I’m celebrating this week’s movie freebie by reminiscing about my time at L’Abri, a Christian hospitality ministry. I was at their location in England for three months earlier this year. Every week, on Wednesday evening, our study room was transformed into a theater. One of the staff members would pick a film and we would watch it while eating cinnamon-sugar popcorn. When the movie ended, we’d spend half an hour or so discussing it.
The movies that were chosen were usually the kind that make you think. I got to see several fantastic titles (some of which I’ve included in my list) and lots of foreign films. I love watching movies that engage you on a deeper level than mere entertainment.
So, I’ve chosen a list of movies that I would show at L’Abri if I had the chance.
- Midnight in Paris (2011): One of my all-time favorites, this movie has a lot to say about nostalgia and the dangers of Golden-Age thinking.
- The Imitation Game (2014): I watched this one on an airplane and had to stop it multiple times just to think about what was going on. In addition to being a great historical piece, the messages about homosexuality is an important one.
- Les Miserables (2012): Although I prefer the stage version, the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece raises great questions about grace, forgiveness, and redemption.
- Inside Out (2015): I watched this one while at L’Abri. Pixar movies do such a great job at creating movies that are both entertaining and enlightening. Inside Out is no exception with messages about the complexity of emotions. It can also be seen as a critique of American uber-positivity.
- Lars and the Real Girl (2007): Here’s another one I was introduced to at L’Abri. The premise is odd and uncomfortable at times, but it’s really a beautiful message about community.
- About Time (2013): Again, one of my favorite movies and one of the few to make me cry. You think it’s going to be a happy romantic comedy, but then it turns out to be a beautiful story about family and what makes life worthwhile.
- Her (2013): This movie is super weird and uncomfortable at points. I include it on my list because, when we watched it at L’Abri, it raised so many question and thoughts that we were still talking about it for a week and a half later.
- The Truman Show (1998): This movie raises so many ethical questions, especially since it predates the rise of reality television, and I’d love to have a discussion about it.
What movies make you think? What ones would you like to have an intellectual group discussion about?
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