. Only one schoolmate, closet-gay Michael Caffrey, encourages Billy's desire, aroused by the teacher, who judged him talented enough for private lesson, to train and try out for the world-renowned Royal Ballet audition. Only the prospect of a fancy career unimagined in the pauper quarter may twist pa and big brother's opposition to indispensable support. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age martial arts independent film 
Themes:
death of wife childhood homophobia sexuality unfaithfulness death of mother poverty extramarital affair dance drunkenness fear adultery money christmas infidelity death friendship  (See All)
Mood:
affection 
Locations:
dance school elevator london england bus bathtub cemetery school 
Characters:
dance teacher teacher student relationship gay friend self expression self discovery grandmother grandson relationship best friend bully dancer policeman teacher brother sister relationship brother brother relationship doctor friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police homosexual  (See All)
Period:
year 1984 1990s 1980s 
Story:
coal miner ballet dancer ballet teacher dance class royal ballet school ballet school ballet dancing swan lake coal mine miners strike pillow fight jewelry box boy wearing lipstick boy wearing a dress sledge hammer riot police riot shield riot gear gay crush mobile library working class boxing lesson boxing trainer boxing gloves destroying a piano piano player letter of acceptance falling into a bathtub male dancer dance instructor school uniform merry christmas christmas lights dancing in the street tap dancing boy boy kiss breakfast tray newcastle upon tyne soccer shirt standing on a table police van stuffed toy animal reference to ginger rogers boy dressed as a girl boogie sliding door scab dressing up breakthrough physical exam gargling billy club reference to fred astaire following a dream impatience picket line against the odds tutu spinning northern england gay kid mining town pawnbroker apron mine shaft jumping on a bed stick motivation kiss on the cheek laborer triumph nightstick changing room washing swan circular staircase coal labor union pillow snowman music box surrogate mother talent soccer ball postman miner punching bag transvestism mail mooning tombstone librarian strike escalator fence inspiration gay bashing stage performance apparition teaching electricity jewelry earphones friendship between boys joy dead mother ferry snowing lipstick theatre audience makeup sexism child's point of view embarrassment compassion crush loss of wife boxer hammer communist demonstration listening to music recording slow motion egg dress shaving hugging transvestite record player riot cross dressing trust sacrifice loss of mother class ballet sadness tragic event pianist gym audition widower coming out library grave graveyard bath judge boxing toilet montage gay slur classroom piano bathroom running tears lie book letter bare butt punched in the face face slap urination underwear beating crying telephone call chase photograph dancing cigarette smoking character name in title violence nudity blood kiss sex  (See All)

Nowhere Boy (2009)
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Nowhere Boy (2009)

The story of John Lennon's childhood and teenage years from 1944 to 1960, his relationship with his aunt Mimi and his mother Julia -the two dominant women in the first part of his life-, his first meeting with Paul McCartney and George Harrison, their friendship, their love for music and the birth of The Beatles. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
death of wife childhood death of mother drunkenness money friendship death 
Mood:
affection 
Locations:
bus cemetery school 
Characters:
best friend dancer teacher friend husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
piano player school uniform joy dead mother theatre audience listening to music recording record player sadness graveyard montage piano running tears lie book letter punched in the face urination underwear crying telephone call photograph dancing cigarette smoking sex kiss blood  (See All)

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The Squid And The Whale (2005)
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The Squid And The Whale (2005)

In 1986, In Brooklyn, New York, the dysfunctional family of pseudo intellectuals composed by the university professor Bernard and the prominent writer Joan split. Bernard is a selfish, cheap and jealous decadent writer that rationalizes every attitude in his family and life and does not accept "philistines" - people that do not read books or watch movies, while the unfaithful Joan is growing as a writer and has no problems with "philistines". Their sons, the teenager Walt and the boy Frank, feel the separation and take side: Walt stays with Bernard, and Frank with Joan, and both are affected with abnormal behaviors. Frank drinks booze and smears with sperm the books in the library and a locker in the dress room of his school. The messed-up and insecure Walt uses Roger Water's song "Hey You" in a festival as if it was of his own, and breaks up with his girlfriend Sophie. Meanwhile Joan has an affair with Frank's tennis teacher Ivan and Bernard with his student Lili. (Read More)

Subgenre:
independent film 
Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair drunkenness adultery money infidelity friendship 
Locations:
elevator bathtub school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship policeman teacher brother sister relationship brother brother relationship doctor friend husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Period:
1980s 
Story:
earphones theatre audience listening to music recording dress record player class library boxing toilet classroom bathroom tears lie book letter face slap underwear crying telephone call photograph kiss sex  (See All)

Birth (2004)
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Birth (2004)

Anna is a young widow who is finally getting on with her life after the death of her husband, Sean. Now engaged to be married, Anna meets a ten-year-old boy who tells her he is Sean reincarnated. Though his story is both unsettling and absurd, Anna can't get the boy out of her mind. And much to the concern of her fiance, her increased contact with him leads her to question the choices she has made in her life. (Read More)

Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair adultery infidelity death 
Locations:
bathtub cemetery 
Characters:
policeman teacher doctor mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
tombstone snowing trust class pianist grave graveyard bath classroom piano running tears lie bare butt punched in the face underwear crying telephone call cigarette smoking sex kiss  (See All)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have the perfect life together living the American dream... until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Make that a lot of help... (Read More)

Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair drunkenness adultery money infidelity friendship 
Characters:
dancer policeman teacher brother sister relationship friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
escalator lipstick makeup listening to music recording record player class ballet sadness gym montage classroom lie punched in the face face slap crying telephone call chase photograph dancing kiss  (See All)

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Conviction (2010)
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Conviction (2010)

Betty Anne Waters (Swank) is a high school dropout who spent nearly two decades working as a single mother while putting herself through law school, tirelessly trying to beat the system and overturn her brother's (Rockwell) unjust murder conviction.

Themes:
fear money christmas friendship death 
Locations:
school 
Characters:
dancer policeman brother sister relationship brother brother relationship friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
working class merry christmas dead mother sacrifice class judge toilet classroom running tears lie letter bare butt punched in the face face slap beating crying telephone call photograph dancing cigarette smoking character name in title nudity blood violence  (See All)

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)
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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)

Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
homophobia dance fear christmas friendship 
Characters:
teacher student relationship gay friend best friend bully dancer policeman teacher brother sister relationship brother brother relationship doctor friend husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships homosexual  (See All)
Period:
1990s 
Story:
theatre audience sexism crush listening to music hugging trust class sadness library gay slur classroom bathroom running tears book letter punched in the face face slap beating crying telephone call photograph dancing kiss  (See All)

Mysterious Skin (2004)
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Mysterious Skin (2004)

Brian Lackey is determined to discover what happened during an amnesia blackout when he was eight years old, and then later woke with a bloody nose. He believes he was abducted by aliens, and N. McCormick, a fellow player on Brian's childhood baseball team, may be the key as to exactly what happened that night. As Brian searches for the truth and tries to track him down, Neil McCormick takes up hustling and moves to New York, in attempts to forget childhood memories that haunt him. Together, the two of them uncover the terrible truth of the scars they share. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age independent film 
Themes:
childhood drunkenness money christmas friendship 
Locations:
bus bathtub 
Characters:
gay friend best friend bully brother sister relationship friend father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships homosexual 
Period:
1990s 1980s 
Story:
gay crush gargling gay kid earphones snowing child's point of view crush listening to music sadness library bath gay slur running tears letter face slap urination underwear beating crying telephone call photograph cigarette smoking nudity kiss violence blood  (See All)

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Buffalo '66 (1998) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Buffalo '66 (1998)

Billy is released after five years in prison. In the next moment, he kidnaps teenage student Layla and visits his parents with her, pretending she is his girlfriend and they will soon marry (and forcing her to say the same).

Subgenre:
independent film 
Themes:
money friendship death 
Locations:
bus bathtub cemetery 
Characters:
dancer friend husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship 
Story:
dance class tap dancing snowing grave graveyard bath judge montage gay slur running lie urination underwear telephone call photograph dancing cigarette smoking kiss violence blood  (See All)

Charlie Bartlett (2007)
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Charlie Bartlett (2007)

Although cheerful, friendly, intelligent, well-dressed, authentic and wealthy, Charlie Bartlett has problems. With his father gone and his mother loopy and clueless, he's been expelled from every private school for his victimless crimes. Now he's in a public school getting punched out daily by the school thug. He ever longs to be popular - the go-to guy - and the true crux of his troubles is that he invariably finds the means to this end, whatever that might be. At Western Summit High, he makes peace with his tormentor by going into business with him - listening to kids' problems and selling them prescription drugs. Charlie's a hit, but attraction to Susan (daughter of the school's laissez-faire principal), new security cameras on campus, a student's overdose, and Charlie's open world view all converge to get him in serious trouble. Can this self-made physician possibly heal himself and just be a kid? (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair drunkenness adultery money infidelity friendship 
Locations:
school 
Characters:
bully dancer policeman teacher friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
piano player school uniform compassion demonstration riot class audition coming out toilet montage classroom piano tears book punched in the face underwear beating crying telephone call dancing cigarette smoking character name in title sex blood kiss  (See All)

Tokyo Story (1953)
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Tokyo Story (1953)

An elderly couple journey to Tokyo to visit their children and are confronted by indifference, ingratitude and selfishness. When the parents are packed off to a resort by their busy, impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality.

