Top 5 Inspirational Films

I am not the biggest fan of drama’s, but there is one particular category that tickles my fancy: inspirational films. Great actors, strong performances, strong convictions, overcoming obstacles and happy endings (mostly). Totally my cup of tea! So the top 5 are dear to my heart and I own each of them.

#5 Forrest Gump–This one I was actually on the fence about–is it really inspirational? I mean I love the movie, and Tom Hanks is great in the role, but does it truly qualify?? In the end, I decided on YES. The movie starts off with Forrest in leg braces, living hand-to-mouth with his caring mom. He is made fun of at school and isn’t the brightest kid. But he has a best friend in Jenny and has a simple yet great way of looking at life. It’s his approach to life that helps him through the tough times and keeps him going. I also love the time period for this movie–going through the Vietnam War, JFK, Elvis, everything! And the story is as simple as the character of the movie itself, but that doesn’t make it less. It illustrates that to enjoy your life all you require are the simple pleasures–someone to love you, a place to live and doing something that makes you happy. Tom Hanks won an Oscar for the role in 1994 and I believe he deserved it. He brought a warmth and added charisma to a role that could have flopped. It was a risk! And in the end it is one of the most memorable movies of the 90’s.

#4 Blind Side–Now some people will probably feel that this movie deserves to be higher up on my list but I feel it is perfect for #4. It is another Oscar-winning film, with Sandra Bullock in the main role as Leigh Ann Tuohy. She plays a driven, opinionated and caring woman who, with her husband, take in a homeless boy and do whatever is in their power to turn his life around. The joy of watching this film is seeing Leigh Ann and her family selflessly take this lost boy into their home and worry more about him then about their perceived safety. They hire tutors for him and Leigh Ann takes the time to figure out how to get through to him in life and on the football field. In the end, Mike becomes the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft. I would like to say that I could be as selfless as the Tuohy’s but I fear I wouldn’t have stepped up the way they did. This movie makes you believe the best in people, if they are given the right opportunity and motivation. My favourite line, which is on the trailer is when Leigh Ann’s friend comments that she is changing Mike’s like and she replies “No. He’s changing mine.” Amen.

#3 Remember the Titans–And another sports movie!! But this one is one my favourite of all-time. Set in the early 70’s in the South, an all-white school becomes integrated, with massive fall-out. The Caucasian head coach of the Titans is replaced by an African American coach from North Carolina. Tensions arise when players of different races are forced together on the same football team. And this is where Disney excels when it comes to making movies. You see these teenage boys get thrust together, some hating each other, some wary and a few not caring. How will these great football players come together to be successful when they don’t trust half their teammates? Having a background in team sports I identified whole-heartedly when the team starts to bond over its success and friendships grow in the most unlikely-est of places. This movie is successful because you come to care deeply about all its characters. You want this team to win! You want these boys to all become friends, to succeed! And the soundtrack is amazing, it sets such a tone and helps drive the story and illustrate the mood of the people in each scene. The music acts as a unifying force. Again, another classic Disney trait. And although the ending is seriously sad, I will watch it over and over again.

#2 Erin Brockovich–Another Oscar winner!! Julia Roberts is great in this role as a mom of two, who is unemployed and down on her luck. Things start to look up when she lands a job as legal assistant, giving her a steady paycheck and the ability to afford necessities like food. On a whim, Erin investigates a real estate case that contains medical files. As she starts to investigate, Erin discovers that land purchased by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is the same land on which chromium contamination had resulted from PG&E’s environmentally irresponsible actions. Erin drives the law firm she works for to fight for the sick people in the town and soon the entire town is suing PG&E. I love this movie for a lot of the same reasons I love The Blindside, it showcases a woman who goes out of her way to help those less fortunate than her and is driven to make people’s lives better. I loved watching Julia Roberts play off of Albert Finney as they spar during pivotal moments in the film. As a viewer you want the townspeople to sue PG&E and you want them to win badly. I became invested in the film and I am not going to lie when I say that the ending brought me to tears and left me wondering if there wasn’t something I could do to emulate Erin Brockovich.

#1 Bucket List–The number one movie on my list! This movie is one of my favourites of all time. I was unsure about it when I saw it originally, I wondered if I could really enjoy a slow moving drama with two old guys in it. I had obviously forgotten who was in the film. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are fantastic together in this film. Nicholson playing the entitled, rich playboy who reforms hospitals without care. His business approach to hospitals mirrors his approach to life–it’s business and not pleasure. Don’t get close, as it only leads to pain. Freeman, on the other hand, plays an invested family man who shares a hospital room with Nicholson, as they are both diagnosed with cancer. As the two try to fight the disease off, they bond over their shared experience. Nicholson slowly lets down his guard and cottons to Freeman’s everyman character. When they get the news they they both have only so long to live, they decide to write a wish list, or Bucket List and enact upon it. And this is where the movie gets great. You see these old, dying men travel the world together doing things they never thought they would–sky diving, driving fast cars, seeing Egypt. I love this movie because it truly emulates that it is never too late to live you always wanted to. To take risks, to fight for love and ask for forgiveness. It shows the redemptive power a great friendship can have in your life. I love this movie and hope I have half the guts as the men in this movie.


~ by xine23 on August 9, 2010.

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