Every now and then, I need a film to shake me to core and remind me what’s important in life. We often tend to entrust our attention to stress and worries, thus, ruining our chance of being happy, because, yes, happiness rises from within, and with each negative thought that you produce and reproduce, you suppress a positive one!
So here’s a wee collection of essential titles for times when it’s difficult to remember what truly matters in life.
1. La vita è bella (1997)
A movie about the strength of the human spirit, La vita è bella serves as proof that even in darkest times of despair there’s still hope to be found. Guido, a Jewish man placed in one of the Nazi camps during the Second World War, has the difficult task of surviving alongside his family, but also of bringing up his son with the belief that life is beautiful; that life is just an innocent game, whereas people are dying all around them. This is a strong emotional movie that succeeds in unveiling the true magic of love, a movie to remind you that life is beautiful when you love and you are being loved in return.
2. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Requiem for a Dream portrays the lives of four people suffering from the unimaginable horrors of drug addiction, portraying the most shocking parts of being an addict. Without a doubt, this is one of Darren Aronofsky’s finest movies, if not his most successful one. Requiem for a Dream might not make you cry but it will definitely stay with you for some time. It is not a movie for everyone, but its heaviness and profoundness make it one of the most powerful movies you’re ever going to see.
3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
A beautifully written autobiography made into a truly touching movie. This is the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby who wrote a book despite being paralyzed, his only capability being moving one of his eyelids. A sad, but unforgettably inspirational story that will leave you speechless and probably with tears in your eyes. A story that’s going to make you ask yourself, ‘What am I doing with my life? Time’s so precious, so why do I waste it so deliberately?’
4. Seven Pounds (2008)
What happens when you try to act as if you were God? Can you really change the destiny of someone else, or is this intermediation part of your own destiny? Will Smith goes on a journey to redemption by changing the lives of 7 people. As the story unfolds, we slowly begin to understand his motives, yet it stays a complete mystery what the greater plan is until the very end. Seven Pounds is a moving, highly emotional tale of great strength: a film that restores your faith in humanity.
5. Temple Grandin (2010)
This is a biographical film that follows the transformation of Temple Grandin from a scared autistic girl, misunderstood by the world, to a successful scientist and a confident woman who’s motivated to help other scared people like she was herself. Claire Danes, as the main character, gives one of her best performances so far, a role to remember. With Temple Grandin HBO creates another solid production and a truly powerful movie that’s undoubtedly going to leave you filled with inspiration.
Published in Strathclyde Telegraph, 2013