Girlhood ★★★★

Such an affecting transformation of how a timid adolescent turns into a self-assured woman.

Sciamma manages to bounce the events from righteous fun to brutally domestic and not be marred by tonal whiplash. All of her non-professional actors shine (especially Karidja Touré as Mariene in the main role) as she imbues her character with a profound insight into this new world. Most of the confrontations in these Parisian banlieues are filled with a vitality as well. Their environments are captured and performed with complete naturalism.

It is also a film of stunning musical moments. One sequence features Rihanna's "Diamonds" in its entirety as the girls show off their endearing, likeable qualities and the feels are too strong.

The only downfall of this film is a final-third which begins to drag in plotting (mostly with how the protagonist is used as a drug mule) but it's brought back with a powerful ending of strength, perseverance and accepting one's independent self.

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