Themes:
death of wife death of mother drunkenness fear money friendship death 
Locations:
bus cemetery school 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship policeman teacher brother sister relationship doctor friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
school uniform loss of wife loss of mother class sadness widower graveyard bath classroom lie letter underwear crying telephone call photograph cigarette smoking  (See All)

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Sing Street (2016)
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Sing Street (2016)

This is the beginning of the eighties and everybody is moving to the beat of Pop music, as the brand-new concept of the music video appears on television for the first time. However, in Dublin, Conor, a teenager with a sensitive heart, is trying to deal with a tense family relationship, reconnect with his older brother while dealing with the hostile environment in his new public school. And then one day, he sees her. Tall, with long chestnut hair, a buttery complexion and big, dark eyes; an enigmatically beautiful girl standing in front of his school's gate, indolently observing people passing by. But who is she and how could a boy ever get noticed by such a distant girl? That's easy. He would form a band. Surprisingly, with every lyric Conor writes, the gap narrows and with every song he plays, her heart fills with affection. In the end, before a sea of opportunities lying ahead of them, what will the future hold for a brave love like this? (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age independent film 
Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair adultery infidelity friendship 
Mood:
affection 
Locations:
school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship bully dancer teacher brother sister relationship brother brother relationship friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Period:
1980s 
Story:
piano player kiss on the cheek earphones ferry makeup listening to music recording record player sadness montage gay slur piano lie punched in the face face slap crying dancing cigarette smoking sex kiss  (See All)

October Sky (1999) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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October Sky (1999)

In a 1950's mining town called Coalwood, Homer Hickam is a kid with only one future in sight, to work in the local coal mine like his father. However in October 1957, everything changes when the first artificial satellite, Sputnik goes into orbit. With that event, Homer becomes inspired to learn how to build rockets. With his friends and the local nerd, Homer sets to do just that by trial and a lot of error. Unfortunately, most of the town and especially Homer's father thinks that they are wasting their time. Only one teacher in the high school understands their efforts and lets them know that they could become contenders in the national science fair with college scholarships being the prize. Now the gang must learn to perfect their craft and overcome the many problems facing them as they shoot for the stars. (Read More)

Themes:
dance drunkenness death friendship 
Locations:
bus school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship dancer teacher brother brother relationship friend father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
coal mine mining town triumph coal labor union miner fence demonstration recording record player class gym classroom tears crying dancing  (See All)

In A Better World (2010)
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In A Better World (2010)

Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian's mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy. (Read More)

Themes:
death of wife unfaithfulness death of mother extramarital affair fear adultery infidelity death friendship 
Locations:
elevator london england school 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship bully policeman teacher brother brother relationship doctor friend husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
soccer ball friendship between boys loss of wife loss of mother class widower gay slur classroom running tears lie beating crying telephone call photograph violence blood kiss sex  (See All)

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Dan In Real Life (2007)
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Dan In Real Life (2007)

Single father Dan Burns dedicates his life to his children, but one day he meets Marie at a bookstore. They get to know each other, but then Dan finds out that Marie is actually dating his brother, Mitch.

Themes:
death of wife death of mother 
Locations:
bus bathtub school 
Characters:
dancer policeman brother sister relationship brother brother relationship doctor father daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
dead mother loss of wife loss of mother pianist gym widower piano tears book punched in the face crying telephone call photograph dancing character name in title kiss  (See All)

The Reader (2008)
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The Reader (2008)

THE READER opens in post-war Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from "The Odyssey," "Huck Finn" and "The Lady with the Little Dog." Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life - this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hanna's past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. THE READER is a story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
fear money friendship death 
Locations:
bathtub cemetery school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship policeman teacher brother sister relationship friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Period:
1990s 1980s 
Story:
police van mail snowing embarrassment demonstration listening to music egg class library graveyard judge classroom tears lie book letter face slap underwear crying telephone call photograph cigarette smoking kiss  (See All)

Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)

In 1944, upper class boy Julien Quentin and his brother Francois travel to Catholic boarding school in the countryside after vacations. Julien is a leader and good student and when the new student Jean Bonnet arrives in the school, they have friction in their relationship. However, Julien learns to respect Jean and discovers that he is Jewish and the priests are hiding him from the Nazis. They become best friends and Julien keeps the secret. When the priest Jean discovers that the servant Joseph is stealing supplies from the school to sell in the black market, he fires the youth. Sooner the Gestapo arrives at school to investigate the students and the priests that run and work in the boarding school. (Read More)

Themes:
fear christmas friendship death 
Locations:
bathtub school 
Characters:
bully teacher brother sister relationship brother brother relationship doctor friend husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
piano player mail snowing communist listening to music class tragic event pianist bath classroom piano bathroom running tears lie book letter urination underwear crying telephone call chase photograph cigarette smoking blood  (See All)

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The Master (2012)
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The Master (2012)

Returning from Navy service in World War II, Freddie Quell drifts through a series of breakdowns. Finally he stumbles upon a cult which engages in exercises to clear emotions and he becomes deeply involved with them.

