Monday, September 07, 2009

Grace in Movies

I'm trying to compile a list of movies that are very grace-filled, or have grace as a central theme--grace used here in at least close to a Christian understanding of the word. So far I've got:

Babette's Feast
Lars and the Real Girl
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Gran Torino
In Bruges
Stranger Than Fiction
Children of Men
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Tender Mercies*
The Brothers Bloom
Groundhog Day
Saving Private Ryan
The Sixth Sense*
Dead Man Walking*
The Enchanted Cottage
Les Miserables
Forrest Gump
Brideshead Revisited*
The Lives of Others*
The Man Who Would Be King*
The Pianist*
Man on Fire*
It's a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th Street
Scrooge (the Alistair Sim version is best)
A Christmas Story
Phantom of the Opera
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923 and 1939 versions especially)
Sense and Sensibility*
To Kill a Mockingbird

*=Ethan hasn't seen.

Also, I can't guarantee that these are family viewing. If you ask me I will be happy to comment on the appropriateness of any particular entry.

Any suggestions?

(EDIT: I will be adding to the list as people suggest things. Keep suggesting.)


Nat said...

Hm. Could you be more specific? I mean, which parts of O Brother and Once are you viewing as displaying of grace? (I haven't seen the other two)

Bruce Gee said...

Tender Mercies, with Robert Duvall.
The Brother's Bloom, with the older brother dying on behalf of the younger.
Groundhog's Day, from a certain standpoint.

Ethan said...

Nat, it's a major theme of both of them, especially O Brother; especially the almost-getting-hanged scene towards the end. But people are allowed to interpret as they will.

Bruce, now I have to see TM even more. Should have thought of Bloom. Groundhog's Day, too.

Ethan said...


NOT Freddy Jones said...

Isn't Lars and the Real Girl about some guy who gets a blow-up doll and pretends she's an actual girl?(I remember something about that from the Netflix blurb I read about it six months ago)

Also, this is technically a tv show since it's about eight hours long but Brideshead Revisited(The version done in the 80's, with Jeremy Irons) definitely has some grace themes.

The Lives of Others, I believe.
Annnd.. that's all.

Ethan said...

Yes Robin, that's exactly what it's about, and it's also one of the neatest, most grace-filled movies I've ever seen.

NOT Freddy Jones said...

Hmm, I shall have to see it now.

Also, you need to see Brideshead Revisited. And read the book. Srsly.

Ethan said...

I know. I will. Maybe in the next ten years.

ellen said...

The Man Who Would Be King.

NOT Freddy Jones said...

I thought of another one!!

The Pianist.
The book even more so, but the movie too.
And, by the way, if you haven't read The Pianist yet, you really should drop whatever you're doing and read it right now because it is incredible.

Bob son of Bob said...

Man on Fire. Basic, blatant, beautiful christology. Alliteration and all.

Anan said...

NAT: We have Babette's Feast. Borrow it. Watch it. Be happy. Cry some too.

Anan said...

Casablanca. (That's only a half serious suggestion.)
Phantom of the Opera. SRSLY.
And I won't suggest anything else because I'm scared it'll all be wrong.

Ethan said...

Casablanca... I could definitely see. Actually, the more I think about it, the more it seems very appropriate.

PotO I wouldn't have thought of, but I can see the point.

Which reminds me, Hunchback of Notre Dame (the old versions; haven't seen Disney's).

Anna, please do suggest more if you've got more ideas. I'd rather hear them and question them than not and possibly miss something.

Bruce Gee said...

Here's the thing about this here list, Ethan: if it is to have any real value, there ought to be a tagline following each entry, explaining what you or your contributors think is the grace content of the movie. Then we could fight about it.

Ethan said...

Eh. A decent idea, and of course the carrot of intellectual squabble dangling in front of the donkey that is me might be enough to make me lurch from my semi-recumbent position in pursuit of such an end, but really I was only interested in a sort of postmodern grace-as-you-define-it definition to see what titles might be suggested, and I have accomplished that end rather handily.

On the other, see the version of this note that can be accessed from my Facebook profile. Tim did leave a few taglines--including a couple several-paragraph ones--doing exactly what you call for.

Furthermore, the list has all the value I wanted from it, and since this is my blog, we're going to call that good enough.

Anan said...

Well I see several book-movies on this list, so "To Kill A Mockingbird" for starters.
If only I could remember the many stirring action movies I have seen. :P

Anan said...

Sense and Sensibility. Totally.

NOT Freddy Jones said...

Emma, unless it's already on the list.(Almost any of the versions are excellent)