A Punch to the Solar Plexus.
These films knock the wind right out of you, twist your insides into knots, swell giant lumps in your throat, contort your face in agony, let fall wells of tears from your eyes–the whole nine.
Honorable Mention: Max
This movie ISN’T EVEN OUT YET and I’m already a blubbering mess. The trailer aired before Jurassic World, and I was crying. Watch the trailer at your peril:
Saving Mr. Banks
Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman
If you haven’t seen this latest live-action Disney classic, you are missing out. Saving Mr. Banks features a handful of my favorite actors in Hollywood. Paul Giamatti, especially, will tug quite forcefully at your heartstrings.
While it may be a fictionalized telling of the story behind Disney’s acquisition to the rights to Mary Poppins, it’s nonetheless one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen in a long time. Well acted with beautiful storytelling, there are several points in the film where you will sniffle, blink quickly, and then give in to the flood of tears that will cascade down your face (spoiler alert: You’ll probably look like Emma Thompson later in the film). I cried–ugly-faced crying, boohoo crying, cathartic crying. And I will re-watch this movie over and over.
North & South
Starring: Daniela Denby-Ashe, Richard Armitage
Click Flick Alert. Repeat: Chick Flick Alert. I watched this at the recommendation of my fellow Lady Nerds, and, much like my recommendation of Pushing Daisies changed their lives, North & South changed mine. A startling opening, stellar acting, and beautiful music–not to mention, Richard Armitage packs a punch.
Confession: I was so weepy by the end of this mini-series that I recorded the cry fest and texted it to Ladies Hawkeye and Dynamo. They have been sworn to the utmost confidence that it will never find its place on the internet.
Starring: Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Daryl Hannah, Tom Skerritt, Dylan McDermott
Judge me all you want, but that’s what happens when you have a soul: you cry at Steel Magnolias. Sally Field will make you cry. Think you’re immune? Take the challenge. When Forrest Gump’s mom is weeping, you try to control the giant lump in your throat.
And the revel in one of the greatest film scenes in Hollywood history. The scene clip is below, followed by the movie trailer, Avoid the clip if you don’t want spoilers–but the movie is 26 years old . . .
Tribute to Andrew Lesnie
Rest in Peace, Andrew Lesnie.
It’s difficult to say this and not sound creepy, but I feel like Andrew and I go way back. His work as a cinematographer is nearly unparalleled. His artistic vision was something of legend. Watching his interviews on the behind-the-scenes footage on the Lord of the Rings trilogy (yes, I’ve watched every disc of the appendices on the extended editions, and I regret absolutely nothing), you can see his passion for filmmaking and for visually interpreting a story for audiences to love.
Naturally, LotR hit me right in the feels and should be included on this list. Watch them and cry over Theoden and Eowyn, Aragorn, and, finally, the hobbits. *sniffle*
This video from AMC Movie Talk pays tribute to him.
He has sailed on a sea of glass and now stands upon white shores. Andrew has been welcomed into the West, where he is embraced by the heroes of Middle Earth.
And the song from LotR that makes us feel most ardently, here is Annie Lennox singing “Into the West”:
For you audiophiles out there, here’s a link to the “Right in the Feels” writing playlist I made, chock-full of musical emotional rollercoasters.