Five Inspiring Road Movies

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This weekend we have prepared for you a list of five movies which are all essentially road movies, but each with a distinctive slant on the genre. While first two are true stories and are therefore rather serious films, the other three contain elements of comedy.

Into the Wild

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A movie inspired by the true story of Christopher McCandless. Maybe a combination of his own uniqueness and his difficult childhood motivated  him not to fall into the life of acquisitiveness and consumption that he was so disgusted with.  For one reason or another, Christopher graduated from the University, then donated all of his savings to charity, and discarded his material possessions and identity (it was then that he started calling himself Alexander Supertramp), and with the attitude of real adventurer headed to Alaska to live „the real life“ and to find himself and to come to the conclusion that: „Happiness is only real when shared“.

Directed by Sean Penn in 2007 and superbly acted by Emile Hirsch, this movie will surely pull you into the Wild with him for the full two hours of its length.

 

Wild

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Another true story, this one about Cheryl Strayed, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, with Reese Witherspoon in the title role. The movie is based on Strayed’s autobiographical book, and the author herself chose Witherspoon for the main role.

Cheryl reached a time in her life when she, after losing her mother and also her marriage, was just existing. She was dragging herself down further with drugs and the painful experiences of one night stands, when she finally was inspired by the idea of hitchhiking the dreaded 1770km long PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). The fact that it wouldn’t be an easy road, with danger, exhaustion, or even troubles like walking with only one boot for part of the journey, was very obvious. The important thing, though, was not the physical discomfort, but her newly gained strength and her desire to live a fulfilling life.

 

Broken Flowers

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Years of freedom and promiscuity can complicate one‘s life one day. Exactly that is what happened to the avowed bachelor Don Johnson (memorably acted by Bill Murray), who, after being dumped by his last love, receives an anonymous pink letter informing him that he is the father of an adult son. The question is, who, of all the women he has known, could be the mother? Comedy turned detective road movie, directed by Jim Jarmusch in 2005, brings a series of unusual and bizarre situations as the „fresh father“ visits his ex-girlfriends one by one to find out if any of them could be the author of the letter and therefore the mother of his son. The clues are limited: a pink letter and the typewriter the letter was written on…

 

Kikujiro

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Kikujiro is japanese road movie about a nine year old boy who, accompanied by an adult man, travels to visit the mother whom he has never met. The film, by Takeshi Kitano from 1999, works with a slow pace with a surprising reversal of the story and a lyrical tone.

The crazy nonsense of the characters stands in contrast with reality. Together with appropriately evocative music it goes hand in hand with sweet humour and elements of silent comedy.

 

Little Miss Sunshine

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A dysfunctional family jumps into an old car and sets off on a road trip to California to participate in a Child Beauty Queen contest for the youngest member of the family, the slightly chubby and very sweet seven year old Olive.

 Olive was remarkably performed by Abigail Breslin, and it‘s more than obvious that she put whole heart into her role.  However, even the other members of her incompatible family do not stand behind her. The Father unsuccesfully trying to sell his work „How to become succesful in 9 steps“; Olive’s older brother, who silently protests against everything, especially the fact that he cannot study at a pilot academy; an uncle just released from a hospital after attempting suicide; and a vulgar grandfather, who has been thrown out of a retirement home for using drugs. And above it all stands her mother Sheryl, who tries to keep the peace and emotional stability of the family. Let adventure begin.

 Photo: IMDB

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