Whether you’re looking forward to starting your first year of university or returning after a break, the summer is a great time to get your head sorted before the hard studying begins.
So, as the resident film geek here at UnCOVered, I thought I’d help you realise you’re #CapableOfEverything with some motivational movies to watch prior to starting the new year of study…
One of my favourite films of recent years and winner of Best Film Oscar at the 2012 Academy Awards. Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the General Manager of American Baseball team the Oakland Athletics. This true-story follows Beane, a promising-baseball player whose playing career was cut short through injury, as he builds a team of lesser known players to compete against the bigger clubs with more resources and finances available. Beane hires genius statistician Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) who employs the ‘Moneyball’ tactic to find new players who’s whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Beane and Brand battle with a owner unwilling/unable to spend money, a coach who disagrees with the new strategy (played by the late Philip Seymour-Hoffman) and a team old school, change-fearing scouts who think Beane is out of his mind. It’s a true underdog story as the A’s battle to compete with the bigger clubs. I won’t spoil any more. Just watch it. Please!
The Life of Pi
Winner of four Oscars in 2013 for Best Director, Visual Effects, Cinematography and Original Score, the Life of Pi is a visually stunning and emotionally charged epic spanning weeks of a young boys life who is lost as sea on a tiny boat. Following a shipwreck, Pi is stranded in a small lifeboat trying to survive and defend himself against the wild animals that shared the boat with him. It’s a glorious tale of doing what it takes to survive, and in the end you discover that the young Pi is capable of fending for himself against the most dangerous of foes. I can’t say too much more while staying spoiler-free but it’s definitely worth the watch.
The Truman Show
If you haven’t already seen this, stop reading right now and go watch it! Truman (Jim Carrey) is a man who was born, grew up and now lives in the ultimate reality TV show. Unbeknownst to Truman, the town where he lives is manufactured, his family, friends, and everyone else he has ever known, are actors, and the events of his life are carefully controlled (even the weather)! His life is a lie, but he seems happy. We often think the world revolves around us, but for Truman this is actually the case. It’s a fantastic story about exploration and confinement at the same time. It asks thoughtful questions about how humans would react to living in what is essentially a televised zoo. Is Truman capable of understanding what is happening? An absolute must-watch.
The Pursuit of Happiness
A truly uplifting true-story of a once-homeless single father, Christopher Gardner (Will Smith), who raised himself out of poverty and became a successful stock broker to support his son (Jayden Smith). The movie follows the story of Gardner as he loses everything and has to live on the street with his young son, fighting against all odds to turn their lives around. It shows that no matter what trouble you find yourself in or how desperate the situation, you can always get yourself out. He truly was #CapableOfEverything.
Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Nolan, an executive for a logistics firm leads an average but happy life. However, all that changes when he flies out on a routine trip and his plane crashes in adverse weather. The only survivor of the crash, Nolan finds himself alone on a small island – no phone, little food, and no shelter. Nolan has to quickly adapt to his new situation, learning to start a fire with twigs, fish, catch food, and get clean drinking water. He befriends a small volleyball named Wilson. It’s a story of survival, of hope, perseverance, and adaptation. This film shows that we are #CapableOfEverything if we put our minds to it. One of my all-time favourite films, Tom Hanks is simply amazing in it, and was duly nominated for an Oscar for his performance. I’d have given Wilson one too! #WILSSSOOOOOOOOOOOON.
We have our third true-story adaptation of the list, kind of. The story is set in the midst of the Boxing Day Tsunami in Indonesia. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts star as parents separated from their children as the catastrophic events of the day unfold. It’s an emotional, heart-warming and inspiring tale of survival and dedication, and again highlights that we are #CapableOfEverything. Like the other films on this list, it shows that whatever the struggle and whatever the odds, you should never give up. All your hard work and strife will be worth it in the end!
Another Tom Hanks masterclass! Nominated for 9 Academy Awards and winning 2 (best sound and film editing), Apollo 13 is high on my list of movie greats. This is the telling of a true-story about the crew of the 13th Apollo mission, which was due to be the third to land on the moon. It’s so good you could actually believe they went to space to film it! The mission takes a dramatic turn for the worst shortly after launch, as the crew on board, and engineers in back in Houston, have to confound the odds to get everyone back to Earth alive. It’s a remarkable tale, and a remarkable piece of filmmaking. Houston, we have a problem!
These are just a handful of motivational and inspirational movies that prove that you are #CapableOfEverything you put your mind to. You may not be faced with such adversity during your time at University, but with many of them being based on true-stories, it does show what we as a people are capable of achieving.
Are there any films you watch to prepare you for an event? Be it a big game, a tough conversation or maybe a big night out? Let us know either in the comments below or via social media!