What is important to us?
Here are some of those films and series showing things that matter to us.
This is, first of all, an electrifying and poignant love story. Then it is a movie about the choices we make in life and the choices that other people make for us.
SIMPLE LIFE / CHOICES IN LIFE / PRINCIPLES / INTEGRITY
When a young Amish boy, travelling with his mother, witnesses a murder at railway station, Detective John Book realises the perpetrators were corrupt policemen. To protect the boy, Book returns with them to their Amish community, where he must adjust to their strict lifestyle and to his growing feelings for the boy's mother..
Watch it here
Barbra Streisand's first film as a director, based on a story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, is an earnest, passionate effort.
YENTL , a young Jewish woman in Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century, finds the traditional role for women in her culture unacceptable. Yentl has a thirst for knowledge, for debate, for the study of Talmud, and for a life of the mind. When her father dies and she's left on her own, she disguises herself as a young man, travels alone to a distant city, and becomes a Yeshiva student, surrounded by rabbis and other intellectual young Jewish men.
Watch it here
3:10 TO YUMA
UNCERTAINTY / JUSTICE / INTEGRITY
Broke small-time rancher Dan Evans is hired by the stagecoach line to put big-time captured outlaw leader Ben Wade on the 3:10 train to Yuma but Wade's gang tries to free him.
A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.
Watch it here
It's an exceptional film, about some exceptional people. NYT
CHARIOTS OF FIRE
Based on a true story, Chariots of Fire is the internationally acclaimed Oscar-winning drama of two very different men who compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a serious Christian Scotsman, believes that he has to succeed as a testament to his undying religious faith. Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), is a Jewish Englishman who wants desperately to be accepted and prove to the world that Jews are not inferior. The film crosscuts between each man's life as he trains for the competition, fueled by these very different desires.
INDIVIDUAL VALUES / OBEDIENCE / SACRIFICE
This is a powerful, compelling, and spiritually stirring film directed by Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields) and written by Robert Bolt (A Man For All Seasons). Filmed entirely on location in Colombia, South America, The Mission won the Golden Palm (Best Film) Award at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.
The Mission is a deeply moving film that reminds us of the vitality of love, the miracle of grace, and the transforming power of acts of conscience.
Watch it here
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." Marie Curie
BASED ON MARIE CURIE TRUE STORY
From the 1870s to the modern era, RADIOACTIVE is a journey through Marie Curie's enduring legacies - her passionate relationships, scientific breakthroughs, and the consequences that followed for her and for the world. After meeting fellow scientist Pierre Curie, the pair go on to marry and change the face of science forever by their discovery of radioactivity. The genius of the Curies' world-changing discoveries and the ensuing Nobel Prize propels the devoted couple into the international limelight. Watch it here
ACTION / COMEDY
Spenser -- an ex-cop better known for making trouble than solving it -- just got out of prison and is leaving Boston for good. But first he gets roped into helping his old boxing coach and mentor, Henry , with a promising amateur. That's Hawk, a brash, no-nonsense MMA fighter convinced he'll be a tougher opponent than Spenser ever was. When two of Spenser's former colleagues turn up murdered, he recruits Hawk and his foul-mouthed ex-girlfriend, Cissy, to help him investigate and bring the culprits to justice. Watch it here
THE IMPORTANCE OF READING
'The Bookshop' is set in 1959, Florence Green, a free spirited widow, puts grief behind her and risks everything to open up a bookshop - the first such shop in the sleepy seaside town of Hardborough, England. Fighting damp, cold and considerable local apathy she struggles to establish herself but soon her fortunes change for the better. By exposing the narrow minded local townsfolk to the best literature of the day, she opens their eyes thereby causing a cultural awakening in a town which has not changed for centuries. This mini social revolution soon brings her fierce enemies. Watch it here
HISTORICAL / LEADERSHIP
In May 1940, the fate of World War II hangs on Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean the end of the British Empire. Calls are intensifying for him to make peace, but he resolves to fight on, whatever the cost.
Watch it here
THE RESISTANCE BANKER
TRUE STORY CO / INTEGRITY / SELFLESSNESS
When banker Walraven van Hall is asked in the Second World War whether he wants to use his financial contacts for the resistance, he does not hesitate for long. Together with his brother, Gijs van Hall, he devised a risky construction to take out large loans with which the resistance can be financed. If that is not enough, the brothers think of the biggest banking fraud in Dutch history... Watch it here
ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.
TRUE TO PRINCIPLES
When his partner is stricken with a heart attack, reclusive lawyer Roman Israel (Denzel Washington) is forced to take a job with a ruthless law firm. Ill-equipped for the wider world, it's a move that conflicts not only with his beliefs but also his fragile mental state..
AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE
Laura Jones adapted Janet Frame's autobiographical books To The Is-Land, The Envoy From Mirror City, and An Angel At My Table for this New Zealand made-for-television miniseries which dramatizes her youth, when she was wrongfully confined in a mental institution for eight years, and her subsequent acclaim as a writer after her release.
INTEGRITY / COURAGE
This captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue defies standard categorization. It is the story of Rick Blaine a world-weary ex-freedom fighter who runs a nightclub in Casablanca during the early part of WWII. Despite pressure from the local authorities, Rick's café has become a haven for refugees looking to purchase illicit letters of transit which will allow them to escape to America.
watch it here
IN THE NAME OF WHAT?
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield and Blake are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers--Blake's own brother among them.
watch it here
MUSIC / LIVING ON THE SPOT
Fact-based drama about the rock band Queen, particularly its talented and charismatic lead singer, Freddie Mercury. Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration of Queen, their music and. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound.
watch it here
I AM PATRICK: THE PATRON SAINT OF IRELAND
FAITH / HISTORY
So, who was Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, really? Did he have a thing for shamrocks? Did he really drive away all the snakes on the island? Did he ever drink green beer?
I AM PATRICK peels back centuries of legend and myth to tell the true story of Saint Patrick. Through historical re-enactments, expert interviews and Patrick's own writings, experience the journey from man to saint.
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
EMPATHY / TEAM WORK / COMMUNICATION
The gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world's most dangerous game.
watch it here
Somehow, this lockdown can help you gain momentum if you know how to take advantage of it.
SENSE OF TIME / MEANING OF LIFE
"What would you do if you were stuck in one place and everything was exactly the same and nothing that you did mattered?"
A man is forced to live the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Groundhog Day is not only one of the finest comedies of the 90s, but actually remains fresh, funny and original after repeated viewings. (watch it here)
FRIENDSHIP / RELATIONSHIP / LOVE
TV series about a high school philosophy teacher, Merlí, who teaches in an original way, and about the students of his class, including his own son, and the relationship, friendship, love, and problems among the students of the class.
watch it here
SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME
TRUE LOVE / FRIENDSHIP / FAITH
"Same Kind Of Different As Me" tells the real-life story of Ron Hall and Denver Moore, respectively a wealthy white Southern art dealer and a Louisiana-born African-American homeless man who became friends after meeting in a shelter at which Ron was volunteering with his wife Deborah.
watch it here
THE CURRENT WAR
TRUE STORY / SCIENCE / INTEGRITY / POWER
Historical drama about Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse's fierce competition to develop the electrical system that would power the world. The two men, both principled and passionate, have wildly different personalities, approaches, and interpretations of the best means to power the country. www.rottentomatoes.com
watch it here
THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY
TRUE STORY / TALENTS / FRIENDSHIP
The Man Who Knew Infinity is the true story of friendship that forever changed mathematics. In 1913, Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel), a self-taught Indian mathematics genius, traveled to Trinity College, Cambridge, where over the course of five years, forged a bond with his mentor, the brilliant and eccentric professor, G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), and fought against prejudice to reveal his mathematic genius to the world. This is Ramanujan's story as seen through Hardy's eyes.. source: www.rottentomatoes.com (watch it here)
The King's Speech may be a historical film (...) this one may go down as celluloid history: an uplifting document on the human spirit.
THE KING'S SPEECH
Prince George (Firth), known as Bertie to loved ones, has been afflicted by a debilitating stammer since his childhood. And when his brother abdicates the throne and war looms, he reluctantly turns to Aussie Lionel Logue (Rush), a speech therapist whose methods are unconventional to say the least. source: www.empireonline.com (watch it here)
Uncorked is a hilarious and touching drama about a father and son who have to finally learn to listen to one another.
LOVE / FAMILY
Fueled by his love for wine, Elijah enrolls in a course to become a master sommelier. It's a dream that upends the expectations of his father, Louis (Courtney B. Vance), who insists Elijah take over the popular Memphis barbeque joint that's been passed down from father to son since its inception. Elijah struggles with the demands of school and a new relationship, while Louis wrestles with the feelings of his son rejecting the family business until a tragedy forces both of them to slow things down. source: www.rottentomatoes.com
A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist.
LOVE / FRIENDSHIP / POWER OF IMAGINATION
"Cinema Paradiso is about the power of dreams, In the film, we see the people go to the cinema to dream: by watching great movies, they forget all their problems. In becoming a great film director, Totò achieves his own personal dream, too. In today's world, with this crisis that we're all experiencing both in politics and in society, the film reminds us that we can, and must, keep on dreaming." Salvatore Casciowatch it here
This drama about a trio of African-American women doing maths wonders for Nasa has few subtleties, but is done with such verve it's hard to dislike
"Hidden Figures" effectively conveys the poisonous normalcy of white supremacy, and the main characters' determination to pursue their ambitions in spite of it and to live normal lives in its shadow.
source: The New York Times (watch it here)
A movie about Swift - a movie worth watching, anyway - that's seeking to provide a little intimacy should proceed aware that not everybody wants to be close.
