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reel life movie ideas

as many of you know, i lead a monthly film discussion group at my church called reel life: discussions on film and faith. i am currently in the process of choosing the movies for the next 5 months. i was wondering if you had any suggestions. the criteria, quite simply, would be that the film be one that we can engage as people of faith and have a dialogue about. it doesn't necessarily need to about God or faith, promote a christian worldview, or even be uplifting. i would rather watch films that give us a lens through which to view this life, and to discuss that lens from the vantage point of faith. any suggestions?


pete s said…
easier to suggest if we know what you've shown already--how about a list?
Megan said…
Lars and the Real Girl. Very different movie but very good and I think it would create some interesting dialogue. Also Penelope - kind of straight forward and like a fairy tale but another good one.
greg. said…
we've watched:
the rookie
miracle on 34th street (christmas)
akeelah and the bee
pay it forward
shawshank redemption
pete s said…
Wow--that's a great list.

I thought the Village was good--typical Shyamalan outing, and not as strong as Unbreakable or 6th Sense, but ripe with potential for conversations about faith and trust and hope and insiders/outsiders and fear.

The Apostle with Robert Duvall is a very interesting film about redemption.

Magnolia was really gritty at times, but worth considering.

Faith and Film Critics Circle has some interesting and helpful reviews that might help:
Megan said…
OK - so my two suggestions are probably not ones you would consider at first, but i guarantee if you watch Lars and the Real Girl you'll want to sit and talk to people about it. Or maybe it's just something you and Shannon would like???
Mary said…
actually, I haven't watched Lars the the Real Girl...but i have heard similar things about it. so i wouldn't mind seeing it myself. im going to keep thinking and tell you some other movies as well :)
Joel said…
here are some off the top of my head

amazing grace
babbettes feast (its in danish, but with subtitles)
life is beautiful (there is an english version, but italian is just so beautiful to listen to)
spitfire grill
goodwill hunting
the mission
girl in a cafe

Megan said…
Because I'm a movie fan I had to keep checking in to see the recommendations. I have to agree with the suggestion of Amazing Grace - really really good!
peggy said…
What about ...

Second Hand Lions
Tender Mercies
peggy said…
Just thought of one more. Don't know if your group is into old flicks but Inherit the Wind is a great one!
Emoly said…
I think Goodwill Hunting would be good. My favorite when it comes to talking about faith is "Contact". I can't help it. The end is so profound. I have a good friend (whom I first watched the movie with) who is a micro biologist and a Christian. It's a great way to combine science with Christianity if you're looking for something like that, or not! :)

What about Dogma???
Anonymous said…
I recommend "What Dreams May Come" for some excellent discussion on free will and the afterlife. Also we just saw "August Rush" and loved it completely, knowing that it is metaphorical for many things (ie the storyline is unbelieveable) but a GREAT movie. Concerning love: what about "Moonstruck" or "When Harry Met Sally"- a movie that I would love to deconstruct that real- people clips between scenes in the movie, Great stuff there!
I agree with "Amazing Grace" and HiHo for "Contact" one of my favorite movies, but I like the first five minutes- the best representation of intergalactic space I have yet seen.

I can't get this blogger to recognize me again so I am anonymous.
cathyq said…
Dad included all the ones that he and I discussed except for The Color Purple. I love the last scene of that movie. I cry like a baby every time. Also, one of my favorites about living life to the fullest and self-sacrifice is Steel Magnolias. Of course I have to mention, even though you probably wouldn't pick a Shakespearean piece, Henry V with Kenneth Branaugh. The music alone is worth the experience, but also the transformation of a man into his adulthood and the rousing speech before the battle of Agincourt gives me goose bumps. Just a few honorable mentions:

Little Women
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Da Vinci Code
The Polar Express
O Brother Where Art Thou?
How to Make an American Quilt
The Elephant Man

I could go on....

Hope these help!

Crafty P said…
I heard about a movie the other day and thought of you and jotted it down (while I was driving!).

As It is In Heaven- apparently it's Swedish, but has subtitles.

I second a lot of the movies on Monica's list. (great movies on there!) I haven't seen girl in a cafe or amazing grace, yet.

I also second the nomination for What Dreams May Come. I remember thinking so many thoughts about death and life and everything in between when that movie came out. I loved the cinematography in that one. Very Interesting.

How about The Black Knight? A field trip for your movie club!

Miracle of Marcellino is also a really beautiful movie... I also LOVE Song of Bernadette.
Anonymous said…
In this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, Puritan settler THE SCARLET LETTER-

Hester Prynne (Demi Moore) is accused of adultery in a Massachusetts settlement in the 1660s. Although she's attracted to the town's pastor (Gary Oldman), the two resist temptation … but only a whiff of scandal is enough for the town's morality police to sentence Prynne to live as an outcast and wear a shameful scarlet A for adultery.

A very intense movie with much biblical references and yet scandelous!
Greg C. said…
Ever see A Dry White Season? Came out in '89 with Donald Sutherland as a South African schoolteacher in the 70s who's trying to get to the bottom of the disappearance of his gardener's son (and then, not surprisingly, the gardener). With Marlon Brando. Very powerful. Here's a link to Ebert's review:
Greg C.
Greg C. said…
Looks like the link cut off. Try this one:
Greg C.

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