The temperature is dropping drastically and the leaves are falling off their branches like they can’t reach the ground fast enough. I think that when you can see your breath in the morning air, it is a good indication that it is time to delve into your favorite comfort films. Funny enough, my list that I offer you today is comprised of solely book adaptations. I think that the reason for this is that the best stories are always those that produce warm, timeless movies (of course when adapted by a skilled director).
What was that about skilled directors? Greta Gerwig never fails to create a beautiful film full of cool colors. Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel was released on Christmas Day, and many anticipated a strong, feminist theme. She, of course, delivered. I think that Gerwig’s alternate approach to this story, heavily filled with color-scheme indicated flashbacks and forwards, gives a whole new depth to Alcott’s initial storyline. Every event hit harder, and the characters were given such dimension that was never fully put into fruition with all of the many adaptations that were released earlier. There is such vibrant energy and charm. As well as combinations of sweet with the devastating. As John Matteson put in his review for The Atlantic: “Gerwig’s film is the first of this novel’s many Hollywood adaptations to be a work of art in its own right.”
Why is this one of my go-to movies you may ask? Well for starters the cast is full of some of my most favorite actors: Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and so on. The cast is elite and full of talent. Additionally, most of the film is set during the wintertime. The atmosphere is so cozy, and it’s perfect to watch around Christmas time. The story overall is just so heartwarming and empowering. There is so much love that can be seen between the sisters, and their dynamic is truly something to marvel at; Greta Gerwig did such an amazing job depicting this unity.
It is safe to say that I think that this is a very popular comfort movie for many people. Every time I bring up Coraline in conversation it is rare that people say that they don’t like it; some may say it’s creepy, but many can’t deny that it is a work of art. This movie is an adaptation of one of my most favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. This story is so unique and creative in all of its fantasy elements. I love the incorporation of the character of Wybie, it adds a whole new element. It also makes me happy that it gives Coraline someone to confide in and befriend. Though, she is not so fond of him at first (Que Coraline taunting “Why-Were-You-Born?”). I think what makes this a good comfort movie is the setting and its rainy-day scenes and the muted color scheme that just makes you crave those rainy fall days. I have always been a lover of Tim Burton’s creepiness, and the elements of this stop-motion film really accentuate his influences. There is so much to unpack with this story as well, there are many conspiracy theories about the Other Mother, as well as easter eggs that you can research and pick out within the film as you watch it. Really, it is a movie that I could watch over a hundred times and never get tired of it.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This is a comfort movie that I would have to take a break from at times, just to save my tissues. This movie never fails to make me cry, but it is just too good. I think that this movie is such a good choice for when you don’t know what to watch and you are searching for a good cry. It is full of such empathy and follows such a great story of finding yourself and learning to cope with trauma. I have read the book, and I will say that this is one of the few adaptations that stays true to the plot of the book. I think that is really important, as well as it is what makes a good adaptation. This is another example of a great cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and the amazing Ezra Miller. There is such warmth in this film, and the relationships are I think what makes this element. You feel safe and comfortable watching it, and as someone who struggles with mental health, it is a great representation of this struggle with trauma and loss.
Comfort movies are a must in your life. If you are ever feeling down, just having one of those days where it is hard to get out of bed and do absolutely anything, watch a movie that makes you feel warm and cozy. You can take from my shortlist, or what you can do is watch whatever your favorite movie was as a kid. Take time for yourself, and give yourself a rest when needed by watching a great book adaptation.
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