Here is a pick-me-up list for those days when you get the blues! What are your favorites?
John Forbes Nash Jr. (Russell Crowe) was a brilliant economist -- when his mind was clear. But life changed forever with the revelation that he was schizophrenic, although his brilliance persisted amidst the anguish his mental illness caused for him and his wife (Jennifer Connelly). Ron Howard directs this Oscar-winning drama that picked up honors for direction and acting (Connelly) as well as the Best Picture prize.
Mathieu Amalric stars as author and Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby -- who suffered a stroke in 1995 that rendered him mute and completely paralyzed -- in this adaptation of Bauby's autobiography, which he dictated by blinking his left eye. Julian Schnabel was nominated for the 2008 Best Director Oscar (and won the Golden Globe in the same category) for his poignant docudrama about the
strength of the human spirit.
Based on a true story, this romantic drama follows the love affair of two people with Asperger's Syndrome -- a subtle form of autism with a side of savant. Donald (Josh Harnett), an emotionally dysfunctional mathematical genius, leads a support group for those with the syndrome. When an attractive music and art genius (Radha Mitchell) joins the group, Donald's falls for her, but their unique natures make for a challenging relationship.
After losing his hearing as a soldier during the Vietnam War, Richard Pimentel (Ron Livingston) returns to America, where he falls in with an unlikely circle of friends and finds a new calling as a spokesman for the disabled. His activist efforts eventually lead to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This inspiring and entertaining true story won the Audience Award at the 2007 AFI Dallas International Film Festival.
A richly deserved Oscar went to Geoffrey Rush for his riveting portrayal of Australian virtuoso David Helfgott and his ultimate triumph over a domineering father (Armin Mueller-Stahl, who also earned Academy honors for his supporting turn); schizophrenia; and an obsession with the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3. Sir John Gielgud, superb as ever, plays Helfgott's tutor, with Lynn Redgrave co-starring as Helfgott's future wife.
In 1972, a plane carrying players, coaches and friends of a Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. Using dramatic reenactments and interviews with the remaining survivors, this documentary recounts the riveting story of their horrific ordeal. The harrowing tale of human survival (which inspired the movie Alive) became even more dramatic
when it was discovered the men ate the dead bodies of their friends to
go on living.
Widowed professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins, in an Oscar-nominated role) finds himself drawn to a different rhythm when he discovers an immigrant couple, Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and Zainab (Danai Gurira), squatting in his Manhattan flat and becomes wrapped up in their lives. Hiam Abbass co-stars as Tarek's mother, who forges an unlikely connection with Walter when Tarek is thrown into a detention center.will