It’s common to think that the strongest emotion you can feel watching a movie is fear. But it’s important to consider the power of the drama, which can lead to commotion and sadness. There are many films that projected to make the audience cry, and these are often mediocre – or sometimes bad – movies, but we can find out a large number of films that really profound and involving, that make us move in intelligent and ingeniously good ways.
The 2010s gave us important and engaging stories, which were worth telling. From Japan to U.S., from Spain to France, these are some films that stir something in the human soul and that are able to dry our tear ducts.
10. Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
Winner of the prestigious Palm d’Or at 2018 Cannes Film Festival, this surprising family-drama confirms the talent of Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda and inserts him in the Olimpo of the authors to follow.
Telling the story of a peculiar family composed of people who are not related to each other, the Author builds an involving and moving portrayal of human relationships and solitude. “Shoplifters” has an extraordinary aspect that underlines its tenderness and sensitivity: it seems like if the screenwriter and the director were two different persons with diverse attitudes; the first one wanted to tell the history of dishonest people with some wrong habits, the second one understood their philosophy and situation and defends them. The result is one of the most sincere and complete dramas in years, a movie that makes you feel better after having watched it.
“Shoplifters” is Kore-eda at his very best, a spectacular film filled with all of his trademarks and qualities. A movie made of a masterful screenplay, a taut direction and unforgettable characters.
9. Dolor y Gloria (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)
The latest movie by Pedro Almodóvar is a love letter to Master Federico Fellini. “Dolor y Gloria” tells the story of a famous director’s crisis – which is played by a masterful Antonio Banderas in the role of his life – and also retraces his past and childhood: in this way Almodóvar creates his “8 ½” and his “Amarcord” at the same time.
The film is involving and extremely absorbing from start to finish: Almodóvar uses his talent in filmmaking to transfer the strong emotions of the protagonist – and so those of Almodóvar itself – to viewers. “Dolor y Gloria” is a film about Cinema, memory, past, humanity; it’s everything you want from a movie. The film alternates present and past, memory and reality, characters and locations in such a fluid and whirlwind way that you wish it would never end.
“Dolor y Gloria” is a psychoanalytic session in which the Spanish director digs into his soul to free himself from his demons, demonstrating a great sincerity that flows into an unforgettable, mesmerizing film, that makes the viewer feel good, and it’s also a lesson in how to realize a melodrama.
8. Blue is the Warmest Colour (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
Winner of the Palm d’Or in 2013, “La vie d’Adele”, also known as “Blue is the Warmest Colour” is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking love stories in years. This story of homosexual love between two young girls – a student and an inspiring artist – is as natural and spontaneous as real life is.
Kechiche is an absolute Master in telling the sensations and the problems of a difficult love during the most complex period of life, the adolescence. The two protagonists face many social issues: prejudice and judgments by friends, family, colleagues. The director does not censor anything, he just shows an important history in a fluvial, three-hour whirlwind of emotions.
“Blue is the Warmest Colour” is like real life, with all its complications, contradictions and wonders. The affair of Adele and Emma could be like anyone else’s: Kechiche realizes a gripping romance drama, helped by great direction and impeccable performances by Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.
7. Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)
Based on André Aciman’s homonymous novel, “Call Me By Your Name” was one of the most discussed and acclaimed movies of 2017. Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino directs a movie made of a perfect scenes’ composition, excellent technical aspects and superb performances.
From a basic story – in which 17 year old Elio falls in love with 24 year old Oliver during an hot Italian 1983 summer – Guadagnino builds up a masterful tale of passion and honesty. The film is a slow descent into the most intense sentiments and emotions: the two protagonists don’t always get on like an house on fire, but their love is stronger than anything else, and Elio’s parents don’t criticize their son’s relation but they encourage him to express his feelings (Michael Stuhlbarg’s monologue is extremely powerful).
“Call Me By Your Name” is a stunning and passionate tale, a movie that is able to move you even the fifth or sixth time you watch it. The viewer is fully immersed in one of the most delicate love story ever, and when they arrive at the final, strikingly beautiful shot, they won’t be able to hold back the tears.
6. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
Two women fall in love in 1950s Puritan America. That’s the premise of Todd Haynes’ masterpiece “Carol”, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith. Their relationship is hampered by the entire society, due to the sexual orientation and the social class’s gap between the two women.
Carol – played by a divine Cate Blanchett – is a beautiful, rich woman, and Therese – a superb Rooney Mara – is an employee in a mall center. The two women are already engaged but their meeting has something magic, they have a special feeling at first glance. Haynes realizes a beautifully crafted old-style melodrama, in which the looks of Carol and Therese intertwine, seduce themselves, get married.
In “Carol” every shot tells something important, all the gests of the characters have a meaning: Haynes picks up his best film, which is led by two remarkable and astonishing performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who love each other on Carter Burwell’s intense melody.