2020 has been… a year, which makes getting a fresh start in 2021 feel super appealing, we look at 10 inspiring films for turning over a new leaf.
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)
Director: Martin Scorsese
After her husband dies, Alice and her son, Tommy, leave their small New Mexico town for California, where Alice hopes to make it as a singer. Money problems force them to settle in Arizona instead, where Alice takes a job as waitress in a small diner. She intends to stay in Arizona just long enough to make the money needed to head back out on the road, but her plans change when she begins to fall for a rancher named David. Fewer of us know when to let it go, even as it shows itself an ignis fatuus, a fantasy. As in Alice’s case, turning over a new leaf may mean opening our eyes to what’s under our noses: a wellspring in the present.
The Big City (1963)
Director: Satyajit Ray
Arati takes a job as a door-to-door saleswoman in Calcutta’s wealthy neighborhoods, in defiance of her traditionally minded husband, Subrata, and his live-in parents. Emulating her Anglo-Indian friend and co-worker Edith, who speaks as an equal to the men she encounters on the job, Arati quickly becomes her firm’s top salesperson. When Subrata loses his job, the power dynamic in the family begins to shift.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Director Harold Ramis
The Eagle Huntress (2016)
Director: Otto Bell
Aishol-pan, a 13-year-old girl, trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently reject the idea of any female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan’s father, Nurgaiv, believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she’s determined.
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Petty thug Michel considers himself a suave bad guy in the manner of Humphrey Bogart, but panics and impulsively kills a policeman while driving a stolen car. On the lam, he turns to his aspiring journalist girlfriend, Patricia, hiding out in her Paris apartment while he tries to pull together enough money to get the pair to Italy. But when Patricia learns that her boyfriend is being investigated for murder, she begins to question her loyalties.
Burt’s Buzz (2013)
Director: Jody Shapiro
Walk with Me (2017)
Director: Max Pugh and Marc J. Francis
‘Walk With Me’ is a meditative film about a community of Zen Buddhist monks and nuns who have dedicated their lives to mastering the art of mindfulness with their world-famous teacher Thich Nhật Hành.
The Passenger (1975)
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
David Locke is a world-weary American journalist who has been sent to cover a conflict in northern Africa, but he makes little progress with the story. When he discovers the body of a stranger who looks similar to him, Locke assumes the dead man’s identity. However, he soon finds out that the man was an arms dealer, leading Locke into dangerous situations. Aided by a beautiful woman, Locke attempts to avoid both the police and criminals out to get him.
Walk Cheerfully (1930)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Kenji, the small-time gangster hero of Yasujiro Ozu’s Walk Cheerfully, has found a reason to get back on the straight and narrow. Her name is Yasue. With a foot still in the crime world, Kenji finds that new beginnings are hard to come by, but discovers that starting over isn’t something you have to do alone.
Ruby in Paradise (1993)
Director: Victor Nunez
Reeling from her mother’s recent death, Ruby Lee Gissing relocates to Florida to start anew. After finding a job at a souvenir store, Ruby becomes friends with the shop’s owner, Mildred Chambers, and slowly acclimates to her new surroundings. Before long, she’s juggling the affections of Mildred’s Lothario son, Ricky, and the good-natured Mike. As she wavers between Ricky and Mike, Ruby also tries to come to terms with her past.