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Inspiring Movies

One of my great pleasures in life is watching movies that are meaningful, warm-hearted, quirky, unique, creative, memorable, feel-good and/or thought-provoking. Watching high quality films over the years has helped me through very difficult and challenging times. Not all the films I’m listing here are feel good, but they have all touched me on a deep and often profound level, having forever enriched my life. The wisdom contained in them has been very inspiring and uplifting. These films are from all over the world, with many different cultures bringing their own unique insights.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_accordion][x_accordion_item title=”Amelie” open=”true”]

AmelieAmelie

Country: France

Storyline:

Amélie is a story about a girl named Amélie whose childhood was suppressed by her Father’s mistaken concerns of a heart defect. With these concerns Amélie gets hardly any real life contact with other people. This leads Amélie to resort to her own fantastical world and dreams of love and beauty. She later on becomes a young woman and moves to the central part of Paris as a waitress. After finding a lost treasure belonging to the former occupant of her apartment, she decides to return it to him. After seeing his reaction and his new found perspective – she decides to devote her life to the people around her. Such as, her father who is obsessed with his garden-gnome, a failed writer, a hypochondriac, a man who stalks his ex girlfriends, the “ghost”, a suppressed young soul, the love of her life and a man whose bones are as brittle as glass. But after consuming herself with these escapades – she finds out that she is disregarding her own life and damaging her quest for love. Amélie then discovers she must become more aggressive and take a hold of her life and capture the beauty of love she has always dreamed of.

My Comments:

This has got to be my most favourite movie of all time! I’ve watched it at least a dozen times and I never get tired of it. It’s packed with creativity, humour, beauty, quirkiness, a little bit of naughtiness and too many things that words wouldn’t do justice. It’s set in Paris – one of my favourite cities in the world. The visual aspects of this film alone are so enjoyable that I couldn’t imagine anyone not liking it. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you’ll be in for a wonderful treat! :)[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Adam's Apples” open=”false”]

Adam's ApplesAdam’s Apples

Country: Denmark

Storyline:

Ivan is a priest in a rural church known for the apples that grow on a large tree in front. He’s odd: seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, in denial about personal facts, and convinced he’s at war with Satan. The rectory is a half-way house for recently paroled convicts. Adam arrives for 12 weeks, a large, tough neo-Nazi, first baffled by Ivan’s thick-headed optimism, then angry. He vows to break Ivan’s faith. Meanwhile, in exasperation at Ivan’s insistence, Adam sets a personal goal: to bake an apple pie. All goes awry for the tree: crows, worms, lightening. The Book of Job gives Adam perverse insight, and his hooligan mates provide the resolution’s spring.

My Comments:

Adam’s Apples is a really unique Danish black comedy. I’ve never seen any other movie I could compare to it. Normally I would steer clear of anything with strong violence but in this film they’ve somehow managed to integrate that aspect in a way that it doesn’t come with any of the negative feelings one would normally experience when watching any violent scenes. I’ve have never seen a combination of humour, warm-heartedness, profound meaning and beautiful messages combined like that. At times the verbal expressions are kind of shocking but I love the bluntness and honesty of it. One can’t help but laugh at the absurd challenges at times. The first time I watched it, I’d accidentally come across it and had no idea what I was in for. I just kind of gut drawn into it right away and felt deeply affected by it. I remember thinking about it constantly for days afterwards.

[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Castaway On The Moon” open=”false”]Castaway on the Moon

Castaway On The Moon

Country: South Korea

Storyline:

After failing to kill himself by jumping off a bridge, the man is washed up on a deserted island in the middle of the river, but within view of the city’s high-rises. He attempts to escape, but soon accepts his fate and the challenges in living on the island. A reclusive young woman, who takes close-up shots of the moon and has not left her apartment in years, spies him on the island and comes to think of him as her own alien.

My Comments:

One wouldn’t think that a movie starting with a failed suicide attempt could be so uplifting. I loved every moment of it. It’s very funny, heartwarming and packed with wisdom. Absolutely brilliant.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Departures” open=”false”]Departures

Departures

Country: Japan

Storyline:

Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled “Departures” thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a “Nokanshi” or “encoffineer,” a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of “Nokanshi,” acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.

