Watch before Viewing Waste Land February 23, 2011 As the Oscar nominated flick heads to cinemas, we take a look at what inspiring pictures will get you ready for Waste Land… La Vita E Bella (Life Is Beautiful) If you know nothing else about this movie other than Roberto Benigni’s exuberant Oscar acceptance speech you should stop reading and head directly to your video store. Do not pass Go. If you have seen it, you will agree that the Hero Likeability-a-Meter is off the charts for this movie, as Benigni’s Guido is charming and loveable all the way through. Acts of selflessness abound as Guido and his son are taken to a concentration camp, where Guido convinces his 5-year-old that they are playing a great game and that the prize will be a tank with guns. He keeps up this charade to minimize the horror going on around them, and because of this obstacles are defeated. Do you feel good? Yeah, you’re laughing through your tears. Dead Poets Society John Keating (Robin Williams) is an English Professor who breaks all rules. Using poetry, Keating inspires his students (including a young Ethan Hawke and Dr. Wilson from House) to seize the day! Using poetry as a guiding point, lives are changed and students (and audiences) are inspired. Pursuit of Happyness Homeless, wifeless, and jobless, all Chris Gardner (Will Smith) has is his son (played by his real son, Jaden Smith J). Gardner works hard and sees practically no rewards for his labor. But this movie is all about struggle. Life is hard, and sacrifices must be made. The title says it all… this is about the glorious path to success and of course, “happyness”. Chariots of Fire Inspirational tunes? Check. Overcoming obstacles like anti-Semitism in the 1924 Olympics? Check. Acts of selflessness? Not so much, especially in sports movies. Chariots of Fire is a classic inspirational movie from back when they tried to make every movie an inspirational movie (what other explanation do you have for the end of Teen Wolf?). Do we feel good at the end of it? You betcha. Bonus points for the Flying Scotsman and his running mission from God.