Temple Grandin (2010)

Millions of dollars have been lost by farmers and ranchers utilizing standard– and inhumane– livestock handling practices. The leading expert in the industry is Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado state University, who just so happens to be a woman on the Autism spectrum. It’s remarkable that someone thought to be […]

Stand and Deliver (1998)

Every few years, a movie makes a splash by portraying a teacher or coach in a positive light. While many grab viewers’ attention, few remain in their hearts. This is in large part due in part to the white- yuppie- moves- to- the- ‘hood- and- educates- under-privileged- youth trope. Seriously, we’re over it. However, this particular movie highlights an ordinary teacher with extraordinary confidence. Real-life math teacher, Mr. Escalante, upon whom this movie is based, has said he considers this telling of his story to be 90% truth and and 10% drama, which is high praise considering—not only are most movies, which are supposedly based on true events merely inspired by their premise and loosely follow the actual occurrence—most heroes don’t consider themselves as such. In this case, an important distinction is made when a high school teacher managed to turn a classroom of rowdy students into calculus prodigies: “There is two kinds of racism, Mr. Escalante. Judging a group because they are a minority and not judging a group because they are a minority.”

Across the Universe (2007)

Though the title borrows the more popular lyric/ song title, this film could’ve been aptly named “Nothing’s Gonna Change my World”; the irony being the massive upending of life as everyone knew it prior to the turbulent 1960s. To craft a plot from a collection of music not written as a cohesive narrative is tricky enough; to seamlessly infuse the playlist with a personification of the music and events that equally influenced and inspired each other is a true work of Art. The inclusion of live musical performance, choreography, imaginative cinematography, depiction of history and socio-political commentary take this mesmerizing spectacle way beyond a Beatles-inspired musical.

Roxanne (1987)

Writer, comedian and actor, Steve Martin adapted literary classic “Cyrano de Bergerac” into a feature film. With equal parts humor, drama and romance—in nearly every hue—the brainy and beautiful, Roxanne falls for one half of two different firemen: the airheaded but handsome, Chris who speaks through the poetry of big-nosed romantic, C. D. who coaches him through each encounter in order to win Roxanne’s heart. First things get tricky then downright messy as the charade wears thin.