My Comments:

I was so moved by this film – the sheer beauty of it made me cry! It’s hard to explain: They weren’t sad or happy tears but tears of profound love and appreciation of what I watched unfold in front of me. One of the most beautifully touching and unique movies I’ve ever seen.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Cafe De Flore” open=”false”]Cafe de Flore

Cafe de Flore

Country: France

Storyline:

A love story about people separated by time and place but connected in profound and mysterious ways. Atmospheric, fantastical, tragic and hopeful, the film chronicles the parallel fates of Jacqueline, a young mother with a disabled son in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently divorced, successful DJ in present day Montreal. What binds the two stories together is love – euphoric, obsessive, tragic, youthful, timeless love. In 1960s Paris, a working class woman gives birth to her first child, Laurent – a Down Syndrome son. Undaunted she embraces the challenge of raising her beloved offspring as normally as one would any other child. Her husband abandons them both. She bravely brushes this additional hiccup aside as Laurent replaces her spouse as the perfect man of her dreams. As Laurent approaches school age Jacqueline’s aplomb becomes obsessive and cloying. Her increasingly self-destructive attachment to her son is raised to a fever pitch when, at the age of seven, he meets a Down Syndrome girl (Véronique) and experiences his first crush. His sudden desire for independence, and his attraction to Véra, are the catalysts that transform Jacqueline from a loving mother into something resembling a lover scorned. What emerges is a love triangle of potentially tragic proportions. In 21st century Montreal, a forty year old divorcée, Carole, is trying to restart her life after her divorce, two years earlier, from Antoine, a devastatingly handsome, successful touring DJ. Soul mates who’ve been a couple since the age of fifteen, their divorce is a schism that might prove impossible for either of them to put in the past. Making the transition even more difficult for Carole is the fact that her two daughters, one teen, one tween, are about to gain a stepmother, a stunningly beautiful, heartbreaking blonde, a woman about to “steal” away the perfect man of her dreams. The young girls are being cruelly pulled in two different directions, Antoine’s father, a recovering alcoholic, seems to side with his ex-daughter-in-law, and Carole is succumbing to fits of depression and potentially dangerous bouts of sleepwalking. What emerges is a love triangle of potentially tragic proportions.

My Comments:

I can’t really say too much why this movie is in my top favourites, as it would give away too much. One valuable message I got from it is this: Sometimes life seems unfair but everything can take on a completely different meaning when understood in a larger context.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”The Black Balloon” open=”false”]

The Black BalloonThe Black Balloon

Country: Australia

Storyline:

Thomas is turning 16. His dad’s in the army and they’ve just moved to a town in New South Wales; his mom is pregnant; his older brother, Charlie, who’s autistic, has his own adolescent sexual issues. Thomas finds Charlie an embarrassment in public, so when Thomas is attracted to Jackie, a girl in his swim class, Charlie presents any number of obstacles when she drops by their house, when the three of them go for a walk, and during a family birthday dinner. Can Thomas find a way to enter the world of teen romance and still be his brother’s keeper, or is Charlie’s disability going to prove more than Thomas can handle?

My Comments:

This film touches the subject of unconditional love in the most beautiful way. The brilliant actors make this movie something really special.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”The Four Feathers” open=”false”]

The Four FeathersThe Four Feathers

Country: USA

Storyline:

Set in 1884 Sudan, this fifth film to be adapted from the A.E.W. Mason novel follows a British officer who resigns his post right before his regiment ships out to battle the rebels. Perceiving his resignation as cowardice, his friends and fiancée give him four white feathers, the symbol of cowardice, but little do they know he’s actually going undercover and plans to redeem his honor.

My Comments:

This movie had a huge impact on me emotionally, but that may be because I looked at it from a different perspective than others may have at the time. Too often in this world courage is the opposite of what the mainstream perceives as courage. This applied then as much as it does now. Too many of us are prevented from being true to ourselves due to the conditioning we’ve been subjected to. I was deeply touched by Heath Ledger’s performance, displaying maturity far beyond the 22 years of age he was then. A wise old soul in a young body, his acting translated subtleties of life and wisdom that sadly people often missed to notice (this film is grossly underrated on imdb, in my opinion – all the other actors did a phenomenal job, too). Apart from his great acting in general, his own courage is on display in this film, where he performed a stunt that most stuntmen wouldn’t even dare to attempt. This is a great movie about courage, unconditional love, being true to oneself, forgiveness and generosity at heart.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Brokeback Mountain” open=”false”]

