Feeling down, stuck in a rut? Needing a lift, something to remind you that life is more than the mundane everyday?
Transformative movies can elevate your mind, open your heart and make your soul sing. Here are three of the many films streaming now which do just that, along with some suggestions of healthy snacks inspired by the films to ground you while you let the rest of you gets carried away.
Genre(s): Drama, Romance, Fantasy, History, Music and Musical
Director: Julie Taymor
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson
Many films depict the gravity-defying power of love, and many do it well. None but one, however, are set to the music of The Beatles. The story is no less than mythic: two young lovers from across the universe are separated and try to span the universe of social unrest caused by the Vietnam War to get back to each other.
The actors’ performances of The Beatles tunes forming the soundtrack for this romantic quest through time (the 60s) and space (the Atlantic Ocean) burst the heart open to feel the simultaneous loss of innocence and redemption through love. And the dreamlike storytelling, directing, cinematography and effects elevate this simple period romance to an ethereal, almost spiritual level.
Bring "Strawberry Fields" into your living room with strawberries and coconut milk whipped cream or Greek yogurt, topped with a "Taste of Honey."
☞ Stream Across the Universe on The Roku Channel and Hoopla.
Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter
We’re each the heroes of our own story, the tellers of our own tale, every one of us a myth-in-our-own-making. This is the thrust and challenge of this movie, and the main question it asks is whether the main character, the son of a dying old teller of tall tales, can believe in anything he hasn’t seen with his own eyes or that doesn’t fit into his world view.
The plot follows a young stoic, self-avowed realist trying to sort out the facts from the fiction in his father’s alleged life story while he sits by the dying man’s bedside. Much of the movie is told in flashback, tracking the father’s personal history as if every crazy happenstance, kooky character and inexplicable phenomena really existed.
In the present, father and son squabble for each other to, once and for all, see the world as they do. Then we, too, are left to decide how much of what we see that we believe is true, and more, how we define truth.
What’s perfect for this movie? Why, fish of course! Make homemade fish sticks and healthy dipping sauces. Choose your favorite white fish, like Alaska pollock, cod or tilapia loin, then bread it with whole-grain cornmeal seasoned to your liking and bake it in the oven. Then, prepare a few bowls of various healthy dipping sauces, like mustard, tahini or homemade pesto or guacamole.
☞ Stream Big Fish on Netflix.
Genre(s): Drama, Music and Musical, Kids and Family
Director: Kirsten Sheridan
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys-Myers, Terrance Howard, Robin Williams
Music is clearly an element that, if it’s the right music, can help take a story to a higher, transformative level. Here’s another story with music at its core, but in a different fashion.
In August Rush, the music is an intrinsic part of the plot. In brief, a young musical prodigy and his classical musician parents (one jazz, one classical) are all separated from one another in the Big (and scary) Apple.
When the titular child, August, with the help of a street musician, decides to write a song that will reunite his separated parents when they hear it, it seems exactly what it is: the pipe dream of a naive child. But, fate can often intervene in mysterious and unexpected ways. Especially when a cast of typically quirky and quixotic New Yorkers get involved.
In honor of New York’s staple snack found in food carts on every corner, fix some plant-based hot dogs on gluten-free buns topped with sauerkraut.
☞ Stream August Rush on Hoopla.
Any one of these films is almost sure to make you see yourself and your world in a whole new light. Watch how your life and the world around you changes after you watch these inspirational movies and nourish yourself on the healthy snacks they inspire.