Top 5 Inspirational Movies
With so many amazing movies out there, it is hard to come up with 10 that we think are the most inspirational. In some ways, we agree with AFI’s Top Inspirational Movies, but we added a few of our own.
5. It’s A Wonderful Life
Say what you will, but this is a movie about a guy who gets to see what the world would be like without him. And, lucky for George Bailey, the world is a pretty crappy place without him, so he gets another chance to come back and appreciate his life. As a side note, how hard could life be if you’re married to Donna Reed? I guess we could ask Tony Owen…
Music? Not so much. Selflessness? Well, George did stay home from college so his brother could go, but he did so much bellyaching about it we don’t think it counts. But ol’ George was pretty likeable, Mr. Potter was a fairly decent-sized obstacle to overcome, and we sure do feel good when that bell rings.
4. The Pursuit of Happyness
Now, we realize that some people might say that this movie Inspirational movies belongs at number one. Others might argue that it doesn’t belong on the list at all. We give it a ten for overcoming obstacles, because to go from being a failed bone density scanner salesman to being the crazy entrepreneur that Chris Gardner turned out to be is pretty amazing. We give it an in-between rating for selflessness, because the short-term homelessness, etc. could have been avoided if it weren’t for that unending ambition, but then the movie wouldn’t have rated as high in the overcoming obstacles category. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, people. Will Smith was pretty likeable as Chris Gardner, and you felt good at the end, mainly because you felt so crappy through most of the beginning and middle of the movie.
3. La Vita E Bella (Life Is Beautiful)
If you know nothing else about this movie other than Roberto Benigni’s exuberant Oscar acceptance speech you should stop reading and head directly to your video store. Do not pass Go. If you have seen it, you will agree that the Hero Likeability-a-Meter is off the charts for this movie, as Benigni’s Guido is charming and loveable all the way through. Acts of selflessness abound as Guido and his son are taken to a concentration camp, where Guido convinces his 5-year-old that they are playing a great game and that the prize will be a tank with guns. He keeps up this charade to minimize the horror going on around them, and because of this obstacles are defeated. Do you feel good? Yeah, you’re laughing through your tears. Music? You don’t even notice it. What happens? Not telling.
2. Stand & Deliver
It was hard to pick from all the “difficult class with inspirational teacher” movies. Coach Carter was in the running, as was The Freedom Writers and Lean On Me. Stand & Deliver won by a margin, mainly because of the stunning performance of Edward James Olmos as Jamie Escalante and partially because the author is a rabid Battlestar Galactica fan (joke…or is it?). Based on a true story, Jamie Escalante taught math and hope and passion to a group of dispassionate high school kids and we believed every minute of the movie. The music? It’s a wash. There are some great songs by Los Illegals, but the theme song was by Mr. Mister, so it’s null. Did we feel good when it was over. Heck yeah. Bonus points for making us all want to be teachers, just for that five minutes.