You know when you watch a film or read a book and immediately after you feel invigorated and raring to go out and DO STUFF. YEAH!
These films have the kind of effect that an overdose of caffeine and popping several of those pills that Bradley Cooper in Limitless takes in order to expand his brain. (Don’t worry, that’s not included in this list). You want to change the world. You want to show everyone what you’re made of. Or at least you are feeling productive enough to leave your bed and shower. Here is a list of some of my favourite inspirational films. Coming to you live, from a failed film degree student.
Okay well this one is fairly obvious. Julia Roberts plays a single mother with a tough attitude and a hard working etiquette. The great thing about this film is it’s based on a true story. That’s right folks. Watch this li’l lady take on huge corporations while simultaneously saving people’s lives! GIRL POWER.
A film from the view of a young girl as she evolves into an insightful woman who was raised during the Iranian revolution. When I initially watched this, I had never really heard much about Iran, nor the revolution, not only is this film amazing and beautifully done in black and white animation, it’s also educational as well as evocative. Also Marjane Satrapi, the protagonist and auteur of this film was exiled in Iran for making it. She had to flee to Afghanistan and remains an exile to this day. This one woman machine is the ultimate rebel.
Rabbit Proof Fence
Oh man. This film was a real gut wrenching, eye leaking piece of cinema. This film follows three Aboriginal girls who are kidnapped by white Anglo-Christian folk who are run by the government. They believe all mixed race children need to be taken and taught to be raised civilised, ‘white’ and Christian. The three girls who were taken from their homes and family then escape and follow their way home guided by a rabbit proof fence. This film is epitome of determination and perseverance.
If you’ve never watched a Gus Van Sant film before, now is the time. Milk is the perfect film to start off with. Following the story of Harvey Milk, the man who became a revolutionary for the gay movement in America, giving San Francisco the title of the gay capital of America. Another heartbreaker this one, with a beautiful cast consisting of (but not limited to) Sean Penn, James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Alison Pill. This film again, documenting real life hardships and portraying just how unbreakable the human spirit can be.
Stand By Me
Okay so this is my favorite film of all time, however, this suggestion is not biased I promise. A coming of age story between four boys who are best friends who go searching for a dead body. Despite the morbid premise for the film and the fact it’s based on a book by Stephen King, this film is far from scary. This film follows the toils of being an adolescent boy. Struggling with reputations, family deaths, bullying, abusive parents and terrifying older siblings. This film really shows what strength can come from friendship and will most likely make you weep once or twice. Not to mention a beautiful cast with River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Wil Wheaton, plus a great 50’s soundtrack.
Good Will Hunting
Yeah, it’s another Van Sant film, but there’s a reason why he’s such an iconic director. This film follows Matt Damon as a 20 something guy with an incredible talent for maths, but also a lack of faith in his own talents. A boy stuck in Boston with no intentions of using his gift, or ever leaving his hometown, even when he meets the wonderful Minnie Driver. That’s where Robin Williams comes in as a psychiatrist who creates a bond with Damon and brings out something in him that he never knew he had. This film is for the ones who are stuck in a rut, or want to escape, or are worrying about whether they should have gone to university after all. This film has all your answers.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Turns out Zach Galifianakis is a rather incredible actor. This film is about a teenage boy who admits himself to a mental health hospital because he thinks he’s having a breakdown. After spending some time with its inhabitants and learning the difference between mental illness and sadness, he decides to make a go of his life before he becomes institutionalised.