Now that it is 2023, we all have a clean slate to start fresh for the new year ahead. Or do we? Sometimes, we need to dig a little deeper before starting from scratch. Sometimes, confronting our past helps us flush out the old in order to welcome the new. If you are one searching for answers, yearning for clarity, or even at a crossroads in life, have a glance at these films that will whisper a voice of empowerment and liberation. Take a leap and tag along these amazing characters who courageously revisit their past as a means to start a new future.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012, IMDb: 7.3)
“If you’re gonna ride like lightning, you’re gonna crash like thunder.” This quote from The Place Beyond the Pines sums up this Indy film’s sense of unhinged and raw storytelling. It begins with an outlaw motorcycle stunt man who risks his life robbing banks to provide for his unexpected newborn child named Jason. Fast forward to his troubling high school years, Jason struggles to keep his life together as he investigates who his father was, and in doing so, a well-liked assistant district attorney (played by Bradley Cooper) must confront his past to not only ask for forgiveness, but also to become a better father. This film is worth watching to remind yourself about the fragility of time; what goes around, comes around. Oh, and not to rob banks!
The Railway Man is a screen adaptation of an autobiographical book of the same name, written by the World War II veteran Eric Lomax. The film recounts the British native’s memoir of struggling with his present-day life and new marriage as he copes with the psychological traumas stemmed from his past experiences as a prisoner-slave under Japanese rule. Eric courageously travels across the world to the very place that inflicted a seemingly unfixable scar to confront the man who tortured him, as a means to mend the damage that has been done to him. This film is a must see, especially for those searching for a deep sense of salvation and self-preservation.
Having already been nominated for best motion picture for the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes, Top Gun: Maverick exceeds the viewer’s expectations of action-packed aerial shots revolving around Maverick’s heroic archetype. Instead, the story humanizes Maverick now that thirty years later, he must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it. If you’re looking for a movie that dives into self-redemption, Top Gun: Maverick is the film for you.
The Guilty centers around a troubled LAPD call operator who receives a disturbing 911 phone call from a woman who has been abducted. In the meantime, he stands by a fabricated story to save himself from being charged with manslaughter due to a tragic accident that occurred several months ago while on duty. While he spends an entire day tracking down the abductor to save the woman’s life, he confronts the truth of his past mistake, realizes that not everything is always as it seems, and that facing the truth is the only way out. The Guilty is worth watching as it explores the significance of honor and integrity when admitting to one’s own past missteps.
Perhaps one of Tim Burton’s most imaginative works of art is that of Big Fish, where Will Bloom must adamantly hear out his father’s fantastical stories one last time; stories that Will has never believed to be true. As you are taken back in time into Edward’s past filled with monsters, werewolves, witches, and other fictionalized things that defy logic, you can see through Will’s perspective why his father wants his stories to be true; “A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.” This profound appreciation of finding truth in fiction makes Big Fish a timeless masterpiece.
Socially awkward high school freshmen Charlie is accepted by two seniors to be a part of their friend group, but as his friends approach graduation, Charlie’s deeply embedded emotional troubles stemmed from his painful past of sexual abuse at a young age, along with a former friend’s suicide, begin to resurface. By opening up about his traumas to medical professionals, and realizing that nothing was his fault, Charlie begins his journey of healing and self discovery. If you are looking for a coming of age drama filled with moments of laughter and moments of tears, this film is for you.
It is no surprise that My Octopus Teacher won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, as it is a fascinating true story about a deep-sea diver and filmmaker named Craig Foster whose life is essentially saved by an octopus. Feeling he has not been a good father and that he is losing his purpose in life, Craig decides to revisit his childhood love of deep-sea diving in a South African kelp forest close to where he grew up. When he discovers an octopus, he decides to visit the octopus every day for a full year. His gradual obsession with the octopus’s intelligence, survival ability, emotions, and way of life, ultimately teach him deep lessons about love and empathy. In short, this is a film that will remind you how creatures, no matter how alien-like or foreign they may seem, are a lot like us humans. We are not just visitors of their world; we are a part of their world too.
Critics Choice Awards 2023 - The Best Drama Series
The Critics Choice Awards is one of many esteemed awards shows that honor the best of cinema and television from the previous year. It is said that receiving a Critics Choice Awards indicates potential success at the prestigious Academy Awards held later in March. So, this is not “just another” award show. In this article, we have listed the TV shows nominated for “The Best Drama Series” of 2022 and the show that eventually took home the award. And the Critics Choice Awards for Best Drama Series goes to…