Miss Americana (Taylor Swift) is a raw and emotionally revealing look at one of the most iconic artists of our time during a transformational period in her life as she learns to embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice.
source: The New York Times
A stage director and his actor wife struggle through a grueling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.
LOVE / FAMILY / CONFLICS
The hope of Marriage Story, then, is not 'til death do them part. Rather, it's the dignity of any good ending, one that gives you the clarity to understand the meaning of everything that came before it. (watch it here)
Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) is struggling to make it in 19th-century New York as a writer, when she's called home to the bedside of sick sister Beth (Eliza Scanlen). Through flashbacks, we see how the pair grew up with sisters Meg (Emma Watson) and Amy (Florence Pugh).
FAMILY / FRIENDSHIP / WOMEN
Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author's alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. The adaptation is faithful to its historical roots, yet it runs on contemporary energy. Full review source: wsj
watch it here
THE TWO POPES
FAITH / FRIENDSHIP / POWER
Popes don't quit - they just die. That's why when Benedict XVI announced his resignation in 2013 it was one of the biggest plot twists the Catholic Church had ever seen - he was the first to do so in almost 600 years. The Two Popes takes its inspiration from this piece of recent clerical history. It dramatises a handful of meetings between Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce), who succeeded him as Pope Francis, while the former considered retirement. (keep reading) A.O. Scott, The New York Times (Nov. 26, 2019) (watch it here)
CRIME / POLITICS
The ultimate fate of Jimmy Hoffa remains one of the biggest mysteries and conspiracy theories in modern American history. What happened to him? How did he seemingly disappear into thin air one, never to be seen or heard from again? (watch it here)
YEARS AND YEARS
FUTURE / TECHNOLOGY
By following one family over the course of the next 15 years, Russell T. Davies' powerful drama offers up a chilling forecast of where the UK might be heading. (watch it here)
PAIN AND GLORY
LOSS / LOVE/ IMAGINATION / MEMORY
"Pedro Almodóvar's sublime Pain and Glory, a story of memory and creation, youth and its loss, circles around the idea of art as self-creation."
Manohla Dargis (The NYTimes)
HOMELESS TO HARWARD
TAKE YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO RISE
Based on a true story. Liz Murray is a young girl who is taken care of by her loving, but drug-addicted parents. Liz becomes homeless at 15 and after a tragedy comes upon her, she begins her work to finish high school.
THE LITTLE PRINCE
WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYE
Animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's iconic masterpiece about a pilot who crash lands in the Sahara desert and encounters a mysterious young boy who claims to be an extraterrestrial prince.
A TRUE STORY
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom gives us a depiction of a man who wasn't always that great. The movie shows us that there is a better way for all of us to change-with grace and forgiveness.
CIRCLE OF LIFE
Young Simba is destined to become king of Pride Rock like his father Mufasa. But his uncle Scar plots for the throne, and Simba ends up alone in exile. Can he ever regain his kingdom?
Led by Phoenix's ferocious, feral performance, this especially dark, gritty comic book movie is a character drama that's drawn more toward real-world troubles than to capes and crusading.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
ANIMATION / COMEDY / FAMILY / FANTASY
Expect diversion and laughs from the disparity between the Addams' gloominess and the planned community, called Assimilation, that's being developed near their mansion.
SCI-FI FAMILY DRAMA
Raising children can be a difficult task, but even more so when your child has superhero abilities.
At seven years old, Dion is grappling with his increasing powers while still enjoying the life of a normal child.
In MID90S, disaffected Stevie (lives unhappily with his domineering, bullying brother, Ian and his lonely, struggling single mother. Looking to find his people -- and his identity -- Stevie falls in with a group of older skateboarding teens for a summer of skating, drinking, bad decisions, and growing up.
THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND
A 13-year-old boy is thrown out of the school he loves when his family can no longer afford the fees as drought
and famine threaten his community.
Chiwetell Ejifor's gripping directorial debut is based on the inspiring true story of William Kamkwamba who battled adversity to save his family and friends from a devastating famine.
INQUIRY INTO THE HUMAN CONDITION / SCI-FI
Ad Astra (from the Latin tag "per ardua ad astra" or "through struggle to the stars") is a spectacular, immersive picture, offering an intelligent and deeply considered variation on existing themes.
A world-class African-American pianist and his driver from an Italian-American neighbourhood in the Bronx, despite their differences, develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation
An irresistible piece of entertainment with a soul.
AMAZON ORIGINAL SERIE
Based on the New York Times column of the same name, the Amazon anthology series is the TV equivalent of an Instagrammable latte.