No matter your age, keep on hoping. It might have been easier to be a starry-eyed dreamer when we were younger but as we get older and wiser, we calculate more and hope less. Hopeless is not a good compound word! I like hopeful better. Don’t you?
This month, my post highlights movies about inspirational people who give us the impetus to hope and put that hope in action. Next month, my post will highlight the artists who have touched our lives with their music.
In life, awards are given and achievements met but most importantly is the journey, the learning and the work. Sometimes the work is honored with an Academy Award.
I’m delighted that this year we were offered films centered around real people whose true story not only affect us but show us the value of love, encouragement and perseverance to conquer the odds. These Oscar nominated movies are “The Theory of Everything,” “Unbroken,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma” and “Wild.”
The Theory of Everything
Stephen Hawkings was a professor, mathematician and a proclaimed unbeliever in God who was given only two years to live when he was diagnosed with ALS. With the love, hope and dedication of his wife, he lived a long and productive life. In his later years he professed to knowing the mind of God.
“Where there is life, there is hope.” – Stephen Hawkings
I believe a good movie should spark your imagination. How did the universe start? Stephen Hawkings searches for this answer. As I reflected on Mr. Hawkings theory, I came up with my own theory: In the beginning, in the darkness were particles of light, God. Within that light was the hope of God to create and expand the light. We are part of this process, evolution and hope.
“The Theory of Everything” is nominated for Best Picture and the two stars, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are also nominated for their honest and stellar portrayals.
Angelina Jolie directs the story of Louis Zamperini, who thanks to the encouragement of his brother became a USA Olympian. Louis served in World War II and when his bomber plane was shot down, he survived on a raft for 47 days and the perils of being a prisoner of war. Louis, later forgave his war-time captor and in 1998, he took part in the Olympic Torch relay at the Olympic Games. The movie touches on the root of Louis’s strength in hope, a deep Christian faith, and ends with a feeling of victory.
“Unbroken” received two Academy Award nominations.
The Imitation Game
The Imitation Game is a historical thriller about Alan Turing who tries to crack the enigma code during World War II. The war was not the only place where the cruelties of humanity were endured. During that time, Mr. Turing was convicted of indecency because of his homosexuality. Instead of doing jail time, he undergoes the harsh procedure of chemical castration so he can continue his work in the hope of saving lives.
“The Imitation Game” is nominated for eight Academy Award including Benedict Cumberbatch for leading actor, and Kiera Knightley for supporting actress.
Every year Martin Luther King day is celebrated which gives us an occasion to reflect on his life, speeches, hopes and civil rights. Selma is a drama about the struggles and hopes during that time in history and gives us another opportunity to contemplate the perils of unjustified prejudice.
“Selma” is nominated for two Oscar nominations in the category of best picture and best original song.
Academy Award winning actress, Reece Witherspoon portrays Cheryl Strayed and her journey of self-discovery while on a 1,100-mile hike along the beautiful but rugged Pacific Crest Trail. Although part of her wants to quit, she moves forward in freedom, bravery, vulnerability and hope. The journey helps her to leave behind the struggles of her past and move-on into her future.
Both Reece Witherspoon (best actress) and Laura Dern (best supporting actress) are nominated for Academy Awards for their work in “Wild.”
The light of encouragement comes in many forms like a smile, a hug or kindness. Sometimes nature can rekindle my hope and be a place of self-discovery. Sometimes I even find it at the movies! :-)
To get you ready for the Academy Awards, I thought you might like to know a little about the history of the Oscar. Here’s a walk down memory lane to 1975 with Bob Hope as the Master of Ceremony. Bob Hope has hosted the Academy Awards nineteen times, more than any other host to date.
While viewing this YouTube, it made me reminisce. In 1974, my sister and I, Alberici Sisters, toured with Bob Hope in the singing and dancing girl group, The Golddiggers. It was an exciting time in showbiz and we had quite a journey performing with icons like the real members of the Rat Pack. The groovy 70’s comes alive in our book filled with true anecdotes of fun, hope and entertainment. Beyond Our Wildest Dreams is selling on Amazon.
See you at the Oscars!
Maria Lauren, aka Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio
Your Powerful LIFE blog