*The films discussed cover adult themes and topics, therefore aren’t appropriate for all audiences*
Trying to entertain yourself through self-isolation and lockdown can seem hopeless. It’s a unique time where everyone is struggling, everyone is scared, everyone is frustrated and - frankly - everyone is tired.
What’s the best possible way to give your wellbeing a boost? Films of course!
Here is a compiled list of films which are available on Amazon Prime right now, ready for you to watch and enjoy a much needed bit of escapism. Don't worry, there is no mention of ANY films based on outbreaks or global pandemics where Gwenyth Paltrow causes the world to get sick by blatantly not washing her hands, spreading an infection that leaves medical professionals and the government stumped... We don't need to torture ourselves like that!
Room, 2015, Lenny Abrahamson
- Rated: 15
- Rotten Tomatoes- 93%
Okay, so this one may be a little on the nose - Brie Larson plays a woman kidnapped in her teens who is held captive in an outhouse that she isn’t allowed to leave, giving birth to a son who has never known the ground beneath his feet. Sounds cheery right?
But if you haven’t seen it already, Brie Larson shines in the adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel. It leaves you on the edge of your seat, chewing your fingernails right down to their stubs, only to cause you to burst out into emotionally exhausted tears a minute later. It’s a film I go back to again and again, because it’s very rare that a story is told in such a raw and powerful way, by doing very little.
It is truly a special film, and an important one to boot. If none of that has persuaded you, the cast of Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson worming their way into your hearts should do it.
A Long Way Down, 2014, Pascal Chaumeil
- Rated: 15
- Rotten Tomatoes- 22%
Hear me out on this one - the critics hate it, but audiences love it. It’s a sweet tale of a group of down on their luck individuals all contemplating and planning and committing suicide (another cheery one!). They go to the same place BUT instead of making the jump, they decide to postpone and support one another to find a reason to live.
Never would I think of casting Pierce Brosnan (James Bond and songbird extraordinaire in Mamma Mia) and Aaron Paul (Meth Maker aficionado in Breaking Bad) together alongside Toni Collette and Imogen Poots. It may not seem like it, but it really is a film that does warm your heart in ways you never expected, and a lot like the situation we face now, a group of complete strangers banding together to help each other through their darkest times, which is what we all need to be doing, so give it a try!
The Big Sick, 2017, Michael Showalter
- Rated 15
- Rotten Tomatoes - 98%
Based on the true story of how comic Kumail Nanjiani met and fell in love with his now wife Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick goes a little deeper than just your bog-standard rom-com. Full of heart, it showcases perfectly the fears most couples go through - “will my parents accept them (or vice versa)?”.
The film explores the depth of feelings and what to do with them in a just-blossoming relationship. Again, it is a little on the nose as Emily comes down with an illness which leaves her in a coma, but through that, it strips away the fear and prejudice many interracial couples face as their relationship progresses and really places what’s most important first, which is the love we feel for each other.
Chicken Run, 2000, Nick Park & Peter Lord
- Rated (U)
- Rotten Tomatoes- 97%
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love Chicken Run, or anything that Aardman Studios produces - they made Wallace and Gromit crying out loud, I’d trust them with my life! Sure, it’s not a new film, but it doesn’t make it any less timeless. Perfect if you had kids who are chomping at the bit, or if you are just in dire need and some childhood nostalgia.
Especially now, we are all feeling a little ‘cooped up’ and dreaming of the time where we can escape to better and bigger things, just like the chickens: Ginger, Babs and crew. It’s all about working together and sticking it to the man (Or Tweedy),coming to terms with who you really are, and being accepted for that warmly.
It represents family, the desire to be more and achieve more and escape a life filled with danger, dissatisfaction and fear to a better, brighter future. Bet you didn’t think Plasticine could make me be that deep, but here we are.
There we have it, a collection of films that won’t exactly break free the shackles of lockdown, but will definitely take you away from it all, for just an hour and a half, and right now, it’s the best thing we can do!