Movies with "forgiveness" as theme?
August 22, 2007 7:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm having trouble thinking of any narrative movies with "forgiveness" as a theme...anyone?
posted by beautiful to Media & Arts (39 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know what you mean by a narrative movie, but what about Ordinary People?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:05 AM on August 22, 2007


The Fisher King
Magnolia
Secrets and Lies
posted by Ness at 7:08 AM on August 22, 2007


'Finnegan, Begin Again'?

Sorta.
posted by Pecinpah at 7:08 AM on August 22, 2007


Big Fish
posted by junkbox at 7:11 AM on August 22, 2007


One of the greatest films ever is a story of forgiveness - David Lynch's "The Straight Story."
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 7:14 AM on August 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Marvin's room, with stunning performances by Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, and Leonardo DiCap before he got all growed up and gnarly.
posted by hermitosis at 7:25 AM on August 22, 2007


Maybe "The Royal Tenanbaums"?
posted by hwickline at 7:41 AM on August 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


21 Grams perhaps?
posted by jonesor at 7:53 AM on August 22, 2007


Clean is great and is very much about forgiveness.
posted by ourobouros at 7:59 AM on August 22, 2007


Unforgiven
posted by john m at 8:00 AM on August 22, 2007


Also -- Kieślowski's films often deal with forgiveness. You should probably check out White and The Decalogue.
posted by ourobouros at 8:03 AM on August 22, 2007


Much Ado About Nothing
posted by plinth at 8:06 AM on August 22, 2007


Le Fils (The Son) by the Dardenne brothers. Absolutely outstanding film.
posted by fire&wings at 8:06 AM on August 22, 2007


The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
posted by winston at 8:08 AM on August 22, 2007


Spiderman 3
posted by octothorpe at 8:11 AM on August 22, 2007


Monster's Ball.
posted by ND¢ at 8:33 AM on August 22, 2007


Unbreakable
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 8:40 AM on August 22, 2007


IMO, forgiveness is one of the primary themes of Casablanca.
posted by ROTFL at 9:04 AM on August 22, 2007


Garden State has a degree of forgiveness.
posted by forallmankind at 9:12 AM on August 22, 2007


Bad Lieutenant. Not generally considered an easy watch, and probably not the Abel Ferrara to start with, but it fits the theme.

Also, both versions of Solaris, if you're also interested in self-forgiveness.
posted by Tuwa at 9:15 AM on August 22, 2007


Maybe "The Royal Tenanbaums"?

My first thought was Rushmore. Pretty much everybody ends up forgiving Max for his antics at one time or another.
posted by erikgrande at 9:23 AM on August 22, 2007


Dead Man Walking
posted by bdk3clash at 9:24 AM on August 22, 2007


Hi there,

Thank you everyone for the suggestions so far, but I should have specified in my original post that I'm interested in seeing a personal path to forgiveness, not a movie showing the actions taken after forgiveness or obliquely about forgiveness.

Basically, I'd like to forgive someone, and I'm looking for a way. And this was my horoscope of the week:

"Many of us don't always know what we feel. At times we may have a vivid sense that we feel something, but we're not sure what it is. That's why musicians, writers, actors, and other creative people play such a crucial role in our emotional lives. Their work can help us articulate the mysteries unfolding within us. But here's the problem: There are some artists out there who aren't very smart or original; they express only the most hackneyed and superficial feelings. If we look to them for illumination, we're cheated. So your next assignment, Leo, is to home in on the enigmas that are swirling within you by seeking the guidance and inspiration of only the very best artists: those who have cultivated a high level of proficiency in their heroic struggle to find meaning in the fascinating chaos that surrounds us." from Rob Breszny

So I'm looking for movies to show me the way...
posted by beautiful at 9:33 AM on August 22, 2007


Sunrise.
posted by languagehat at 9:53 AM on August 22, 2007


Fearless
posted by sharkfu at 9:59 AM on August 22, 2007


The last third of Bliss (1985), teaches the important lesson that forgiveness must be earned by the offending party, not simply granted by the offended, but when it has been earned it should be granted. Is that the sort of thing you're looking for?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:17 AM on August 22, 2007


In America
posted by chunking express at 10:43 AM on August 22, 2007


After reading your second post, I must repeat my recommendation of "The Straight Story."
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:47 AM on August 22, 2007


Maybe "The Royal Tenanbaums"?

My first thought was Rushmore. Pretty much everybody ends up forgiving Max for his antics at one time or another.


My first thought was The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. I guess Wes Anderson also has forgiveness issues.
posted by kidsleepy at 12:40 PM on August 22, 2007




The Passion of the Christ. Or, just read the book. Lots about forgiveness there.
posted by clh at 1:44 PM on August 22, 2007


Ordinary People.
posted by wafaa at 2:18 PM on August 22, 2007


If you're looking for inspiration for forgiving a manipulative mother and/or a cheating spouse, Terms Of Endearment is a good movie.

Also, As Good As It Gets deals with forgiving obnoxious neighbors, imperfect boyfriends, and parents.
posted by amyms at 3:32 PM on August 22, 2007


The best story I know about forgiveness -- and there have been movie versions but I don't know if there have been good ones -- is Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale." But it's not about easy forgiveness. The person who needs to be forgiven sinks to total despair before he's ready to turn his act around. And depending on how you interpret the ending of the play (I don't believe it's supernatural), the forgiver takes years and years to be able to forgive.

The recent film, "Knocked Up" is a lighter take on it, though still realistic and moving.
posted by grumblebee at 3:57 PM on August 22, 2007


The Passion of the Christ. Or, just read the book. Lots about forgiveness there.


I remember that being a complete downer. Another example of Hollywood ruining the original material.
posted by crossoverman at 4:48 PM on August 22, 2007


Although I thought it was somewhat uneven, Sean Penn's The Crossing Guard is a pretty complex take on the theme you're looking at.

Here's a big list I found online. It's from a religiously themed site but the list seems pretty egalitarian.
posted by nanojath at 5:39 PM on August 22, 2007


On Golden Pond. The English Patient.
posted by cior at 7:31 PM on August 22, 2007


Bounce
You Can Count On Me
The Joy Luck Club

If you're interested in self-forgiveness, add
Everything Is Illuminated
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:44 PM on August 22, 2007


In Her Shoes was really good.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:43 AM on August 23, 2007


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