Beautiful Mind (2001)
- The "resurrection" of John Nash's
humanity. Being lost in the land of
schizophrenia - his losing (almost) his wife and son. The recognition
eventually of his essence - of his gifts. (Joanna
Christian-Tipple, Catskill, NY)
My Dog Skip (2000)
Willie's physical and spiritual growth in relationship
- Cast Away
Finding oneself lost in the wilderness and the journey to get back home
Erin Brockovich (2000)
"Erin Brockovich" is essentially a film about
empowerment. A mother of three children is unemployed and has no source
of income. She decides that she has to find a job at all costs. In her
work at a small law firm, she discovers that she has very little respect
from the other employees. She comes to believe that the women of the
firm are jealous of her physical attributes when she is asked to change
to more appropriate work clothing. She dreams of one day having a job
where she is respected for what she brings to her position. She dreams
of being viewed as a person of integrity. As the story unfolds, Erin
develops a friendship with her boss that only strengthens with time
because of her hard work and determination to do a good job. He strongly
affirms Erin with several votes of confidence. As Erin works on her
case, she receives acceptance from her co-workers gradually and also
from those whom she wants to sign the petition. She also is required to
show some great courage when she receives some threats to her family.
Her case in a small California town that is plagued by bad water
requires endurance from her and from her children and
boyfriend/neighbor. The film depicts a journey of self-discovery for
Erin. She finds that there are many obstacles that she must overcome,
including dealing with the tension of not being with her children as
much as she would like when she is working on her project for the town.
The tension between working and not working is a strong one for Erin,
who does not have the benefits of child support for her three children.
As she gains the trust of the town, a sense of community between these
people develops. They begin to understand that all of their medical
problems are interconnected and that by joining together as one
community they have a greater chance of achieving their goals. At the
end of the film, Erin shows great joy at her accomplishments as a
person in the working world (not to give away the ending). (submitted by
Valerie Lyson Humphreys, Independence MO)
- Three Kings (1999)
The journey to get the gold (greed) becomes a
conversion journey to buy the salvation of others.
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
Journey as escape for Brandon and for Lana. Falls City
as wilderness where Brandon's integrity as a male is tested.
- The Bone Collector (1999)
- Amelia establishes her integrity/identity as she enters
the crime scenes.Rhyme's time in bed as a quadriplegic is a
"wilderness" time, during which he must establish his
integrity through being "tested" in many ways.
Sixth Sense (1999)
staircase symbolic of journey. (See review
at Hollywood Jesus.)
Malcolm's journey to make amends in his life and to say
goodbye to his wife.
- The Confession (1999)
Bleakie becomes a moral man by giving away all that he
- Grey Owl (1999)
The movie Grey Owl relates well to Mark 1:9-17, Lent 1,
the wilderness temptations. It is the true story of a British man,
Archie Belaney who leaves home at age 17 to live in the wilderness of
Canada in the 1920's and 30's. He is taken in by a native tribe and
takes on a false identity as a native Indian. Through the relationship
with a woman, Pony, a full blooded native woman searching for her own
identity, Archie "Grey Owl", comes to discover his true
identity and mission in life as a voice for the native way of life and
as a conservationist. Only now do we see him as a prophetic voice
speaking out as a man ahead of his time. (submitted by Rev. Laurie
McKnight-Walker, Beachburg, Ontario)
- The Straight Story (1999)
"Alvin's journey to his brother is a journey into
his past. He remembers when they were young and filled with wonder. He
tells a stranger, "I want to sit with him and look up at the stars,
like we used to, so long ago." He remembers his courtship and
marriage. His Army service as a sniper whose aim, one day, was too good.
And about years lost to drinking and nastiness. He has emerged from the
forge of his imperfections as a better man, purified, simple, and people
along the way seem to sense that.
Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times Review
- Alvin Straight's slow, arduous journey on his lawn
tractor to bring reconciliation with his brother is a powerful witness
to the patience and tenacity that is required if we are to make things
right; if we are to tear down walls that separate. Alvin's serendipitous
encounters on his journey with ordinary, caring folk underscore the Good
News that even though the journey to reconciliation may be painful, we
will be surprised by joy in doing what it right in the sight of God.