Themes:
drunkenness fear 
Locations:
elevator school 
Characters:
dancer policeman doctor mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
piano player school uniform kiss on the cheek earphones communist montage piano bathroom running tears lie book letter face slap urination beating crying telephone call chase photograph dancing cigarette smoking sex nudity violence kiss  (See All)

Boy A (2007)
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Boy A (2007)

A young man is released from prison after many years and given a new identity in a new town. Aided by a supervisor who becomes like a father to him he finds a job and friends and hesitantly starts a relationship with a compassionate girl. But the secret of the heinous crime he committed as a boy weighs down on him, and he learns that it is not so easy to escape your past. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
childhood dance drunkenness fear friendship death 
Locations:
bus bathtub cemetery school 
Characters:
bully dancer policeman teacher brother brother relationship friend father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
school uniform friendship between boys embarrassment hugging class graveyard classroom tears lie letter bare butt punched in the face face slap underwear beating crying telephone call photograph dancing kiss blood violence  (See All)

Hesher (2010)
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Hesher (2010)

T.J., a high school freshman, lost his mother two months before in a car accident: his father pops pills and sits on the couch; his grandmother holds things together, chatting and cooking. T.J. wants the car back from the salvage yard where the owner's son is a bully. By happenstance, Hesher, a foul-mouthed squatter, moves in with T.J's family. T.J. also meets Nicole, a grocery clerk near poverty who helps him once. Hesher involves T.J. in crime, the bully is omnipresent, mom's car is slipping away, dad has checked out, T.J. watches Nicole at work, and his grandma invites him to join her morning walk: the odds are long that T.J. can assemble a family to help him thrive. (Read More)

Themes:
death of wife death of mother poverty money friendship death 
Locations:
bathtub school 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship bully policeman teacher doctor friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship police 
Story:
surrogate mother loss of wife listening to music shaving loss of mother class bath classroom running tears lie punched in the face urination underwear beating crying telephone call chase photograph cigarette smoking character name in title blood violence  (See All)

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Jersey Girl (2004) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Jersey Girl (2004)

Ollie Trinkie is a publicist, who has a great girlfriend, Gertrude, whom he marries and they are expecting a baby but while he is looking forward to being a father, he doesn't lighten his workload. Gertrude gives birth but dies in the process. Ollie doesn't live up to his responsibilities as a father. Eventually the strain and pressure of losing his wife and being a father gets to him and he has breakdown, which leads to his termination. So with nothing much to do he tries to be good father to his daughter, Gertie. He also meets a young woman name Maya, who likes him but he is still not over his wife. (Read More)

Themes:
death of wife drunkenness christmas friendship death 
Locations:
cemetery 
Characters:
dancer teacher friend father daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Period:
1990s 
Story:
piano player school uniform embarrassment loss of wife class widower graveyard toilet classroom piano bathroom lie underwear dancing cigarette smoking kiss nudity sex  (See All)

Adore (2013)
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Adore (2013)

Lil ('Naomi Watts' (qv)) and Roz ('Robin Wright (V)' (qv)) are two lifelong friends, having grown up together as neighbors in an idyllic beach town. As adults, their sons have developed a friendship as strong as that which binds their mothers. One summer, all four are confronted by simmering emotions that have been mounting between them, and each find unexpected happiness in relationships that cross the bounds of convention. (Read More)

Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair drunkenness fear adultery infidelity friendship death 
Locations:
bus cemetery 
Characters:
best friend dancer friend husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
surrogate mother listening to music sadness audition grave graveyard running tears lie book bare butt face slap crying telephone call photograph dancing cigarette smoking kiss nudity sex  (See All)

The Dressmaker (2015)
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The Dressmaker (2015)

Based on Rosalie Ham's best selling novel, The Dressmaker is the story of femme fatale Tilly Dunnage who returns to her small home town in the country to right the wrongs of the past. A stylish drama with comic undertones about love, revenge and haute couture.

Themes:
unfaithfulness death of mother extramarital affair dance adultery infidelity friendship 
Locations:
london england bus bathtub cemetery 
Characters:
bully dancer brother brother relationship friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
listening to music recording record player transvestite loss of mother bath running lie book letter face slap telephone call chase photograph dancing cigarette smoking blood violence kiss  (See All)

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High-rise (2015)
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High-rise (2015)

Class struggle becomes all too real as a young doctor moves into a modern apartment block in suburban 1975 London. Drugs, drink & debauchery dissolve into murder, mayhem and misogyny in this pseudo-post-apocalyptic breakdown of societal norms.

Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair drunkenness adultery money infidelity 
Locations:
elevator london england 
Characters:
dancer policeman brother sister relationship doctor mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
earphones listening to music recording shaving record player class gym montage lie bare butt punched in the face face slap underwear beating photograph dancing cigarette smoking kiss sex blood violence nudity  (See All)

Head-on (2004) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Head-on (2004)

In 'Gegen die Wand' Cahit, a 40-something male from Mersin in Turkey has removed everything Turkish from his life. He has become an alcoholic drug addict and at the start of the movie wants to end it all. Sibel a 20-something female from Hamburg wishes to please her Turkish parents yet yearns for freedom. She has had her nose broken by her brother for being seen holding hands with a boy and yet she can not break her mother's heart and run away. She too attempts suicide and she first approaches Cahit there at the Hospital. Sibel asks Cahit to marry her, as she believes this to be the way out of her parent's house. She promises Cahit that their relationship will be like roommates, not like a married couple. The film follows Sibel and Cahit as they get married, become closer and eventually fall in love. (Read More)