Brokeback MountainBrokeback Mountain

Country: USA

Storyline:

Two young men, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, meet when they get a job as sheep herders on Brokeback Mountain. They are at first strangers, then they become friends. Throughout the weeks, they grow closer as they learn more about each other. One night, after some heavy drinking, they find a deeper connection. They then indulge in a blissful romance for the rest of the summer. Unable to deal with their feelings for each other, they part ways at the end of the summer. Four years go by, and they each settle down, Ennis in Wyoming with his wife and two girls, and Jack in Texas with his wife and son. Still longing for each other, they meet back up, and are faced with the fact that they need each other. They undeniably need each other, and unsure of what to do, they start a series of “fishing trips”, in order to spend time together. The relationship struggles on for years until tragedy strikes.

My Comments:

Great film that beautifully highlights how people’s judgments based on narrow-minded thinking can destroy authentic soul relationships, not allowing the characters to be true to themselves. Love comes in many different forms and I think this film has achieved a lot in terms of opening up people’s minds. Great performances![/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Candy” open=”false”]

CandyCandy

Country: Australia

Storyline:

This story is a narration from an Australian man who falls in love with two kinds of Candy: a woman of the same name and heroin. The narrator changes from a smart-aleck to someone trying to find a vein to inject, while Candy changes from an actress, call girl, streetwalker, and then a madwoman. Starting in Sydney, the two eventually end up in Melbourne to go clean, but they fail. This leads them to turn to finding money and heroin, while other posessions and attachments become unimportant.

My Comments:

Equally heartwarming and heartbreaking. At times very funny yet also devastating. No matter how flawed the characters, they’re loveable regardless. It’s a uniquely Australian film that is devastatingly beautiful.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Dan In Real Life” open=”false”]Dan In Real Life

Dan In Real Life

Country: USA

Storyline:

Single father Dan Burns dedicates his life to his children, but one day he meets Marie at a bookstore. They get to know each other, but then Dan finds out that Marie is actually dating his brother, Mitch.

My Comments:

This movie is utterly sweet, hilarious and heartwarming. It’s a superb feel-good movie. Longterm message I took from it: Don’t betray yourself in order to not betray another…[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”American Beauty” open=”false”]

American BeautyAmerican Beauty

Country: USA

Storyline:

Lester and Carolyn Burnham are, on the outside, a perfect husband and wife in a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood. But inside, Lester is slipping deeper and deeper into a hopeless depression. He finally snaps when he becomes infatuated with one of his daughter’s friends. Meanwhile, his daughter Jane is developing a happy friendship with a shy boy-next-door named Ricky, who lives with an abusive father.

My Comments:

I absolutely loved the sheer (and at times hilarious) honesty and bluntness of this movie. Sometimes attractions can occur for much deeper reasons than initially assumed. Never judge any situation by how it may initially appear. I loved every moment of the profound soul journey of the main character but I loved all of the characters, no matter their flaws. Brilliant![/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Before Sunrise” open=”false”]Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise

Country: USA/Austria/Switzerland

Storyline:

American tourist Jesse and French student Celine meet by chance on the train from Budapest to Vienna. Sensing that they are developing a connection, Jesse asks Celine to spend the day with him in Vienna, and she agrees. So they pass the time before his scheduled flight the next morning together. How do two perfect strangers connect so intimately over the course of a single day? What is that special thing that bonds two people so strongly? As their bond turns to love, what will happen to them the next morning when Jesse flies away?

My Comments:

I accidentally discovered this movie (and its sequel) on a long plane flight. I remember how elated I felt and how a very long flight seemed to pass by quickly, thanks to the fantastic entertainment. It goes far beyond entertainment, though. Naturally, I immediately connected with this film since it was mostly filmed in Austria, my country of birth. There is something truly special about this film, in that it’s basically one huge, long conversation that is so honest and authentic that you couldn’t feel bored for a second. Extremely well acted.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Before Sunset” open=”false”]

Before SunsetBefore Sunset

Country: USA/France

Sequel to ‘Before Sunrise’

Storyline:

Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse’s book tour.

