Happy December, Persephoneers! Winter is almost upon us, the year is almost over, and there’s enough going on in the last few weeks to stress out even the coolest cucumber. Here are four of my favorite stress-busting films to help you get through the next few weeks without losing your mind.
- Peyton Place. Released in 1957, this film can very easily make you forget whatever is troubling you. Lana Turner stars in this film about a New England town whose inhabitants all hold deep, dark secrets. When young Allison McKenzie graduates from high school, she has ambitions of becoming a writer and is always looking for inspiration for a story. When the secrets start coming out, she realizes that fodder for good stories was around her all along. The film explores the things people hide behind the facade of normality, particularly in a little town like Peyton Place, where everyone knows everyone and thinks they know everything about everyone.
- Dreamgirls. This is one of my favorite musicals and stars Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson. It tells the story of a girl group rather like The Supremes, from its inception to its breakup to its exhilarating reunion. The characters are compelling, the songs are the type you can sing over and over again, and the costumes are gorgeous. It’s also the type of film that makes me want to get a good biography on Diana Ross to see just how much of it was true and just how much of it was fictional to add drama to the story.
- The Way We Live Now. This is a BBC production from 2002 that is based on the novel of the same name by Anthony Trollope. It stars David Suchet, Matthew Macfadyen, Shirley Henderson, Cillian Murphy, and Miranda Otto, among others. It chronicles the story of Augustus Melmotte, an Austrian Jewish man, and his efforts to fully establish himself as an English gentleman, and of the people whom he involves in his intrigues. The cast is brilliant and the story is captivating, and there’s just a little bit of humor in it since the original novel poked fun at various aspects of English society. It’s a great way to spend a snowy day or a few nights when there’s nothing on TV.
- Byzantium. This film was released in 2013 and stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as two vampires who come to an isolated English seaside town hoping to keep a low profile. They are desperate to keep their secret, but Eleanor lets it slip. Once their secret gets out, the consequences are dire, and they must try to escape the people who are after them.
Do any of you have films that help you to forget the stress you’re under? Please share!