Certain movies can evoke serious emotion and be so engaging that they leave you thinking about them for days, weeks, months, even years after the credits have rolled. But as distressing as they may be, they’re important pieces of cinema above all else and do a great job about telling stories that need to be told.
Sophie’s Choice, 1982
Meryl Streep took home an Oscar for her portrayal of Sophie, a survivor of the Nazi death camps. She’s a woman who’s found a reason to live and falls in love with Nathan, Kevin Kline, a brilliant if slightly unstable American Jew who is obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, played by Peter MacNicol, a young writer recently arrived in NYC, but the couple’s happiness is under threat from her terrible memories and his dark obsessions.
Alan J. Pakula wrote the screenplay from the book of the same name by William Styron which was published in 1979 and won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 1980. Streep didn’t just stop at learning to mimic a Polish accent. She actually learned how to speak both German and Polish so that she’d get her character’s intonation just right.
Requiem for a Dream, 2000
Sara Goldfarb, Ellen Burstyn, is a retired widow living in a tiny apartment. She spends most of her day in front of the television, transfixed by a particular self-improvement show and indulging in delusions about becoming a guest on it. In a desperate bid to lose weight, she starts popping pills which end up impacting her state of mind heavily and causing her health to fail into the bargain.
Her son Harry, Jared Leto, is an out-and-out addict with dreams of hitting the big time by becoming a dealer. Marion, played by Jennifer Connelly, wants to be an artist or fashion designer but gets swept up in Harry’s tormented world.
If you’ve never seen this movie, make a point of doing so in the future, but make sure you’ve got something fun and light-hearted lined up to take your mind off the subject-matter as soon as you’re done!
Videos showing cats being funny and Boston terriers making their owners giggle, or sites that offer the finest online betting NZ and the rest of the world have to offer are always a great idea.
The Accused, 1988
Sarah Tobias, played by Jodie Foster, gets drunk at her local bar and ends up being gang-raped by a group of men. Kelly McGillis takes the part of Kathryn Murphy, a DA on the case determined to prove that no matter how intoxicated Tobias was that night, there’s no justification for her being so brutalised. It’s one of the first films in history to tackle victim-blaming and the Bystander Effect and saw Foster taking home her first Oscar.
The Accused is based on Cheryl Ann Araujo’s experience at a bar called Big Dan’s Tavern in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The pub lost its liquor license the very next day and ended up being shut down permanently 48 hours later.