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Ooooo there’s nothing like a good movie that inspires goodness into your own good life. It’s all GOOD! I’m not talking about those sickly sweet romantic, finger down the throat, soppy American films where life is rosy and things just work out.

I’m talking about those movies that represent real life, facing harsh realities with dignity and sometimes humour. Out of this pain comes a kind of bitter-sweetness that cannot be fully known without the presence of pain. It seems that you can only reach the core, the depths of joy when you have suffered the sorrows of life. So here are my top five movies to inspire your life:

1. Amelie -One of my all time favourite movies! Don’t let the fact that it is French intimidate you. This film is beautiful. It’s about revenge and loneliness and love and being different. Amelie conquers her fears and finds joy in giving. It is a masterpiece and will inspire you to find happiness through giving.

2. Life is Beautiful – What is it with me and foreign films? This one is Italian. Of course you must have heard about it. This amazing film won three Oscars. Well why wouldn’t it? This movie made me laugh out loud (a rare occurrence) and almost projectile howl tears. It is a rich and moving film.

3. The Sound of Music – This film has suffered a daggy reputation. But it is sweet without being sickly because it is a musical. This genre is, by nature, sweet and pure; so it is with this film. Audiences are prepared for the sugar rush and The Sound of Music delivers a pure sweetness in the background of serious world events. This depth evens out the sugar and provides audiences with a satisfying meal.  Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens (nope, no fingers down throat yet), bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens…War, family, religion, mountains and Salzburg. Inspirational!

4. Rabbit Proof Fence – I have never sobbed after a movie like I did in the car after this one. Sobbed! This was before I was a parent too! Imagine the heartache now. I think as Australians, we carry a lot of guilt and grief over what happened to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. We don’t really know what to do with it. It is films like these that walk us through that grief and give us an awareness of our own ignorance.

5.The Passion of the Christ – Full on man! This controversial movie was a powerhouse. So much to think about. So many angles: the good over evil bit, the mother and son bit, the sacrifice part. It was a difficult movie to watch; so much blood. The use of the Hebrew language was brilliant. It is interesting to see the various reactions to this film. It moved people to anger, to belief, to  questions they may not have ever asked themselves. That’s what makes it an inspirational winner.

Well folks, there’s my top five. Let me know what you think! It’s a toughy. I just love stories that have depth and challenge how I see things. Stuff the fluff-o-films. Bring on more tears, more real stories, more laughter and reflection. For that is what life is all about.