May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and given that the visual medium can be a powerful tool when it comes to exploring the depths and intricacies of the human mind, what better time to delve into the world of mental health in movies?
Here are five suggestions for movies to stream that tackle mental wellbeing:
Beautiful Boy, 2018
Based on a true story, Beautiful Boy is a remarkable story following Nic, played by Timothée Chalamet, and his father David, played by Steve Carell. Nic is stuck in a cycle of addiction, recovery, and relapses that are threatening not only his future but his life.
David's seemingly never-ending love and admiration for his son are tested day in, day out, as he struggles to come to terms with his son's problems, questions himself, and battles to understand that he can only help and control so much.
A marvelously acted drama by director Felix Van Groeningen, this movie is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking at times, but its thorough believability and roots in true love are ever-present.
Beautiful Boy can be streamed via subscription on Amazon Prime Video.
Good Will Hunting, 1997
A timeless story with an exceptional ensemble cast, Good Will Hunting is the brainchild of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
Damon's Will is stumbling his way through life, using arrogance as a defense mechanism to cover his inner demons and lack of purpose in life. After his mathematics abilities are discovered while working as a janitor at MIT, Will begins to see enigmatic psychologist Sean, played by Robin Williams, who helps Will unlock his true potential.
Good Will Hunting is a movie dominated by its two lead performances, particularly the one-of-a-kind Williams who was arguably at his best in these deeper more cerebral roles.
This tearjerker can be streamed via subscription on HBO Max.
One for the DC fans out there, after the dismal attempt by Jared Leto to take on this iconic character, it was Joaquin Pheonix who ultimately breathed new life into this complex persona.
Pheonix is outstanding in this gritty origin story for this more down-to-earth take on Arthur Fleck - who later becomes the Joker character. A man shunned by others, forced to live on the outskirts of society, battling his demons without a true shoulder to lean on, the Fleck's fragile existence begins to capitulate as tensions in his world rise.
Desperate to make others laugh, the lines between laughing with him and being laughed at beginning to blur, only worsening his situation and mental stability.
What this movie does, is throw into question how we treat those needing help, and how we treat those that perhaps fall outside of the societal norm.
Joker is a DC movie that even non-science fiction fans can enjoy, this can be watched via subscription on HBO Max.
Inside Out, 2015
A coming-of-age family drama/comedy for all ages, Inside Out is an entertaining and light-hearted take on a something everyone deals with every, single, day - their feelings.
A young girl struggles to cope as her life is uprooted and moved across the country due to her father's job. Faced with changes to every aspect of her life, our focus turns to how she's juggling her conflicting emotions - thanks to the characterizations of each of her emotions who work together to piece her life together.
A witty yet sensitive take on the ever-evolving mind of a young girl during a tumultuous time in her life, Inside Out is a wonderfully crafted animation that should be relatable to everyone in one way or another.
Inside Out can be streamed via subscription on Disney+.
Rain Man, 1988
Another beautifully cast dramatic comedy, Rain Man is a prime example of the best of both Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.
Cruise plays a morally questionable car dealer named Charles, who kidnaps his autistic brother Raymond (Hoffman), who also suffers from savant syndrome, to whom their father's fortune was left.
Naturally, along the way back to LA, the two connect and a bond is formed that brings out the best in both characters.
A touching classic, Rain Man is one that everyone has to see at least once in their lives - and you can do so by watching via subscription on HBO Max.
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