There’s something particularly special about that warmness you get from a real feel-good film. From the classic tale of the triumphant underdog to those timely reminders to appreciate the little things in life, there’s a vibrant spectrum to choose from. With that in mind, take these life-affirming films into consideration next time you’re planning a movie night to inspire and motivate you.
There’s no silver screen boxing legend quite like The Italian Stallion himself, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). The long-running film franchise that rose Stallone to fame spanned decades, but even he eventually had to throw in the towel. In 2015 the story continued, with Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), the son of old-time Rocky rival Apollo Creed, seeking out Mr Balboa to learn how to follow in his father’s footsteps.
His unannounced arrival on the scene throws the ordinarily unflappable fighter for a loop, yet a touch of destiny soon sees the pair becoming fast friends in a moving mentor-student relationship. Creed won over cinemagoers for showing us that no matter whose footsteps we follow, it is our own actions that truly define us.
How to Be Single
Relationships are a complex business, yet that doesn’t mean they’re any less hilarious when examined from another angle. That’s exactly what Alice (Dakota Johnson) and Robin (Rebel Wilson) show us in 2016’s How to Be Single. It’s a comical yet thought-provoking look at interpersonal dynamics and the social pressures of today. It’s a film that will leave you feeling empowered and positive, with a lot of fun along the way. Plus this is no chick flick; you don’t have to be female to enjoy this tale of two friends.
Released on Boxing Day, this winter’s big uplifting cinematic journey comes to us courtesy of director David Frankel. Howard (Will Smith) is a man stricken with grief who takes on an intimate and inspiring journey. What results is a deeper understanding of the moments of perfection that shine in even life’s grandest chaos – the titular Collateral Beauty.
When it seems that nothing will move Howard beyond the losses he’s suffered, he’s motivated to write letters to the very concepts of Love, Time and Death. Yet as the mysterious Brigitte (Helen Mirren) proves, he wasn’t necessarily expecting to receive a response.
The Bucket List
Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) provide unforgettable antics in the unmissable The Bucket List. As terminally ill men looking to do all the things they’d promised to experience before passing on, this one has comedy in spades – yet never at the expense of poignancy. Faced with the unavoidable reality of their own mortality, the pair take it as an opportunity to celebrate rather than a reason to mourn. Although the film has a sad story at its heart, viewers nonetheless appreciated the message that The Bucket List provided.
The Man Who Knew Infinity
Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel unite to form an unforgettable friendship in The Man Who Knew Infinity, a biopic in which self-educated mathematical prodigy Srinivasa Ramanujan (Patel) leaves India for Britain during World War One, keen to impress his field number theories on the brilliant minds of Cambridge.
At times cuttingly true to the age, The Man That Knew Infinity sees Srinivasa overcoming prejudice and elitism to prove conclusively both the value of his theories and the strength of his mind. It’s a film that reminds us that it is our actions, not our upbringing or education, which truly define us.
From glorious to tragic, countless films on the big screen today celebrate the spark of human brilliance in ways that can’t help but motivate. What’s your favourite uplifting movie?