Themes:
death of wife unfaithfulness death of mother extramarital affair drunkenness adultery money infidelity friendship death 
Locations:
bus 
Characters:
dancer brother sister relationship doctor friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship family relationships homosexual 
Story:
piano player earphones shaving widower toilet montage gay slur piano running tears lie letter face slap underwear beating crying telephone call chase photograph dancing cigarette smoking sex kiss violence blood  (See All)

A Man Called Ove (2015)
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A Man Called Ove (2015)

59 year old Ove is the block's grumpy man who several years earlier was deposed as president of the condominium association, but he could not give a damn about being deposed and therefore keeps looking over the neighborhood with an iron fist. When pregnant Parvaneh and her family moves into the terraced house opposite and accidentally backs into Ove's mailbox it turns out to be an unexpected friendship. A drama comedy about unexpected friendship, love and the importance of surrounding yourself with the proper tools. (Read More)

Themes:
death of wife death of mother money friendship death 
Locations:
bus cemetery 
Characters:
teacher student relationship dancer policeman teacher doctor friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
snowing loss of wife hammer listening to music slow motion loss of mother widower coming out grave running lie book letter crying telephone call chase photograph dancing character name in title kiss blood  (See All)

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Evil (2003)
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Evil (2003)

Erik is expelled from school for fighting. He ends up at a private boarding school where the senior students control the young ones. Erik finds a friend in Pierre, his room mate. The story revolves around Erik who just wishes to be left alone and graduate. He doesn't listen to what the seniors have to say and they don't like it. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
fear money christmas friendship 
Locations:
school 
Characters:
bully teacher brother sister relationship friend mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships 
Story:
school uniform changing room snowing recording record player pianist piano book letter punched in the face face slap urination beating telephone call cigarette smoking kiss sex nudity violence blood  (See All)

Rocky V (1990)
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Rocky V (1990)

Rocky Balboa is forced to retire after having permanent damage inflicted on him in the ring by the Russian boxer Ivan Drago. Returning home after the Drago bout, Balboa discovers that the fortune that he had acquired as heavyweight champ has been stolen and lost on the stockmarket by his accountant. His boxing days over, Rocky begins to coach an up-and-coming fighter named Tommy Gunn. Rocky cannot compete, however, with the high salaraies and glittering prizes being offered to Gunn by other managers in town. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
poverty money christmas 
Locations:
school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship bully brother sister relationship doctor husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship 
Period:
1990s 1980s 
Story:
boxing trainer boxing gloves punching bag fence boxer gym boxing montage running punched in the face photograph cigarette smoking character name in title kiss blood 

Nine (2009) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Nine (2009)

Arrogant, self-centered movie director Guido Contini finds himself struggling to find meaning, purpose, and a script for his latest film endeavor. With only a week left before shooting begins, he desperately searches for answers and inspiration from his wife, his mistress, his muse, and his mother. As his chaotic profession steadily destroys his personal life, Guido must find a balance between creating art and succumbing to its obsessive demands. (Read More)

Themes:
sexuality unfaithfulness extramarital affair adultery infidelity 
Characters:
teacher student relationship dancer teacher doctor husband wife relationship mother son relationship 
Story:
circular staircase inspiration dead mother lipstick makeup loss of mother pianist piano running tears lie underwear beating crying telephone call chase photograph dancing cigarette smoking kiss sex  (See All)

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Across The Universe (2007)
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Across The Universe (2007)

Across The Universe is a fictional love story set in the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, the struggle for free speech and civil rights, mind exploration and rock and roll. At once gritty, whimsical and highly theatrical, the story moves from high schools and universities in Massachusetts, Princeton and Ohio to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Detroit riots, Vietnam and the dockyards of Liverpool. A combination of live action and animation, the film is paired with many songs by 'The Beatles' (qv) that defined the time. (Read More)

Themes:
dance drunkenness death friendship 
Locations:
bus cemetery 
Characters:
dancer policeman teacher brother sister relationship friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
riot police physical exam strike escalator snowing theatre audience hammer demonstration riot class sadness gym montage classroom running letter punched in the face urination beating crying telephone call chase photograph dancing cigarette smoking kiss blood  (See All)

Heavenly Creatures (1994)
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Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship.

Subgenre:
coming of age independent film 
Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair adultery christmas infidelity death friendship 
Locations:
bathtub 
Characters:
dancer teacher brother sister relationship friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship family relationships 
Story:
school uniform apparition theatre audience recording slow motion record player class montage classroom letter face slap crying telephone call dancing blood kiss  (See All)

An Education (2009)
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An Education (2009)

In the early 1960's, sixteen year old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father's wishes, everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as he wants her to have a better life than he. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working but also naturally gifted. The only problems her father may perceive in her life is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a boy named Graham, who is nice but socially awkward. Jenny's life changes after she meets David Goldman, a man over twice her age. David goes out of his way to show Jenny and her family that his interest in her is not improper and that he wants solely to expose her to cultural activities which she enjoys. Jenny quickly gets accustomed to the life to which David and his constant companions, Danny and Helen, have shown her, and Jenny and David's relationship does move into becoming a romantic one. However, Jenny slowly learns more about David, and by association Danny and Helen, and specifically how they make their money. Jenny has to decide if what she learns about them and leading such a life is worth forgoing her plans of higher eduction at Oxford. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair adultery money infidelity friendship 
Locations:
london england bus cemetery school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship dancer teacher friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
dance class school uniform dancing in the street snowing listening to music recording hugging record player class montage classroom tears lie book letter crying dancing cigarette smoking kiss sex  (See All)

