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THE HOT LIST: Inspirational Movies

 

The most inspiring films of all time?

 

12 Years a Slave and Captains Phillips are two inspirational films that featured in the list of this year's Oscar nominees, but what are the most inspiring films of all time? Here's our pick of the best


The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

What's the story? An innocent man is wrongfully imprisoned but fights to overcome corruption and incarceration in this story based on a novella by Stephen King.
Who's in it?:Lead characters are Tim Robbins as imprisoned banker Andy Dufresne and his best friend and fellow prisoner Red played by Morgan Freeman.
Why do we love it? There's so much to love - good triumphs over evil, the never say die spirit of Andy DuFresne, the deep friendship between Andy and Red, and the look of shock on the corrupt Warden's face when he pulls a poster off the wall of Andy's cell.
Best Line: Andy Dufresne: "Get busy living, or get busy dying."



Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

What's the story? Danny Boyle's homage to Bollywood follows the story of poverty stricken Jamal who uses all of his life experience to win the Indian version of Who wants to be a Millionaire?
Who's in it?: Dev Patel as Jamal, Freida Pinto as Latika and Madhur Mittal as Salim put in fantastic performances, but the irrepressible child actors who play the characters in the flashback sequences steal the show.
Why do we love it? The cute kids are brilliant, and the Who wants to be a Millionaire? sequences are great fun, but most of all it's because the guy gets the girl.
Best Line: Jamal Malik: "I'll wait for you at the train station every day at five."



Rocky (1976)

What's the story? Loan shark and amateur boxer Rocky Balboa is going nowhere until he is given the chance to fight for the heavyweight championship of the work.
Who's in it?:Sly Stallone wrote the script and fought for the right to play the 'Italian Stallion' - the result was a masterstroke of casting, with Stallone providing an absorbing performance. Burgess Meredith as Mickey, Talia Shire as Adrian, Carl Weathers as Apollo and Burt Young as Paulie make a wonderful supporting cast.
Why do we love it? It's the American Dream, the land of opportunity delivers the downtrodden hero the chance to prove himself a great – Go Rocky!
Best Line: Rocky: "ADRIAN!"



Dead Poet's Society (1989)

What's the story? An inspiring English teacher shakes up the lives of students at a traditional academy, teaching them the importance of individuality and following their dreams.
Who's in it?: Robin Williams as teacher John Keating has to be on his mettle to keep up with a stellar cast of rising talent including Ethan Hawke as introverted Todd Anderson and the ultimately tragic figure of Neil Perry played by Robert Sean Leonard.
Why do we love it? It's desperately sad near the end but the early humour and victorious finale make it worth the pain – "O Captain! My Captain!"
Best Line: John Keating: "Carpe, carpe diem. Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."


Life of Pi (2012)

What's the story? Stranded on a lifeboat following a shipwreck in which his family die, Pi Patel battles for survival accompanied by a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
Who's in it? Irrfan Khan as the adult Pi and Rafe Spall as Yann Martel (the Canadian novelist who wrote the story) have wonderful onscreen chemistry, while Suraj Sharma packs the screen with intensity as the 16-year-old Pi.
Why do we love it? Presented with two versions of the truth, the audience is left to make up it's own mind. A triumphant exploration of allegory and faith.
Best Line: Pi Patel: "Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested."


We also liked: Schindler's List (1993); Good Will Hunting (1997); Star Wars (1977); It's a Wonderful Life 1946; Braveheart (1995); Hotel Rwanda (2004); Chariots of Fire (1981); The Help (2011)


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