Recovery in the Media: 71. Cinderella

Cinderella

This beautiful movie is one of my new favorites.

70. Cinderella

For months, I looked forward to the release of this movie although I worried a bit about how it might alter the story. With each preview, my worry decreased while my anticipation grew. The final product turned out to be beautiful beyond what I could have hoped for or imagined. Thus, it made perfect sense to feature it for Media Monday.

Synopsis: “Have courage and be kind.” Those are the last instructions that Ella’s mother gives to her young daughter before dying. This loss devastates the sweet girl, but at least her father remains a caring companion. Still, he longs for love again which his daughter readily encourages. Thus, Ella finds herself with a bitter stepmother who only wishes to further the lives of her two daughters. When Ella’s father also dies, the family loses money which forces Ella – or the newly named Cinderella – to become the maid for her stepsisters and stepmother. Still, she tries to continue clinging to her mother’s last words and example, hoping for something better in life. Continue reading

Recovery in the Media: #70. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This movie shows how there is no time like the present and age should never hold you back from living a full life.

70. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Yesterday, I took a break from work and writing to see this film. As bright, inspiring, and witty as the first one, this movie made me feel warm inside and cheerful. Even better, the thought of growing old was less daunting. Because of the numerous hopeful messages, I chose this film to review on Media Monday.

Synopsis: Since the Marigold Hotel has been such a success with the elderly residents, the ever-optimistic Sonny decides to try to find a sponsor to open another one. However, this task turns out to be more difficult than he had supposed as he also prepares for his wedding while trying to fight off his rival. Meanwhile, the residents of the hotel have romantic decisions and life choices of their own to struggle through together. Evelyn and Douglas are somewhat in a relationship but both a bit anxious as Evelyn embarks on a new job. In a moment of drunken confusion, Norman unintentionally sets a hit man on his girlfriend Carol. Several new residents have moved in including a charming American, Guy Chambers, who Madge has her eye on although she is already stringing along two other men. Meanwhile, Muriel is helping Sonny but remains as cranky as ever. All the while, time continues to tick as the residents try to forget but cannot help but remember their age. Continue reading

Recovery in the Media: #67. The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

This film tells of how even someone who thinks differently than others can change the world.

67. The Imitation Game

Love history or England? Intrigued by technology or solving problems? Think that Benedict Cumberbatch or Downton Abbey actors are amazing? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you might enjoy The Imitation Game as much as I do. Writing about it for my blog was obvious after my first time seeing it and essential after the second time.

Synopsis: Alan Turing was brilliant. Hated, perhaps, but still brilliant. However, his story went untold for decades because of the top-secret work he accomplished during WWII. Enigma, a German code, was broken by him and a group of others after Turing invented a machine that could compute information. The Imitation Game tells Turing’s story with all of its heartbreak, frustrations, loneliness, hopelessness, and courage. Continue reading

Recovery in the Media: #64. Big Hero 6

64. Big Hero 6

As anyone who has read my blog regularly probably knows, Big Hero 6 is one of my new favorite movies. Ever since seeing it last Sunday, I have not stopped raving about it to all of my friends. Thus, this post on Media Monday should not come as too much of a surprise. Hopefully, this review will convince you to see this film if none of my other comments about it have.

Big Hero 6

This film is more than just a fun kid’s movie; it is a great piece of art, humor, and inspiration.

Synopsis: Hiro might have graduated high school by the age of 13, but he certainly is not using his brains to make a difference in the world. That bothers his older and similarly brainy brother Tadashi. The older boy is attending a university and invented a robot named Baymax who can access one’s health state and provide any medical attention needed. Sure, that might not be too exciting in Hiro’s eyes, but he still loves his older brother. When a tragedy darkens the young adolescent’s life, this squishy robot might be the answer to his emotional as well as physical pain. Continue reading

Recovery in the Media: #61. The Giver

The Giver

This film explores what a world without emotions, choice, diversity, and memories might appear.

61. The Giver

This novel by Lois Lowry has long been one of my favorites. Going into this film frightened me because I loved the book so much. The depth of the novel seemed like something that the cinema could never capture. However, my mother stated her love of the film after viewing it at my new job. From the first minute, the actors and script captured my attention. Although not exactly the same as the novel, this movie has the same central message and heart. Plus, it helped me to realize more clearly the theme of emotions being repressed because of the pain that they cause. This convinced me to write about the movie for Media Monday.

Synopsis: Imagine a world with no discrimination, worry, pain, danger, or bad decision making. That probably sounds perfect. Jonas has lived his whole life in such a place. However, when the teenager becomes the receiver who holds all past memories, he realizes his life for what it truly is – a prison where no one can make choices or feel true emotions. What is worse, the pain from the past or the half-life of the present? Jonas must decide not only for himself but those that he loves. Continue reading

Recovery in the Media: #58. A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

Living a normal life with mental illness can be hard but also beautiful, as this film depicts.

