How to Build a Girl, Amazon Prime Video, 24th July
Based on journalist Caitlin Moran’s semi-autobiographical novel, How to Build a Girl is like High Fidelity for teenage girls; a comic coming-of-age riot that feels like it was scrawled in mascara and hair dye on the back of an exercise book. American star Beanie Feldstein mangles the Wolverhampton accent a little but captures the exuberant spirit of Johanna, a meek 16-year-old who reinvents herself to become Dolly Wilde, a rock critic with a gift for elegantly phrased vitriol and a reputation for savagery to rival Genghis Khan.
Babyteeth, Released in August
Terminal disease meets teen romance. It’s not the most promising premise, conjuring images of Hollywood tear-jerkers. But this sparky Australian drama, with its scrapbook structure and crackling rebellious tone, is something special. Eliza Scanlen, recently seen as the mild-mannered Beth in Little Women, cuts loose as Milla, a gravely ill teenager who terrifies her parents by falling in love with a small-time drug dealer with facial tattoos. Unexpected music choices on the score bring a bittersweet sense of optimism.
Sound of Metal, Released on 4th September
Music is more than just a job for drummer Ruben. It’s his identity and the saving grace that replaced his drug addiction. So when he suffers catastrophic hearing loss, he has to learn not only to contend with disability, but also to reshape his sense of self. This is a thrilling debut which uses every cinematic tool available—in particular innovative sound design—to immerse us in Ruben’s experience.