From the movie recommendation files, here are 4 great movies you might have missed from 2019.
Brittany Runs a Marathon
I had no idea what to expect from this movie. Had seen the previews and it looked like a sweet film about a young woman named Briattany who—guess what—runs a marathon.
What I hadn’t expected was what made the movie so endearing to me.
Brittany’s decision to run a marathon puts her on a journey of self-discovery that force her to face some longstanding limiting beliefs about herself (like body image and trust issues) and how deeply those beliefs are ingrained in her.
Still, Brittany is all in and committed to go from couch potato to marathon finisher.
But, as in life, complications ensue and that’s when she’s faced with her most difficult challenge of accepting that she is worthy of love and acceptance.
Brittany’s struggles were so relatable. I found myself totally invested in her success and wanted to cheer her on to the finish line.
For more information: Brittany Runs a Marathon
What would happen if there were a worldwide blackout and somehow The Beatles and all their music were wiped out of existence and memory. Like John, Paul, George, and Ringo weren’t a thing. What if no one had heard of them, except for one guy?
That’s what the premise of Yesterday.
The guy who, by some strange and magical force, knows who they are and knows their music is a struggling musician himself. Crazy things start happening when he starts playing all The Beatles music as his own. His career takes off.
Suddenly, everything is awesome! He’s a global sensation. More popular than he ever imagined.
But his new-found fame turns his world upside-down. He knows he must examine his own values, to decide for himself what makes a life worth living at the end of the long and winding road.
The premise of Yesterday is completely implausible and will not stand up to the scrutiny of examination (how could he be the only one who remembers?) but if you can accept the story as fiction and just go with it, you may find the ride as wonderful as I did.
Movie page: Yesterday
The River and the Wall
There are so many things I loved about this movie that chronicles the 1200-mile trek along the Texas-Mexico border from El Paso to the Golf of Mexico.
The River and the Wall captures the breathtakingly beautiful, rugged wildlife and scenery of the area. That, alone, makes the movie worth watching.
If you have a chance to see it on a big screen, I highly recommend it. The open spaces are breathtaking and I felt a deep sense of protectiveness for the land and a deep sense of our connectedness.
For me, it complicated the whole issue of border security and immigration. And that’s one of the things that makes the movie outstanding. It takes this simple idea of a river and a wall and shows you how it’s not all that simple.
You have this big issue of immigration and protecting US borders and those are important.
But then you look at the people affected by a wall and the stories about how it will change people’s lives and their livelihood, and about birds and animals don’t know anything about treaties and undocumented migration.
The issue seems way more nuanced.
The land was here thousands of years before we got here and will be here thousands of years after we’re gone. To build a wall feels like the most excessive, ridiculous way to solve the problem. It’s like performing surgery with a sledgehammer. An expensive sledgehammer.
Movie website: theriverandthewall.com
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
When I first saw that Tom Hanks was playing Mr. Rogers, I thought, Tom Hanks can’t possibly pull it off.
Well, I was wrong. He pulls it off beautifully. But what surprised me more was the way the story came about and how the movie wasn’t really about Mr. Rogers.
The film is based on a true story about a reporter who gets an assignment to write about Mr. Rogers. He’s not a fan and tries to get out of it, but he can’t so he approaches the whole thing with a “let’s get this over with” attitude.
The movie is about what how that assignment changes everything for him. So it’s about Mr. Rogers but not a biopic.
This was one of those movies that when it ended, I thought, Omg. Everyone should see this movie.
The message of love and compassion and forgiveness and the way we’re all connected and capable of building each other up is something we need so badly right now.
One line that I think about often is when the reporter meets Mrs. Rogers and asks, “What does it feel like to be married to a saint.” Her reaction is a kicker. She says she doesn’t like when people say that because it makes it seem like what he does is unattainable. But it’s not. He works at it just like we can all work at it.
I loved Mr. Rogers (the real Mr. Rogers) and didn’t expect to love this movie, but I found it uplifting and beautiful and powerful. A must see.
Official website: abeautifulday.movie
What do they have in common?
I found myself wondering what theme or message ties these together and resonates with my own writing?
You definitely will see the character arc, but the big message is how we can build up or break down. That our actions, beliefs impact us, yes, but also the people around us and maybe people we’ll never meet, that we create a ripple effect in the world. We’re connected and our actions (or inactions) affect others.
We each have our own stories to tell. And they may not make headlines or create a buzz, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. You never know who you’re inspiring with your actions.
In case you missed my recent post about going to the movies, check it out here.