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Soft movies for anxious times

Soft movies for anxious times

            Soft is one of my favorite words, right after “soon” 😉 I had a different plan for today’s post, but yesterday was pretty tough and I realized that the one thing I need is softness. And since soft is best served in the form of movies. 

The world’s full of lonely people afraid to make the first move.

            I sometimes forget that things won’t magically get better forever and I was completely caught off guard yesterday, by that sudden wave of vulnerability. I felt so good for a long (well, technically it wasn’t that long but you get my point) time and I think I was blinded by that soft feeling of calm.


So yes, yesterday was unexpectedly tough and I felt very lost and confused. Took me a moment to realize it was okay to feel this way and that I won’t always feel like I am on top. Or winning. 

And then I stumbled across one of the movies on today’s list and it gave me this soft, soothing feeling – like a warm hug for the soul, followed by a cup of hot tea with a slice of orange and a swirl of strawberry syrup. 

You know, my father used to say, whatever you do, do it 100%. When you work, work. When you laugh, laugh. When you eat, eat like it’s your last meal.

            And you know what? When you Google “soft movies” you don’t get the list you would expect. At least for me it was disappointing. So why not create my own? I recently saw this post on Instagram that said that it’s not about discovering yourself, it’s about creating yourself. 

So, I prepared this beautiful, soft list for you, with a selection of soul-soothing movies. Some of them are tough when it comes to plot but trust me – they are soft. Give them a chance and you will see for yourself. 

Being genius is not enough, it takes courage to change people’s hearts.

  • Minari (2020), dir. Lee Isaac Chung – I remember being mesmerized and fooled at the same time, not knowing what to expect and yet expecting something slow, soft and calm. Granted, it was all three but it managed to sting like a bee, and in all the right places. Beautiful soundtrack and even more beautiful story. (Currently available on Amazon Prime).
  • If Beale Street could talk (2018), dir. Barry Jenkins – Barry is the ultimate king of soft and yet profoundly moving films. There is no one else like him and this film made me choke more than once. The chemistry was pouring out of the screen and as I was reading the book afterwards, I realized that Barry Jenkins took it out from the pages and moved it to the screen. Which, you know, is extremely hard. Tough story, but beautiful and soft. Hopeful. (Currently available on Apple TV).
© 2018 Annapurna Releasing, LLC. All Rights Reserved, via IMDb
  • Seven pounds (2008), dir. Gabriele Muccino – film that absolutely destroyed me and I was so mad at the ending. But as I watched it more and more, I started appreciating the heartbreaking choice. As much as it pains me to say it, it made perfect, beautiful sense. I don’t watch it “because it’s on” due to, well, you know, but… Every once in a while, it finds my way back. (Currently available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV).
  • Green Book (2018), dir. Peter Farrelly – one of my favorites, but you already know that. An instant recommendation if anyone asks me, as it exudes the definition of soft, even though the story is quite difficult. But the words and dialogs… It is simply wonderful. 
Photo by Universal Pictures – © 2018 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved, via IMDb
  • Moonlight (2016), dir. Barry Jenkins – once again, the ultimate champion of softness, which is wrapped around a very difficult subject. This film, in my opinion, started the “soft revolution” in cinema, exposing the long-hidden vulnerability. Turns out, moviegoers were longing for such films… 
  • Aftersun (2022), dir. Charlotte Wells – one of the last Oscars favorites, and a fantastic, beautiful film. So very important, when it comes to father-daughter relationship and a journey to rediscovering what’s truly important. (Currently available on HBO MAX).
Photo by David Bornfriend, via IMDb
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), dir. Stanley Kubrick – nobody probably expected this film to take its place on the “soft movies” list, but you know what? For me it’s so soothing. Sci-Fi and fantasy are definitely my favorite genres and lately escaping into that world is exactly what I need. And you know Lot, it’s Kubrick. Symmetrical excellence is just what anxious souls need. If you haven’t watched it yet, give it a priority. (Currently available on Apple TV). 
  • Belfast (2021), dir. Kenneth Branagh – oh boy, I cried so much while watching it. Watching kids growing up in the harsh reality of war is heartbreaking and will never be okay. And yet, it’s full of unconditional love and innocence, which kids don’t lose that easily. (Currently available on Amazon Prime).
via IMDb
  • Empire of Light (2022), dir. Sam Mendes – one of my favorite directors, who makes very well-thought-out movies that are technically excellent. The plot was somewhat predictable, but the soft feeling is in every single frame and stroke of a piano key. (Currently available on Disney+).
  • Beautiful Boy (2018), dir. Felix Van Groeningen – this film has a very special place in my heart, though it is one of the hardest ones to watch. It feels like a letter written from the edge of a soul-wrecking cliff. And maybe, in a way, feels a little too close to home? (Currently available on Amazon Prime). 
Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh/Parisa Taghizadeh, via IMDb
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006), dir. Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris – I recommend this to all of the overly-harsh-to-yourself people, because it’s one of the most beautiful stories ever filmed. It’s complex, layered and as a result – extremely soft. (Currently available on Disney+).
  • We bought a zoo (2011), dir. Cameron Crowe – there is only one person in my head when I think about this film and it’s my dear friend Szymon. We watched this film together: we laughed, we cried… It was a very wholesome experience. And as for the movie itself, it’s such a soft, wonderful story. You can read more here. (Currently available on Disney+).

Falling in love with you was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

            There are a few more movies that I picked and declared as soft, and they are perfect for December, because they are Christmas movies! 

  • The Holiday (2006), dir. Nancy Meyers – for me, it’s a season’s “must see”, always. I love this story so much, and well, Jude Law looking like a total package is an added bonus, don’t get me wrong. It’s delightfully silly and heartwarming, just like your favorite blanket in reindeers you pull out once a year. (Currently available on Amazon Prime).
  • Love actually (2003), dir. Richard Curtis – goodness, is there someone who doesn’t like it? It’s so soft and beautiful and not always all happy and joyous. There is heartbreak and pain, but also hope and lots of love – in all shapes and sizes. (Currently available on Netflix).
© 2006 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and GH One LLC. All Rights Reserved, via IMDb
  • Jack Frost (1998), dir. Troy Miller – ah, this could have been my second childhood heartbreak (after The Lion King LINK, of course), and a Christmas one. Gosh, I still remember the tears streaming down my cheeks and despite the sorrows I felt, I still like to come back to this film. (Currently available on Amazon Prime). 
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), dir. Frank Capra – the definition of a Christmas classic and the ultimate story of hope, friendship and miracle. Have you ever wondered how life would look like without you in it? How your closest ones would react, carry on…?  (Currently available on SkyShowtime, Apple TV, Amazon Prime). 
© 1998 – Warner Brothers, via IMDb

The distance between us is breaking my spirit.

            It’s really beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even though December just began. Snow is everywhere, the white coat embracing trees and streets. Lampposts look so magical in the evening with snowflakes swirling in the beams of light… 


Be kind to yourself, Lot, and remember that this too shall pass. Whether it is good or bad, soft or rough – don’t ever forget the temporariness of things and moments. And if you ever need anyone, remember that I am here for you. Through words, virtual hugs and online cups of tea. 

Now, tell me something, Lot: what would be on your soft list? 

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