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The Visitor (2007) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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The Visitor (2007)

In Connecticut, lonely widowed Professor Walter Vale has a boring life. He teaches only one class at the local college and is trying to learn how to play the piano, despite not having the necessary musical talent. Walter is assigned to attend a conference about Global Policy and Development at New York University, where he is to give a lecture about a paper on which he is co-author. When he arrives at his apartment in New York, he finds Tarek Khalil, a Syrian musician, and Zainab, a Senegalese street vendor, living there. He sympathizes with the situation of the illegal immigrants and invites the couple to stay with him. Tarek invites him to go to his gig at Jules Live Jazz. Walter is fascinated with his African drum and Tarek offers to teach Walter to play the drum. However, after an incident in the subway, Tarek is arrested by the police and sent to a detention center for illegal immigrants. Walter has just hired a lawyer to defend Tarek when, out of the blue, Tarek's mother Mouna arrives at the apartment from Michigan. He invites her to stay in Tarek's room and while trying to get Tarek released, Walter and Mouna get close to each other and he finds reasons to feel life can be exciting and worth living again. (Read More)

Subgenre:
independent film 
Themes:
friendship 
Locations:
elevator bathtub 
Characters:
teacher student relationship self discovery dancer policeman teacher friend husband wife relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
piano player talent jewelry earphones ferry listening to music shaving class widower bath classroom piano book underwear telephone call photograph dancing kiss  (See All)

Into The Wild (2007)
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Into The Wild (2007)

Based on a true story. After graduating from Emory University, Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire savings account to charity, and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life.

Subgenre:
coming of age independent film 
Themes:
death of wife unfaithfulness drunkenness adultery money infidelity death 
Locations:
bus 
Characters:
self discovery dancer policeman brother sister relationship father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Period:
1990s 
Story:
piano player following a dream stage performance listening to music shaving widower piano running tears book bare butt face slap urination underwear beating crying telephone call chase photograph dancing cigarette smoking nudity blood sex violence  (See All)

Bronson (2008)
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Bronson (2008)

In 1974, a hot-headed 19 year old named Michael Peterson decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to 7 years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. During that time, Michael Petersen, the boy, faded away and 'Charles Bronson,' his superstar alter ego, took center stage. Inside the mind of Bronson - a scathing indictment of celebrity culture. (Read More)

Subgenre:
independent film 
Themes:
money death 
Locations:
school 
Characters:
dancer policeman teacher husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship police 
Story:
billy club nightstick jewelry theatre audience listening to music recording record player judge toilet montage tears bare butt punched in the face underwear beating crying telephone call photograph dancing cigarette smoking character name in title kiss blood violence nudity  (See All)

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Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
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Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

In Bedridge, Professor Parker Wilson finds an abandoned dog at the train station and takes it home with the intention of returning the animal to its owner. He finds that the dog is an Akita and names it Hachiko. However, nobody claims the dog so his family decides to keep Hachi.

Themes:
christmas friendship death 
Locations:
bathtub cemetery school 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship dancer teacher friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship family relationships 
Story:
fence snowing slow motion class ballet pianist bath montage classroom piano tears crying telephone call dancing character name in title kiss  (See All)

Malena (2000) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Malena (2000)

Malena is about the peril of a beauty through the eyes of a 12 year old kid named Renato. He experiences three things on the same day, beginning of war, getting a bike and sees the arrival of Malena in town. Through his eyes, we see the curse of beauty and loneliness of Malena, whose husband is presumed to be dead, and through his soul we see his love for her. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
unfaithfulness poverty adultery infidelity death 
Locations:
school 
Characters:
dancer teacher brother sister relationship doctor father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
communist class judge classroom lie letter bare butt face slap urination underwear beating crying photograph dancing cigarette smoking character name in title kiss blood sex  (See All)

Happy-go-lucky (2008)
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Happy-go-lucky (2008)

Poppy Cross is happy-go-lucky. At 30, she lives in Camden: cheeky, playful, frank while funny, and talkative to strangers. She's a conscientious and exuberant primary-school teacher, flatmates with Zoe, her long-time friend; she's close to one sister, and not so close to another. In this slice of life story, we watch her take driving lessons from Scott, a dour and tightly-wound instructor, take classes in flamenco dance from a fiery Spaniard, encounter a tramp in the night, and sort out a student's aggressive behavior with a social worker's help. Along the way, we wonder if her open attitude puts her at risk of misunderstanding or worse. What is the root of happiness? (Read More)