(The Rev. Bob Naylor)
The Galaxy Quest crew is transformed
into who they've pretended to be as they pursue the quest and fight the
- Patch Adams (1998)
I used a scene from Patch Adams last Sunday to
highlight potential wilderness areas in one's life. Corrine was
revealing to Patch the deep pain of sexual abuse that she carries inside
her. She tells him, "Men have always been attracted to me."
Then she looks him in the eye and gently emphasizes, "Always."
An elderly former slave, Shadrach, walks over 600 miles
to the place of his birth in Virginia, a former plantation. There he
collapses in the front yard of a poor white bootlegger and his family.
This family takes him in and nurses him as he begins to die. They
respect the old man for his age and his determination to return home to
die. (submitted by Martha Jo Chalmers, Berkeley, CA)
The Truman Show
journey to Reality symbolized as a staircase (See review
at Hollywood Jesus.)
Lulu on the Bridge (1998)
Finding the rock and starting on the quest causes Izzy
to find hope and understand different realities.
Smoke Signals (1998)
This might fit in several categories -- quest is the
first idea that comes to me -- Smoke Signals -- the best movie I have
seen for a long time. It is set on the Coeur d'Alene reservation -- 2
young men go a trip of self discovery and reconnection with parents.
Great coming to terms with relationships with fathers. (submitted by Ann
Fontaine, Lander WY)
"What is their story? What is your story? You know
what they are. Do you know who they are?" (DVD ch 9)
The Game (1997) The Game as journey to new life.
||Ellie's journey takes
her miles and hours from home, and yet she cannot prove that she has
gone anywhere - from the outside it looks as if she has gone no where.
Like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," her journey has been an
inner journey about learning truths of love and faith. |
The Postman (1997)
Through his journey, the postman becomes what he pretends to be.
The Shawshank Redemption
Prison as the wilderness where people are tested, and their
True Identity becomes known.
Natural Born Killers
||The shaman and the snakes in the desert are what "heal"
Mickey and Mallory and start them on the path toward learning how not
to perpetuate cycles of violence.|
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen
of the Desert (1994)
Tick's journey through the wilderness to his wife/son and to a
better understanding of his identity.
Quiz Show (1994)
The Quiz Show as the place where the hero is tested and his True
Identity is known to all.
The Stand (1994)
individuals journey to one of the two "camps"
being called either by Mother Abigail or Randall Flaggthe "quest journey" by the three, into evil
Dances With Wolves
Kicking Bird: I was thinking that of all the trails in
this life, there is one that matters more than all the others. It is the
trail of a human being. I think that you are on this trail and it is
good to see.
Rain Man (1988)
Charlie and Raymond
driving across America as Charlie's life is changed.
Stand By Me (1986)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Jeffrey's journey to another world parallels Dorothy's
journey in the Wizard of Oz.
of Fire (1981)
Eric Liddell gives a sermonette about
running the race of faith.
Start cue: "You came to see a race today"
End Cue: "That is how you run a straight race." (Youth
The Shining (1980)
Having failed his testing, Jack is frozen to death when
he finds himself lost in the maze (wilderness).
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Willard's journey into the jungle and confrontation
The Poseidon Adventure
Priest: That's the way! (Points toward Christmas Tree
which leads up to the bottom of the ship.) Man: Why should we go. You
don't know what you're talking about. Priest: I know this. If we go, we
have a chance. If we stay here, we'll certainly die. Man: We are staying
with the purser. (Already identified as the one who keeps the ship
comfortable.) (DVD ch 13)
The journey from
Oklahoma to California does not result in arrival at the expected
paradise, but rather in more struggle and hardship.
Wizard of Oz (1939)
Dorothy's growth as a journey along the
yellow brick road, through which she and others recognize traits
(graces) that they had all along.
Index of Movie Titles
Index of Movie Themes