My Comments:

Just as good as the first one. :)[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Slumdog Millionnaire” open=”false”]

Slumdog MillionnaireSlumdog Millionnaire

Country: UK/USA (filmed in India)

Storyline:

The story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s Kaun Banega Crorepati? (2000) (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show’s questions. Each chapter of Jamal’s increasingly layered story reveals where he learned the answers to the show’s seemingly impossible quizzes. But one question remains a mystery: what is this young man with no apparent desire for riches really doing on the game show? When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out. At the heart of its storytelling lies the question of how anyone comes to know the things they know about life and love.

My Comments:

There’s no film I’ve ever seen that demonstrates more beautifully how adversities can be the greatest blessings in disguise.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Rust And Bone” open=”false”]Rust and Bone

Rust And Bone

Country: France/Belgium

Storyline:

Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

My Comments:

This movie is incredibly raw and honest. I have to refrain from saying too much because it would be a shame to spoil anything. The story is a great example of how huge adversities can be the greatest blessings in disguise. While the film is incredibly touching, there isn’t a hint of schmalz about it, which I love.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Chinese Puzzle” open=”false”]

Chinese PuzzleChinese Puzzle

Country: France/USA/Belgium

Storyline:

Xavier is now forty years old. So are Wendy, Isabelle and Martine. At forty you are supposed to be more mature and live a a steadier life than at twenty. But not Xavier. Well, to be fair, he has made some progress in the field of thoughtfulness (he has even become a writer) but as concerns his everyday life, it is far from well-ordered. To be totally honest it is not entirely Xavier’s fault if his wife Wendy has suddenly left him for a new companion in New York and taken their two children with her. Realizing he can’t stand living without them, Xavier decides to settle down in Big Apple in order to remain close to them. He finds a home in Chinatown and it does not take long before trouble comes his way.

My Comments:

It was an absolute pleasure to watch this film from start to finish. As someone who’s lived on several different continents, I particularly appreciate the multi-cultural aspects of this film and I can relate to how difficult it can be to adjust to foreign environments. Great story with some of my favourite actors. I cannot imagine anyone not liking this film.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Miffo” open=”false”]Miffo

Miffo

Country: Sweden

Storyline:

Tobias is the new, idealistic priest in a suburb but he soon learns that his flock is quite uninterested in Christianity. However, he befriends Carolina, a chain smoking woman his age, wheelchair-bound since birth. It is opposites attract although their backgrounds are different.

My Comments:

I loved this film because it so courageously dealt with many taboos. Hilarious at times, it shows how our own prejudices and assumptions can stand in the way of our greatest happiness. It’s a reminder that no challenges can be too big for anyone who has the courage to follow their heart.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Romuald et Juliette” open=”false”]Romuald et Juliette

Romuald et Juliette

Country: France

Storyline:

This is a story about a rich white man who falls in love with Juliet the full figured black woman who cleans his offices at night. After learning of his wife’s affair with one of his work partners and the sabotage of his business he is left broken and is taken in by Juliet who then shows him what real true love is … If you have not yet seen this movie then you are missing out on what real true love means, it does not matter what color you are, or what size you are it’s how your heart feels and that’s what this beautiful love story shows us all … a must see!

My Comments:

I have not seen this film in 26 years, yet I still remember it clearly. I loved the non-judgmental aspects and quirkiness. It had a huge impact on me personally. I’d love to see it again but haven’t been able to find a copy,[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Silver Linings Playbook” open=”false”]Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

Country: USA

Storyline:

Against medical advice and without the knowledge of her husband Pat Solatano Sr., caring Dolores Solatano discharges her adult son, Pat Solatano Jr., from a Maryland mental health institution after his minimum eight month court ordered stint. The condition of the release includes Pat Jr. moving back in with his parents in their Philadelphia home. Although Pat Jr.’s institutionalization was due to him beating up the lover of his wife Nikki, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Nikki has since left him and has received a restraining order against him. Although he is on medication (which he doesn’t take because of the way it makes him feel) and has mandatory therapy sessions, Pat Jr. feels like he can manage on the outside solely by healthy living and looking for the “silver linings” in his life. His goals are to get his old job back as a substitute teacher, but more importantly reunite with Nikki. He finds there are certain instances where he doesn’t cope well, however no less so than some others who have never been institutionalized, such as his Philadelphia Eagles obsessed OCD father who has resorted to being a bookie to earn a living, his best friend Ronnie who quietly seethes over the control wielded by his wife Veronica, and Veronica’s widowed sister, Tiffany Maxwell, a recovering sex addict. In their fragile mental states, Pat Jr. and Tiffany embark on a love/hate friendship based primarily on what help the other can provide in achieving their individual goals. But they may reevaluate their goals as their relationship progresses.

