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Like the Best Picture nominee Past Lives? Then watch these three great films right now

A boy and a girl walk together in Past Lives.

Celine Song crafted the best love story of 2023 in her feature debut, Past Lives. Written and directed by Song, Past Lives explores the relationship between Nora Moon (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), two childhood soulmates who drift apart over the next two decades while reuniting for seminal moments in their lives. It all comes to a head during one fateful weekend in New York City as Nora and Hae Sung confront their feelings toward one another and contemplate what could have been.

Past Lives rode the momentum of its critical reception and box office success throughout the awards season. The Past Lives campaign paid off when the film received two Oscar nominations: Best Original Screenplay (Song) and Best Picture. If you enjoyed Past Lives, these three films should be next on your watch list. Selections include a beautiful independent drama from 2022, a love story set in the 1970s, and a coming-of-age tale featuring a rising star.

Aftersun (2022)

Frankie Corio and Paul Mescal sit together on a couch.

Paul Mescal loves to make people cry. The talented actor frequently plays sad, devastating men who bring us to tears. Connell in Normal People, Harry in All of Us Strangers, and Calum in Aftersun are what we’ll call Mescal’s “sad men trio.” Like Past Lives, Aftersun is a quiet, beautiful movie that explores love and acceptance at one of our most vulnerable times, childhood.

In the late 1990s, 11-year-old Sophie (Frankie Corio) takes a memorable holiday to a Turkish resort with her young father Calum (Mescal). Throughout the vacation, Sophie comes of age as she approaches adolescence, while Calum grapples with depression and the challenges presented by fatherhood. Aftersun is told from the perspective of an adult Sophie (Celia Rowlson-Hall) as she pieces together what she remembers about her father. You’ll never look at Queen’s Under Pressure the same way again.

Stream Aftersun on Showtime.

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim run together in Licorice Pizza.
United Artists Releasing

Paul Thomas Anderson loves to explore flawed characters and dysfunctional families. While Licorice Pizza depicts a complicated and messy romance, the 2021 coming-of-age film is arguably PTA’s sweetest film on his resume. In the San Fernando Valley in 1973, Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) is a 15-year-old actor with an affinity for 25-year-old photographer assistant Alana Kane (Alana Haim).

Undeterred by the age gap, Gary asks Alana to dinner, which she reluctantly accepts. While Gary yearns for a romantic relationship, Alana keeps things platonic. The two friends team up for multiple business ventures, notably a waterbed store. Despite being at different stages in life, Gary and Alana are inseparable, no matter how many times they try to break away. Licorice Pizza is a funny and charming tale of young love featuring two star-making performances from Hoffman and Haim.

Stream Licorice Pizza on Prime Video.

Shithouse (2020)

A boy and girl stand next to each other, look up, and stare.
IFC Films

Cooper Raiff (Cha Cha Real Smooth) is the spiritual son of Richard Linklater. Raiff’s directorial debut, Shithouse, combines the hangout nature of Dazed and Confused with the walk-and-talk dialogue of the Before trilogy. Written, directed, and produced by Raiff, Shithouse is a coming-of-age story about Alex (Raiff), a homesick college freshman struggling to fit in.

One night, Alex attends a party at the “Shithouse” fraternity and meets sophomore Maggie (Dylan Gelula), who serves as his residential advisor. Throughout the night, Alex and Maggie open up to each other about their insecurities and form a genuine connection. Shithouse is a brilliant directorial debut from Raiff, who expertly captures the anxieties that many young adults face when away from home for the first time. Don’t let the name fool you. Shithouse is sincere as it gets.

Stream Shithouse on AMC+.

Editors' Recommendations

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
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