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Wholesome movies we need right now

Author: The Simple Bit

Category: Short Cuts

It’s been a pretty weird start to 2020. Anyone feel like a hug? Well, here are the cinematic equivalents.

The simple bits:


  • Movies can be used as a way of dealing with problems
  • Some people even use horror films to help process anxiety
  • But sometimes, films can just be a warm hug
  • Here are a couple of films coming up that might be good for you



Movies are often seen as a way of escaping hard times. In fact, during the GFC, movie attendance went up by 8.7%. But as well as escaping, movies can be used as a way of dealing with our feelings. There’s even a thing called cinema therapy, which is sometimes prescribed by a professional, but more often a way of people managing their own moods and needs. For example, watching a movie that deals with a subject matter that’s relevant to you is thought to be helpful to deal with that matter. Grief, for example. There are even people who watch horror movies to help them with feelings of anxiety.


And that’s just the brain. A recent study has also shown that watching a movie can be a pretty decent workout for your body too. A two hour movie was shown to have worked the viewers’ heart rate almost as much as a light workout at the gym. 


We’re not going to suggest that any of you do that, or to get too deep into the science, but there are some movies out now or coming up that might just help you chill out a little.


A Beautiful Day In the Neighbourhood – Jan 23

Tom Hanks has one of those faces that just makes you feel nice. Even if he’s stranded on a desert island or in the depths of World War 2, he still has a way of making you feel calm. So imagine how nice it is to see Tom play the other nicest guy in show business, Mr Rogers. We didn’t grow up with him here, but Mr Rogers was the host, producer and puppeteer on much-loved kids show ‘Mr Rogers Neighbourhood’. So yeah. Nice on nice. One review site referred to it as “the cinematic equivalent of a warm hug”. Maybe what we all need after the summer we’ve had. 


Call of the Wild  (February 20)

One of the clear findings of the research that led to the Clear Mind Experiment was that nature has the capacity to relax us and help us achieve calm focus. Being in nature can do that, but even looking at nature can be enough.Which is why we put a goat in a forest and a kitten on a beach (with a really long extension cord). But we didn’t have an adorable CGI dog, or Han Solo or a timeless tale by Jack London being adapted for the big screen. Luckily, Call Of The Wild has all of that. So get all of your good doggo content and some breathtaking cinematography (by the guy who shot Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List, no less). It’s like a breath of fresh air for your brain.


Onward (April 2)

Pixar are in a league of their own when it comes to making you feel stuff. If I ever needed to test my tear ducts to see if they still work, I will put on the montage at the start of Up. Or the growing up montage in Toy Story 3. Or any of Wall-E. They also take their responsibility seriously, and films like Inside Out are actually accurate to cognitive, developmental, and clinical psychology. The emotions used in that film are five of the six scientifically validated universal emotions. So it’s a good bet that Onward, their latest film will be good for your brain, too. Onward is about a fairy-tale world that has lost some of its glitter (unicorns are pests that eat out of your bins). So we can imagine it will be filled with all sorts of brain magic. 

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