My Comments:

I loved the bluntness and humour of this film. No matter how many flaws someone may have, with honesty and authenticity any obstacles can be overcome.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”The Perks of Being A Wallflower” open=”false”]

The Perks of Being A WallflowerThe Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Country: USA

Storyline:

Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world.

My Comments:

A movie about a boy’s journey of discovering what truly matters in life. Funny, heartwarming and deeply moving.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”50/50″ open=”false”]

50-5050/50

Country: USA

Storyline:

Adam is a 27 year old writer of radio programs and is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With the help of his best friend, his mother, and a young therapist at the cancer center, Adam learns what and who the most important things in his life are.

My Comments:

Very down-to-earth, honest, touching story. Extremely well acted. It shows how being confronted with ones mortality can bring the best out in someone and give them a clearer understanding of what truly matters in life.

 [/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Lantana” open=”false”]Lantana

Lantana

Country: Australia

Storyline:

Trust. A dead body in bracken. A cop cheats on his unhappy wife who, in secret, sees a psychiatrist whose own marriage is corroded by grief: she thinks her husband is having an affair with a gay patient of hers. The cop’s lover, Jane, is recently separated, and her neighbors – a couple with children – include a muscular unemployed man. Late one night, the doctor skids off a back road, finds a call box, and tries in vain to reach her husband. She sees headlights and flags down the driver. Later that night, Jane sees her neighbor park his truck and throw something into the lantana in a vacant lot. It’s a woman’s shoe. Unraveling the mystery lays bare five couples.

My Comments:

A depressed and lost detective, when investigating several suspects in a murder investigation, goes on a journey of self-discovery. I normally don’t like crime dramas but this is a deep and profound movie essentially about life and love. Absolutely amazing acting by all of the cast.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Proof” open=”false”]Proof

Proof

Country: Australia

Storyline:

Black comedy about a blind man, Martin, who takes photographs as “proof” that the world really is as others describe it to him. The film explores his antagonistic relationships with Celia, who cleans and cooks for him and habitually rearranges the furniture in the house, and with Andy, a mate he thinks he can trust.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”The Game” open=”false”]

The Game

Country: USA

Story Line:

What can you give a man who has everything?

After a wealthy banker is given an opportunity to participate in a mysterious game, his life is turned upside down when he becomes unable to distinguish between the game and reality.

[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”The Girl In The Cafe” open=”false”]

The Girl In The CafeThe Girl In The Cafe

Country: UK/USA

Storyline:

A May-December comedy becomes a political drama. Lawrence, a spindly, self-effacing civil servant, is a senior researcher for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, preparing for a G-8 summit that will determine the scope of the world’s effort to reduce extreme poverty. In a crowded café, he chats awkwardly with Gina, a young Scot with time on her hands. They share a couple of meals, and he invites her to accompany him to the summit in Reykjavík. Once there, as romance blooms, Gina’s past, Lawrence’s work and proclivity to compromise, and the presence of ministers and presidents spur her to act.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”As It Is In Heaven” open=”false”]As It Is In Heaven

As It Is In Heaven

Country: Sweden/Denmark

Storyline:

A successful international conductor suddenly interrupts his career and returns alone to his childhood village in Norrland, in the far north of Sweden.It doesn’t take long before he is asked to come and listen to the fragment of a church choir, which practises every Thursday in the parish hall. Just come along and give a little bit of good advice. He can’t say no, and from that moment, nothing in the village is the same again. The choir develops and grows. He makes both friends and enemies. And he finds love.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Pay It Forward” open=”false”]Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

Country: USA

Storyline:

Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother’s alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward–repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor’s efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.

My Comments:

Often children teach their parents the most profound lessons. Deeply touching…[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”A Separation” open=”false”]A Separation

A Separation

Country: Iran

Storyline:

Nader (Peyman Moaadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami) argue about living abroad. Simin prefers to live abroad to provide better opportunities for their only daughter, Termeh. However, Nader refuses to go because he thinks he must stay in Iran and take care of his father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi), who suffers from Alzheimers. However, Simin is determined to get a divorce and leave the country with her daughter.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Ruby Sparks” open=”false”]Ruby Sparks

Ruby Sparks

Country: USA

Storyline:

Calvin is a genius novelist who begins to type a new novel on his manual typewriter about Ruby, his dream girl. He can’t believe his eyes, because the next day, Ruby becomes a real person, and they begin to have a beautiful relationship together. If the relationship isn’t perfect, all Calvin has to do is simply type the words on the page and Ruby’s actions change to what he needs.

