My go-to wind-down tool of choice is movies. There’s only one genre I’m not into (gore/horror) and I’ll watch anything. Earlier in the week, I thought I’d start pulling together a bit of a list of my favourite movies that move me, in some way. A lot of them leave you feeling uplifted and motivated to do SOMETHING. They’ve got energy, and I like that. And if you’re into that too, I hope you’ll find something you like. Or maybe, your favourite movie is here. Let me know in the comments.
A list of movies to leave you feeling moved, inspired, or motivated to be better.
Becoming – Michele Obama
After putting the book on my reading list in 2019, I was excited to see that Netflix was showing a documentary following Michelle on her book tour. And it’s just as good as I hoped it would be. Watch the trailer, start to feel your heart lift and tears well, the hit play and enjoy. I put this movie on this list as a source of empowerment. Empower yourself with the story of this amazing woman and the part she is playing in the world.
Easily one of the favourite movies I’ve seen this year and it was made in 2014. Based on a true story (can you tell it’s my favourite genre of movie?) Pride tells the story of the London-based gay and lesbian activists who lend their support to striking miners in 1984 Wales. I put this movie in this post because it’s great, first of all, but also because this movie is about allies. About people, very different in experience, who came together to support each other and cause change. Real, lasting change. Some critics called it naive, but I sincerely say fuck off to that. It’s got heart and I think you’ll love it.
I don’t think I’ve seen grief so powerfully told on screen as it is in Wild. Yes, this has been a favourite of mine since it came out for various reasons. But I was thinking lately how the large and complicated grief can be and how this story gives you an insight into that. In that way, it will inspire and move you because of our ability as humans to overcome. To walk the path, when we don’t want to walk it anymore, and one day get somewhere. I love that. My heart breaks for her every time but I feel rebuilt right along with her. I think that’s why I love it.
When I first rented it I watched it alone while Kel was out one night. The next day, I watched it again with him. From that moment it was fixed as a firm favourite in this house. It’s motivating and moving because it’s about excellence. Specifically, black excellence. Imagine what it was like to be part of that moment in history. To have directly impacted the way every person on this planet sees what is possible. Excellence, there’s no other word for it. I’m sure most of you will have seen this movie by now but if you haven’t, do it now. Drop everything you’re doing and watch it now. It’s joyful, energetic and I love it. I’m sure you will too.
A League of Their Own
A favourite of mine since childhood. With this movie, so began, a lifelong love affair with the sports movie genre. When people today say that politics should stay out of sports, I point them to the stories I’ve seen play out in the movies I love. The way that sports can give people a platform to communicate when the distance seems too great. The way ideas are changed, lines in the sand are shifted. It’s something. A league of their own is all of that and more when it comes to women and the fight for equality. But for me, this movie is about family, love and friendship and how friends become family when you’re trapped with them long enough. Probably on a bus. Haha.
You may be a little surprised to see this movie here. Based on the true story of Molly Bloom, Molly’s Game is a lot. Short version. Molly runs an illegal card game which lands her in a lot of hot water with a laundry list of people. But, for me and maybe you’ll see it differently, the story is about determination and potential. It’s a reminder that things happen but you decide who you will be and what you stand for. That failing is almost a necessary part of living. The critics say it’s not that deep, but maybe they don’t know what it is to have potential and no clear way to fulfil it.
I didn’t even realise when I added this movie to the list that yesterday was Loving Day! You can read more about the history in this article, which won’t ‘spoil’ the movie but will better inform you in some ways before you watch it. I’d watched the movie a while ago on an iTunes 99c rental offer and it reminded me of the freedoms I have as a white is-woman who fell in love with a white, cis-man. A matter of chance, really, I’ve always said that. Let this movie empower you to continue to support those who seek love and are only met with injustice. Who finds that their reason for existing is the cause of hardship, discrimination and violence at the hands of others.
I don’t know about you, but cross-country running was basically what my teenage nightmares were made of. Running. Through the Australian bush? Ummm, no thanks. You might be surprised that this movie is here. But it is because, for me, this movie inspires community. And community is something we all have the power to build. I was waiting for this movie to come on rental or streaming services ANYWHERE for the longest time. I’d seen it once and when I went back to watch it again couldn’t get it. That’s no longer the case and it’s available on Disney+ or, from memory, for rent on iTunes. Do yourself a favour, sports fans, watch it.
And that, team, is my list of movies to motivate and move you. Maybe you agree or disagree with some of the choices? I’d love to know your thoughts (I think Molly’s Game may be a controversial choice). This post took so long to get to here because narrowing it down sucked. I’m like Dawson Leery level movie nerd at this stage. Haha. But, what I’m going to do is a whole other post with documentaries (see my first Documentaries to Watch post here). I already have a list. So, watch this space. And if you want more like this, click through to the Books, Movies, TV category to see more posts like this.
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Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.