58. A Beautiful Mind

Every since I first heard about this film, I longed to see it. However, some doctors cautioned that I might have schizophrenia. Anxiety about this caused me to shy away from anything associated with the illness but also raised my curiosity. Plus, my mother let me know that several scenes would be upsetting to me. Thus, I left this movie on my list of films to watch but made little effort to find it. In Oxford, A Beautiful Mind was chosen to watch for a movie night. Nervous but intrigued, I decided to at least see the beginning. Right away, the story sucked me inside and left me touched emotionally. Because it deals with a mental illness and focuses on living a normal life despite that condition, I chose this movie for Media Monday.

Synopsis: John Nash is brilliant. Strange, perhaps, but certainly brilliant. His life seems fairly normal at first – finishing school, falling in love, starting a family. However, things take a strange turn when this mathematician is called in to help the government. After he begins breaking Soviet codes, people start chasing and following Nash. Suddenly, his life is spinning out of control to the confusion of his wife. Continue reading

Recovery in the Media: #55. Maleficent

Maleficent

Maleficent shows the power of our actions, good, evil, revenge, and love.

55. Maleficent

Last week, my brother and I took an unusual visit to the movie theater to see Maleficent. Although I struggled with the film’s use of violence, the overall message touched me deeply. Fairy tales were part of what taught me to love reading. However, their black-and-white view of people has come to trouble me sometimes. Thus, seeing villains redeemed gives me hope for mending my own faults as well as finding good in this hurting world. Because of this hopeful message and other similarly positive themes, Maleficent seemed like a good choice for Media Monday.

Synopsis: Everyone knows the story of Sleeping Beauty. However, how much is known about the villain, Maleficent? This movie shows the story through her eyes. Once a sweet fairy with huge wings, the girl falls in love with a boy, Stefan. At first, these two share true love’s kiss. However, they grow apart as her magical kingdom is attacked by its human neighboring land. After Stefan betrays Maleficent, vengeance and deep hatred replace her tenderness and joy. How will she respond when power-hungry Stefan becomes king and has his first child? Surely, revenge is in order for her pain. Continue reading

Recovery in the Media. #52. Edward Scissorhands

The gentle-hearted hero of this film teaches us how not to judge others and how to love deeply.

The gentle-hearted hero of this film teaches us how not to judge others and how to love deeply.

52. Edward Scissorhands While in residential treatment, I was introduced to this film. Although a bit wary at first, my heart slowly opened to this film with its beautiful visuals, sweet protagonist, and sad story. In many ways, I found myself relating to Edward Scissorhands. All of us struggle to fit in with other at certain times in our lives. This movie explores that and many other relevant issues pertaining to recovery.

Synopsis: A gentle but frightening man, Edward is the invention of a man who died before finishing his creation. Thus, the strangely silent Edward is left with no hands except for scissors. A kind woman, Peg Boggs, finds him and brings him to her home. Despite being fearful at first, the family slowly warms up to the naive, loving creature. Kim, the daughter of Peg, becomes especially dear to Edward as he falls for her. Yet, people around the town struggle to understand and accept this new member. Is he evil? What does he want? Can someone so different ever live with normal people?  Continue reading

Recovery in the Media. #49. Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland film

This film captures the joys and fears of childhood while addressing hard issues of death and searching for hope.

49. Finding Neverland

After watching Pirates of the Caribbean  and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I looked forward to seeing Johnny Depp in other films. His quirky characters caused my whole family to chuckle and quote his witty remarks. However, there seemed to be a depth underlying his acting that touched me. Not until film Finding Neverland did I see what a talented dramatic actor he was. This movie about the author of Peter Pan both inspired and saddened me. The themes of death, imagination, and hope caused me to choose it for Media Monday.

Synopsis: J. M. Barrie wants to write beautiful plays and stories, but no one seems to enjoy his work. Even his wife is pulling away from him. Then the author meets three young boys and their widowed mother, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Despite rumors that crop up, a friendship begins that inspires and brings joy to the imaginative author. Through these new relationships, Barrie begins to pen a new story about a boy who never grew up.

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Recovery in the Media. #46. Up

Up is a film that shows the tenderness and agony that comes with love.

Up is a film that shows the tenderness and agony that comes with love.

46. Up

Pixar movies are amazing. That statement is agreed upon by nearly everyone I have met. Thus, I always look forward to the next film that they put out and long to see them as soon as possible. When previews and information for Up first came out, I was a bit skeptical. A movie about a house flying with balloons? What kind of plot is that? However, the story made me cry, laugh, and think of dogs in a whole different light. The deep messages about hope and grief make it a wonderful recovery-oriented movie to review on Media Monday.

Synopsis: Carl is an elderly man who lived a full life despite his quiet nature. However, his dreams of exploring with his deceased wife never happened. Before being forced into a elderly home, he decides to escape in his house. A young boyscout named Russel who longs for a close father, quirky bird named Kevin, and affectionate talking dog named Dug join Carl on his journey through grief into love.

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