 [/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Carnage” open=”false”]

CarnageCarnage

Country: USA

Storyline:

In Brooklyn Bridge Park, eleven year old Zachary Cowan strikes his eleven year old classmate Ethan Longstreet across the face with a stick after an argument. Among the more serious of Ethan’s injuries is a permanently missing tooth and the possibility of a second tooth also being lost. Their respective parents learn of the altercation through Ethan’s parents questioning him about his injuries. The Longstreet parents invite the Cowan parents to their Brooklyn apartment to deal with the incident in a civilized manner. They are: Penelope Longstreet, whose idea it was to invite the Cowans, she whose priorities in life include human rights and justice; Michael Longstreet, who tries to be as accommodating as possible to retain civility in any situation; Nancy Cowan, a nervous and emotionally stressed woman; and Alan Cowan, who is married more to his work as evidenced by the attachment he has to his cell phone and taking work calls at the most inopportune times. Although the meeting starts off civilized enough, it quickly degenerates after an unfortunate incident by Nancy. The degeneration of their meeting not only has to do with their boys’ fight, but also the other couple’s fitness as parents, the state of their respective marriages and their place in a crazy world.

My Comments:

A verbal rollercoaster. Many surprises. Lots of bluntness. Very unique and quite unforgettable.

 [/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”The World Is Big And Salvation Lurks Around The Corner” open=”false”]

The World Is BigThe World Is Big And Salvation Lurks Around The Corner

Country: Bulgaria/Germany/Slovenia/Hungary/Serbia

Storyline:

What’s in a game? For a young man, who has left his country behind, lost his memory and forgotten his love, the game might be the only way out. This is a story about a Bulgarian boy who grows up to be a German man. After a car accident Alex can’t remember even what his name is. In an attempt to cure him from amnesia, his grandfather Bai Dan comes over to Germany and organizes a spiritual journey for his grandson back into his past, to the country where he came from. In changing places, time and transport, crossing half Europe, they play backgammon, the simplest, and yet the most complex of all games. That game leads Alex to the realizations of who he is, and that game is symbolic to the story. Destiny is the dice we hold in our own hands and life is a game on the edge between chance and skill.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”In A Better World” open=”false”]

In A Better WorldIn A Better World

Country: Denmark/Sweden

Storyline:

Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian’s mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”The Lives Of Others” open=”false”]The Lives of Others

The Lives Of Others

Country: Germany

Storyline:

Gerd Wiesler is an officer with the Stasi, the East German secret police. The film begins in 1984 when Wiesler attends a play written by Georg Dreyman, who is considered by many to be the ultimate example of the loyal citizen. Wiesler has a gut feeling that Dreyman can’t be as ideal as he seems and believes surveillance is called for. The Minister of Culture agrees but only later does Wiesler learn that the Minister sees Dreyman as a rival and lusts after his partner Christa-Maria. The more time he spends listening in on them, the more he comes to care about them. The once rigid Stasi officer begins to intervene in their lives, in a positive way, protecting them whenever possible. Eventually, Wiesler activities catch up to him and while there is no proof of wrongdoing, he finds himself in menial jobs – until the unbelievable happens.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”Happenstance” open=”false”]

 HappenstanceHappenstance

Country: France

Storyline:

Chance, volition, and the large effects of tiny causes swirl through Paris on a single day. A clerk born 11 March 1977 hears her horoscope on the way to work: today she’ll meet her true love, but she must be patient. Before the day ends under a full moon, twenty lives intersect time and again in unpredictable, connected ways: a jilted lover holds a souvenir pebble, a stolen coffee maker looks suspicious at a Metro stop, a yellow rain slicker is passed on as a gift, lettuce causes a bicycle accident, a leaf betrays an habitual liar who’s just told the truth, and an Algerian waiter, also born 11 March 1977, sees a bug cross a tablecloth. Magical sand from the Sahara is in the air.

 

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