Movies that inspire us...
  Re: (...)
We all have them. Some may be food related, others not. Some give us hope to dream and others just make us feel good about who we are.

Today I watched a movie I hadn't seen in years and it's one of those that make me realize anything is possible and leaves you feeling wonderful.

Mr. Holland's Opus

So, what are your movies?
  Re: Movies that inspire us... by DFen911 (We all have them. So...)
Classics are my fav....especially love the "Who Dun It's"...The "The Thin Man" series with Myrna Loy and William Powell and good 'ol Asta! Agatha Christie's library including Poirot, but the ulimate for me is Hitchcock with "To Catch A Thief" #1!!! Have all of his movies! The man was a genius! For the past week this one channel has been running Hitch 24/7...they do this every year...something about his anniversary of some sort.
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  Re: Re: Movies that inspire us... by MUSICMAKER (Classics are my fav....)
Saw Mr. Holland's Opus in the theatre, when it first came out, and didn't really care for it, even though it had an actor I liked, and music I liked, and many other things going for it, I just could not even force myself to like the movie. :-(

Of course, the Thin Man series and Hitchcock are always good. Some other favourites are Charade, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and especially the Kenneth Branagh versions of Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing.

As far as the thread, itself, goes ("Movies that inspire us"), this would be my list (rather than fill up this message with the descriptions, I have provided links to the Internet Movie DataBase pages of each): I'm sure I'm forgetting many, but that's a good start.

There are two I kept off the list in order to give them special attention. In many ways, they are similar, and in many ways, they are very different. Also, not everyone may classify them as "inspirational." They are, in my opinion, however, two of the most beautiful movies ever made, even though they can be difficult to watch.

The first (and better known of the two) is Life is Beautiful. Roberto Benigni is just amazing in the part of the Italian Jew trying to guard his young son from the horrors of the Nazis by pretending it is all a game. I won't add any more, lest I spoil it for those who haven't yet seen it. Aside from that, this movie is almost too profound for written descriptions to do any justice.

The other is actually an animated feature. Not only that it is Japanese animation (or "anime"). This is NOT Speed Racer or Pokemon. It is not even Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., or The Incredibles, but is done by the people from whom the makers of Toy Story, et al, derive THEIR inspiration: Ghibli Studios of Hayao Miyazaki. Even with all of that, this is NOT a kid's movie nor a joyful romp, but a serious film that deserves to stand along with Life is Beautiful (in fact, it was made nine years BEFORE Life is Beautiful). This movie is Grave of the Fireflies.

Grave of the Fireflies is another remarkably profound film. It is about a fourteen-year-old boy and his five-year-old sister, who have to fend for themselves after their village is firebombed in WWII. It will not be giving anything away to tell you that the OPENING line of the movie, from a voice-over by the boy, is "September 21, 1945... that was the night I died." From there, the story goes back to examine the events leading up to that night, and it just tears out your heart along the way.

If you don't cry for Grave of the Fireflies or Life is Beautiful, you have absolutely NO heart in you. Even so, these two films are such that you just keep wanting to see them again, and are at the absolute top of my "must-see" list.

One final note: when watching Life is Beautiful or Grave of the Fireflies, please give subtitles a chance before just switching to the English-dubbed audio. No matter HOW good a dub may be, there is just no substitute for hearing the intonation and emotion of the original actors performing their parts the way the original director intended, and NO dubbing is good enough to capture that essence fully.

P.S.: Just had to add some quotes from Roger Ebert about Grave of the Fireflies. I'll post a link to his entire review after the quotes, but will advise you NOT to read it until you have seen the film, lest it spoil the impact of some parts of the film.


"Grave of the Fireflies" is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation. Since the earliest days, most animated films have been "cartoons" for children and families. Recent animated features such as "The Lion King," "Princess Mononoke" and "The Iron Giant" have touched on more serious themes, and the "Toy Story" movies and classics like "Bambi" have had moments that moved some audience members to tears. But these films exist within safe confines; they inspire tears, but not grief. "Grave of the Fireflies" is a powerful dramatic film that happens to be animated, and I know what the critic Ernest Rister means when he compares it to "Schindler's List" and says, "It is the most profoundly human animated film I've ever seen."


The book is well-known in Japan, and might easily have inspired a live-action film. It isn't the typical material of animation. But for "Grave of the Fireflies," I think animation was the right choice. Live action would have been burdened by the weight of special effects, violence and action. Animation allows Takahata to concentrate on the essence of the story, and the lack of visual realism in his animated characters allows our imagination more play; freed from the literal fact of real actors, we can more easily merge the characters with our own associations.


Because it is animated and from Japan, "Grave of the Fireflies" has been little seen. When anime fans say how good the film is, nobody takes them seriously. Now that it's available on DVD with a choice of subtitles or English dubbing, maybe it will find the attention it deserves. Yes, it's a cartoon, and the kids have eyes like saucers, but it belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made.

If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Movies that inspire us... by DFen911 (We all have them. So...)
I thought Mr. Holland's Opus was a great movie. Very inspiring and I love Richard Dreyfus. I remember him from The Goodbye Girl and Close Encounter. Here are some of my favorite 'inspirational' movies:

  • The Other Sister
  • The Green Mile
  • Radio
  • Forrest Gump
  • The Notebook
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • Sea Biscuit
  • Field of Dreams
  • Men of Honor
  • My Life
  • Stepmom

I am sure there are many more. That's all I can come up with right now.
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
  Re: Re: Movies that inspire us... by luvnit (I thought Mr. Hollan...)
It's a Wonderful Life is my all time favorite. I try to make my family watch it with me every Christmas season - they usually give in. Sometimes I watch it alone.

After reviewing my Netflix rentals to help jog my memory for what I've seen recently, I'd say other inspiring/thought provoking movies would be Hotel Rwanda, Good Night and Good Luck, Sliding Doors, Cinderella Man, Crash...
  Re: Re: Movies that inspire us... by HomeCulinarian (It's a Wonderful Lif...)
Hotel Rwanda was excellent!
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: Movies that inspire us... by labradors (Saw [i]Mr. Holland's...)
Very good Lab--I would add To Kill A Mockingbird, The Outlaw Josey Wales,, Casablanca, For The Love of The Game, Air Force One, and Ratatouile.
"He who sups with the devil should have a. long spoon".

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