Movies have the ability to move you. Watch ‘Dirty Dancing’ and suddenly you want to become a dancer. Watch ‘Julie & Julia’ and you just know that you can be an excellent cook if you want to. I love movies that inspire you to take action, to cross things off your bucket list, to enjoy the small moments in life, to try new things and to follow your dreams. I made a list of movies that do that for me. You’ve probably already watched a few (most?) on this list, but perhaps you’ll discover a new title to put on your watch list.
La vita è bella (Life is beautiful)
Dramatic, romantic and humorous Italian movie about the Second World War from a hopeful perspective. The story of a Jewish man who is full of life and keeps bringing playfulness, hope and joy to the people around him, even in times of war. He turns the Holocaust into a big game for his son.
Pay it forward
Pay it forward is a movie for everyone who believes in the power of random acts of kindness. Trevor starts three selfless act of kindness as part of a school project. His actions cause a snowball effect, spreading kindness and indirectly touching the lives of many. The story will break your heart though, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Das Leben der Anderen (the lives of others)
If you’re in the mood for a light and easy movie, save this German gem for a later date. Anyone who labels him or herself as an artist, will recognize the struggle of keeping true to your calling. The Eastern-German Stasi might not observe your every move, but you will still relate to the deep need to create, to make art under difficult circumstances.
La science des rêves (The science of sleep)
I wouldn’t say La science des rêves qualifies as a feel-good movie. However, the creative vibe of the movie makes you want to pick up a pair or scissors and start creating something instantly. You are constantly taken from a cardboard dream world where robot ponies come alive to the (sometimes harsh) reality of everyday life. If you have a great imagination, love to daydream and used to build your own play environments from cardboard boxes and candy wrap this is a film for you.
As someone who tries to spread joy and happiness into this world, I feel a connection with the eccentric character Sara. As part of a project, she wants to show Nelson that there is more to life than work. She takes him into her home for a month, exposing him to a sense of Joie de vivre. He slowly opens his eyes and starts to enjoy the small wonders of everyday life.
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (Amélie)
I love everything about this movie, from the lovable guy who has created a photo album from unfortunate photo booth pictures from strangers, to the inexplicable cards the garden gnome is sending from all over the world, to the man who doesn’t leave the house in fear of breaking his bones. But most of all I love the way Amélie tries to influence the lives of those around her, seeking adventure in a playful, yet somewhat reserved and mysterious way. Add the beautiful music of Yann Tiersen and see a modern fairytale unfold.
What would happen if you would cease every opportunity that would come your way? What would your life look like? Carl (Jim Carrey) says yes to literally anything. The movie appeals to the part of me that wants to get all out of life. It makes me want to learn new things, go on adventure and break the everyday routine by creating my own adventures.
Jeux d’enfants (Love me if you dare)
What starts as a childhood game slowly evolves into something that takes over the lives of the two main characters. More and more is at risk. Don’t expect a typical romantic love story though. The surprising scenes will make you laugh, while you get emotionally invested in guessing what will happen next.
Man on Wire
Technically this is a documentary, not a movie. Watch the story of Phillip Petit. He is a famous tightrope walker and has one mission: to (illegally) do a tightrope performance between the twin towers. Just hearing him talk reminds you to go after your dreams, however big they are, however impossible they seem.
We cause scenes
I backed the making of this documentary as part of a Kickstarter project. Charlie Todd, founder of Improv Everywhere, loves ‘causing scenes’. His initially small New York performances and goofy ideas steadily turn into a world-famous phenomenon. Charlie inspires me to follow my passion and keep at it. Even if it seems small, or silly, just do it. Live your truth.
Any movie suggestions to put on my must-watch list? Please share movies that inspire you in the comments, so we can keep adding to the list above!