Themes:
dance friendship 
Locations:
london england bus school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship bully dancer teacher friend husband wife relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
dance class school uniform teaching class classroom running lie book underwear telephone call chase dancing cigarette smoking kiss 

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The Tree Of Life (2011)
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The Tree Of Life (2011)

The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father ('Brad Pitt' (qv)). Jack (played as an adult by 'Sean Penn (I)' (qv)) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age independent film 
Themes:
childhood fear death 
Locations:
elevator bathtub cemetery school 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship bully policeman brother brother relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships police 
Story:
piano player jumping on a bed escalator listening to music recording record player trust class graveyard bath classroom piano running tears lie book face slap crying telephone call dancing kiss  (See All)

Persepolis (2007)
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Persepolis (2007)

In 1970s Iran, Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family of a long dream being fulfilled of the hated Shah's defeat in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. However as Marji grows up, she witnesses first hand how the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study for a better life. However, this change proves an equally difficult trial with the young woman finding herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age martial arts 
Themes:
childhood unfaithfulness fear christmas infidelity death friendship 
Locations:
bathtub cemetery school 
Characters:
dancer policeman teacher doctor friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships homosexual police 
Period:
1990s 1980s 
Story:
swan tombstone earphones sexism communist demonstration hugging class grave toilet classroom running tears lie book crying telephone call chase dancing cigarette smoking blood kiss  (See All)

Easy A (2010) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Easy A (2010)

After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne's in "The Scarlet Letter," which she is currently studying in school - until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

Themes:
homophobia unfaithfulness extramarital affair adultery infidelity friendship 
Locations:
school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship gay friend best friend teacher brother sister relationship friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship family relationships homosexual 
Story:
jumping on a bed embarrassment demonstration hugging class gym gay slur classroom tears lie letter face slap crying telephone call photograph kiss  (See All)

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Ken Park (2002)
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Ken Park (2002)

Ken Park focuses on several teenagers and their tormented home lives. Shawn seems to be the most conventional. Tate is brimming with psychotic rage; Claude is habitually harassed by his brutish father and coddled, rather uncomfortably, by his enormously pregnant mother. Peaches looks after her devoutly religious father, but yearns for freedom. They're all rather tight, or so they claim. But they spend precious little time together and none of them seems to know much about one another's family lives. This bizarre dichotomy underscores their alienation # the result of suburban ennui, a teenager's inherent sense of melodrama, and the disturbing nature of their home environments. (Read More)

Themes:
death of wife unfaithfulness death of mother extramarital affair drunkenness adultery infidelity death 
Locations:
cemetery 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship brother brother relationship father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship family relationships homosexual 
Story:
pillow fight grave graveyard bath gay slur piano tears bare butt urination underwear beating crying photograph cigarette smoking character name in title blood violence kiss  (See All)

Audition (1999)
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Audition (1999)

In Tokyo, Shigeharu Aoyama is a widower that grieves the loss of his wife and raises his son Shigehiko Aoyama alone. Seven years later, the teenage Shigehiko asks why his middle-aged father does not remarry and Shigeharu meets his friend Yasuhisa Yoshikawa, who is a film producer, and tells his intention. However, Shigeharu has difficulties to approach to available women to date and Yasuhisa decide to organize a sham audition for casting the lead actress for the fake movie. They receive several portfolios of candidates and Shigeharu becomes obsessed by the gorgeous Asami Yamazaki. Despite the advice of the experienced Yasuhisa, Shigeharu calls Asami to date and he falls for her. But who is the mysterious Asami? (Read More)

Subgenre:
independent film 
Themes:
death of wife death of mother fear friendship death 
Locations:
elevator 
Characters:
dancer doctor friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship 
Period:
1990s 
Story:
ballet dancer ballet dancing piano player school uniform ballet pianist audition widower piano lie underwear telephone call photograph dancing cigarette smoking blood kiss nudity sex violence  (See All)

Almost Famous (2000)
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Almost Famous (2000)

William Miller is a 15-year-old kid hired by Rolling Stone magazine to tour with and write about Stillwater, an up and coming rock band. This wonderfully witty coming-of-age film follows William as he falls face first to confront life, love, and lingo.

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
unfaithfulness dance drunkenness adultery money infidelity friendship 
Locations:
elevator bus 
Characters:
teacher brother sister relationship friend mother daughter relationship mother son relationship family relationships homosexual 
Story:
following a dream stage performance embarrassment listening to music recording record player coming out bathroom running book urination underwear crying telephone call photograph dancing cigarette smoking kiss sex  (See All)

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Adam (2009) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Adam (2009)

Soon after moving in, Beth, a brainy, beautiful writer damaged from a past relationship encounters Adam, the handsome, but odd, fellow in the downstairs apartment whose awkwardness is perplexing. Beth and Adam's ultimate connection leads to a tricky relationship that exemplifies something universal: truly reaching another person means bravely stretching into uncomfortable territory and the resulting shake-up can be liberating. (Read More)

