An exciting, inspiring, thought-provoking watch, Catch Me If You Can is the story of Frank Abagnale — one of the most deceptive, intelligent, and successful con artists in known history. Exciting, because you’re constantly thinking he’s going to be caught; even though he’s doing bad, you’re cheering him all the way and you quickly find yourself on his team . Inspiring, because you see a human being just like you, who had no head starts in life, going against the grain and hustling their way into big successes and millions of dollars; yes, counterfeiting money and deceiving the authorities probably isn’t something you want to do, but even though it is kind of twisted, watching his story, and seeing just how much one person can do certainly gets you fired up. Thought-provoking, because you’re thinking “How are they not catching this guy!?” and “How is he so good?” and “How does he sleep at night” and even, “Could I do this and get away with it?” (Don’t). Directed by Stephen Spielberg, with the main role being played by Leonardo DiCaprio, this is a brilliant portrayal of a story that will — because of the it’s success — never be forgotten.
Another true story; this is the biographical account of extremely talented and award winning mathematician, John Nash. His contributions to mathematics have been profound and his theories are today widely used in economics. As smart and wonderful as John was, he was also suffered from a devastating mental disorder — paranoid schizophrenia. So severe that it led him to living a totally made-up second-life, which massively affected his career, marriage, friendships and life. It almost destroyed his career. This film is a heart-warming, emotionally intense, eye-opening and at the same time, fascinating journey through his incredible life — his first days at uni, meeting his wife, the moment he’s diagnosed, the painful treatment, and much more. A Beautiful Mind will leave you with a improved perspective and heightened awareness of human nature. It’s certainly one to watch with a box of tissues.
Another one to have a box of tissues beside you for — especially at the end. A dark fantasy which tells the story of a young boy who calls on the help of a monster to help him cope with his mothers illness. The monster is not your typical monster; it’s an ancient-looking, gigantic tree that magically to life in his backyard, and friendly isn’t a word you’d use to describe it. The young boy, Conor, goes through the common tribulations of childhood: he craves attention; he’s in the middle of a broken relationship between mom and dad; he doesn’t like school; he is confused, swayed and overwhelmed by a multitude of conflicting emotions. Add to this his mother illness — which he cares deeply about, and the fact that he’s being bullied — and doesn’t tell anyone, it’s easy. A moving, engrossing and intense plot; a visually striking picture — A Monster Calls is a very worthy 2 hours out of your day. The biggest thing this film will do for you, next to bringing back childhood memories and getting you to think about life in general, is increase your level of gratitude — especially in your close relationships. Great to watch with the family.
Imagine during sleep all your memory was wiped clean; imagine starting everyday not knowing who you are, what you do, where you are… Well, this is exactly what happens to Christine, who, after a traumatic head injury now wakes up everyday knowing nothing; her husband must tell her every morning who she is, what ‘happened’, how long they have been together, what will happen tonight, and so on. As part of new treatment protocol she meets a psychologist, who instructs her to start vlogging to herself every night about her day. After doing this for weeks her memory starts to get incrementally better and she starts to remember some terrifying truths about her past. Thought-provoking and captivating, Before I Go To Sleep has you on the edge of your seat right through to the dramatic end.
This is the true story of Christopher McCandless, a smart, young and humble teenager who, after graduating from Uni as top student and promising athlete, defies his parents and the conventional norm by giving away all his savings, passing on a prestigious career in law, and opting for a life of travel, hustle and freedom. An introspective guy with unique and non-conformist views on life gained from his love of reading, never was he going to be defined by academia or his upbringing; never was he going live the normal 9-5, materialist, unambitious life that most people so willingly do. There was so much more to experience, learn and do in life — things that really matter; that really make a difference to others; that build true character — and for him, such a life was non-negotiable. This film is the story of that life in all of it’s beautiful, fluctuating and variegated colours. Inspiring, humbling and eye-opening, this film is the ultimate therapy session in finding meaning, and discovering the true essence of life.
Specific memory erasion may not be too far in the future. (Perhaps it is already here — who knows?) Whatever the case, this film gives you insight into how such a procedure may play out. The main plot is about a socially awkward guy, Joel (Jim Carrey), who breaks up from his partner and, during an escape to the coast to clear his head and think things through, meets an esoteric, bubbly and beautiful girl named clementine (Kate Winslet); they start talking, they hit it off and quickly move in together. As soon as they’re in nirvana the inevitable happens; arguments arise, things turn ugly and they’re both alone, again. After much reflection Joel returns to the shop where he met Clementine and tries to start a conversation — but mysteriously, she doesn’t remember him. At first it appears a joke, but it soon becomes clear to be the opposite — she doesn’t remember him, and the reason, he discovers, is because she chose to have all memory of him wiped in a backstreet clinic after they split up. Initially he’s disturbed, but the attraction of having his own memory wiped — forgetting everything about her and being able to move on with his life — about grows on him; he can’t accept the fact that she no longer knows him, and yet he is still brewing in anger, sadness and despair. Does he go ahead with it? If you don’t want to know stop reading here. Eventually, temptation gets the better of him and he goes ahead with the procedure, however things don’t go to plan; he realises whilst having his memory erased that he loves clementine too much, and now he must fight to save what little — if anything they had left. In a bizarre and perhaps, expected twist (the director is Michel Gondry.), the fight includes both Joel and Clementine, who realise how stupid they’ve each been, and that they still love each other, and together they struggle to escape the inevitable: complete eradication of each other’s memory of each other. If this sounds confusing, fear not; it will make total sense once you see it. The fact that explaining the plot is difficult is testament to the production: strange, unique, mind-boggling, eccentric; thought-provoking, stimulating, inspiring and gripping — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will forever be remembered.
If the previous film is unique then this one is Uber-unique. In just over 90 minutes you’re taken through the life, or lifetimes, of a dog looking to discover his ultimate purpose. The story is told through the eyes of the dog, and the questions he asks himself about meaning are the exact same question us humans ask ourselves — and finding the answer(s), just as hard. Over the course of several lifetimes and owners, many bouts of sadness and heartache, and a determined grit to find answers, eventually he unearths it. Whether you believe the saying “a cat has nine lives” or not, seeing this film will open your eyes to what it would mean if such a thing were true; furthermore, you’ll be thinking about what you’d do if you were given multiple lives to live — an eye-opening perspective that may well enlighten you on your own purpose. Many films and books have been written on the subject on happiness, meaning and purpose, but few, if any have addressed them so beautifully, potently and coherently as A Dog’s Purpose. Its very likely that you’ve never seen a screenplay such as this; the unique way the story is told keeps you intrigued and excited from the first minute to the last. Another film to watch with a box of tissues, or, if you’re of the emotional type, two boxes.