Subgenre:
independent film 
Themes:
unfaithfulness extramarital affair fear adultery infidelity 
Locations:
cemetery school 
Characters:
policeman teacher mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship police 
Story:
fence snowing theatre audience hugging loss of mother class grave graveyard judge classroom tears lie book underwear crying telephone call photograph character name in title kiss sex  (See All)

A Single Man (2009)
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A Single Man (2009)

It's November 30, 1962. Native Brit George Falconer, an English professor at a Los Angeles area college, is finding it difficult to cope with life. Jim, his personal partner of sixteen years, died in a car accident eight months earlier when he was visiting with family. Jim's family were not going to tell George of the death or accident, let alone allow him to attend the funeral. This day, George has decided to get his affairs in order before he will commit suicide that evening. As he routinely and fastidiously prepares for the suicide and post suicide, George reminisces about his life with Jim. But George spends this day with various people, who see a man sadder than usual and who affect his own thoughts about what he is going to do. Those people include Carlos, a Spanish immigrant/aspiring actor/gigolo recently arrived in Los Angeles; Charley, his best friend who he knew from England, she who is a drama queen of a woman who romantically desires her best friend despite his sexual orientation; and Kenny Potter, one of his students, who seems to be curious about his professor beyond English class. (Read More)

Themes:
homophobia drunkenness fear money friendship death 
Locations:
london england bus 
Characters:
teacher student relationship dancer teacher brother sister relationship friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship mother son relationship father son relationship family relationships homosexual 
Story:
snowing listening to music recording slow motion shaving record player class classroom bathroom tears book bare butt urination underwear crying telephone call photograph dancing cigarette smoking kiss nudity blood  (See All)

I Killed My Mother (2009)
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I Killed My Mother (2009)

Teenager Hubert haughtily regards his mother with contempt, and only sees her tacky sweaters and kitsch decorations. In addition to these irritating surface details, there is also his parent's cherished mechanisms of manipulation and guilt. Confused by this love/hate relationship that obsesses him more and more each day, Hubert drifts through the mysteries of adolescence - artistic discoveries, illicit experiences, the opening-up to friendship, and ostracism. The turbulent relationship between mother and son unfolds with a compelling combination of savage fury and melting affection. The stunning, semi-autobiographical directing debut of 20-year-old actor Xavier Dolan. (Read More)

Subgenre:
coming of age 
Themes:
childhood friendship 
Mood:
affection 
Locations:
bus school 
Characters:
teacher student relationship dancer teacher friend mother son relationship father son relationship 
Story:
school uniform gay bashing coming out library montage gay slur classroom lie letter face slap underwear beating telephone call chase dancing cigarette smoking  (See All)

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The Piano Teacher (2001)
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The Piano Teacher (2001)

Erika Kohut is a pianist, teaching music. Schubert and Schumann are her forte, but she's not quite at concert level. She's approaching middle age, living with her mother who is domineering then submissive; Erika is a victim then combative. With her students she is severe. She visits a sex shop to watch DVDs; she walks a drive-in theater to stare at couples having sex. Walter is a self-assured student with some musical talent; he auditions for her class and is forthright in his attraction to her. She responds coldly then demands he let her lead. Next she changes the game with a letter, inviting him into her fantasies. How will he respond; how does sex have power over our other faculties? (Read More)

Themes:
sexuality fear 
Locations:
bathtub 
Characters:
teacher student relationship teacher 
Story:
piano player talent teaching theatre audience embarrassment class pianist audition toilet piano letter face slap urination underwear beating sex blood kiss  (See All)

Woman In Gold (2015) is one of the best movies like Billy Elliot (2000)
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Woman In Gold (2015)

Maria Altman sought to regain a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis.

Themes:
money death 
Locations:
elevator cemetery 
Characters:
grandmother grandson relationship dancer brother brother relationship doctor friend father daughter relationship mother daughter relationship husband wife relationship father son relationship mother son relationship family relationships 
Story:
kiss on the cheek circular staircase theatre audience demonstration listening to music recording record player trust judge montage running tears lie book letter crying telephone call chase photograph dancing cigarette smoking  (See All)

Dreamgirls (2006)
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Dreamgirls (2006)

Detroit, the early 1960s. Curtis Taylor, Jr., a car salesman, breaks into the music business with big dreams. He signs a trio of young women, the Dreamettes, gets them a job backing an R&B performer, James "Thunder" Early, establishes his own record label and starts wheeling and dealing. When Early flames out, Curtis makes the Dreamettes into headliners as the Dreams, but not before demoting their hefty big-voiced lead singer, Effie White, and putting the softer-voiced looker, Deena Jones, in front. Soon after, he fires Effie, sends her into a life of proud poverty, and takes Deena and the Dreams to the top. How long can Curtis stay there, and will Effie ever get her due? (Read More)

Themes:
unfaithfulness poverty extramarital affair adultery money christmas infidelity death friendship 
Locations:
elevator bus cemetery 
Characters:
dancer brother sister relationship doctor friend mother daughter relationship father daughter relationship husband wife relationship family relationships 
Story:
theatre audience recording pianist audition graveyard boxing montage piano tears crying telephone call dancing cigarette smoking sex kiss 

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