Monday, January 18, 2010

Another List: 5 of the Saddest Movies I've Seen

As many of you know, I've faced a bit of a set back in my life in the past few days. As a result, I'm feeling rather down, but I'm a strong woman, and will bounce back from this. Plus, it has only shown me that what I am doing with my life is absolutely the right thing. I'm right where I want--and need to be.

But since it is on my mind, here are 5 really sad movies that will either bring you right down...or remind you that your life really is not that bad. I always find it cathartic to watch sad movies when I'm down, because for a time I'm crying about something else, instead of whatever is bothering me. Though sometimes, what I really need is a good laugh--but that's for another list.

I will note where there are spoilers.

5. Osama


I saw this years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. It is the story of a young girl who must disguise herself as a boy in order to work to feed her family in Afghanistan while it was under Taliban rule. It made me think, how many young girls had to do what she did in order to feed their families? The entire situation presented in the film, and the tragic ending make it a downer, but it really puts your life into perspective. We live in a free and democratic country, and hopefully we'll never have to live under oppression. But at the same time, it's depressing that people in this world have to live like that...I just can't imagine it. I suppose that's a very good thing.

4. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (will contain spoilers)


I first saw this in Florida when I was 11 years old. My parents took us to it because they thought it was a light hearted movie about robots. Boy, were they wrong. I was traumatized by the "flesh fair" scene, and found it overly long, and boring. Thankfully, several years later I watched it again and loved it.

I do feel that the movie goes on a bit too long, and should end with David repeating his wish to the Blue Fairy until the end of eternity. But the "real" ending has grown on me somewhat.

This movie is full of tragedy. From Monica abandoning David, to the aforementioned "flesh fair", to the ending, it's essentially a "feel bad" movie throughout. The part that gets me the most is the last twenty minutes, when David is with the robots of the distant future. They take a lock of Monica's hair that Teddy had been keeping, and restore her for a single day. In that day, David colours with her, and falls asleep in her arms. But to me, it's merely an illusion created by these advanced robots, and it's a sort of...false happiness. It just served to remind me of the happiness David was deprived of earlier in his "lifetime".

3. Edward Scissorhands


My favourite movie. This one takes me back to my years as a high school student. Back then (and now, to an extent), I related to Edward. I didn't have scissors for hands, but I might as well have. It's a look at suburban existence, conformity, and rejecting those that are "different".

Johnny Depp is perfect in this film. Edward IS the movie, and it scares me that Tom Cruise was originally considered, but wanted it to have a "happy ending". Thank God he didn't get it, because the message would be ruined if an unnatural happy ending was tacked on. I've seen the movie countless times, and once I counted how many lines Depp was something like 30. Therefore, this is a role that required a lot of physical acting, and emotion. He does it magnificently, he becomes Edward, and makes the movie what it is.

2. Atonement


I always tell people that if they want to really cry, they should watch Atonement. It's part love story, part war movie, and part coming of age story. It's a lot of different things, but to me, it works. Primarily, it is the love story between Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie (James McAvoy), and the fallout caused by an accusation made by Cecilia's sister, Briony (Saoirse Ronan).

It also contains an excellent five minute tracking shot that rivals the one in Children of Men.

1. Grave of the Fireflies


I don't watch a lot of anime, but a few years ago, I was told by numerous people that this was the saddest movie they'd ever seen. I took that as a challenge, and bought it. It's the story of two siblings, Seita (Tsutomu Tatsumi) and Setsuko (Ayano Shiraishi) in Japan during World War II.

It was just as sad as everyone told me. I watched it two and a half years ago with my boyfriend at the time, and I was inconsolable by the end of it. I still have it, but have been unable to watch it since, not for lack of wanting to, but because it was just so painful. I have been really wanting to see it again lately, so it's just a matter of bracing myself for it, and maybe having an understanding friend watch it with me so I can cry on their shoulder.


Writing has always been a very cathartic thing for me. It "centers" me, and being able to keep busy and concentrate on something else, especially something I enjoy so much, is very useful. I also want to take this opportunity to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been there for me, by listening, offering their love and support, giving me hugs, texting me to check up on me, and getting me out of the house. It really means the world to me to know that so many people care about me. Thank you.

What's the saddest movie you've ever seen?


  1. I've never seen Osama or Fireflies, but I will - I love a good cry every now and again to shake out the cobwebs.

    The most I've ever bawled at a movie is at Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru. A man finds out he has cancer, and he decides to dedicate his life to doing something important.

    One of the best films ever!

  2. I gotta see Ikiru soon--I've heard of it but had no idea it was so sad.

    I still have Grave of the Fireflies if you ever want to borrow it, as well.

  3. I am not made of stone. Yes, Grave of The Fireflies was a very sad and moving story, and I admit it had an effect on me. I just don't cry during movies unless I've had a few beers.

  4. Sorry. I just didn't see much of a reaction but it was so long ago...

    I didn't know you read this. You been following it for long?

  5. Yeah, Atonement is a sad one.

    In the Bedroom is one that would be on my list. I read the short story and then saw the film. A sad combo.

  6. Y'know, I've only ever seen part of In the Bedroom. Did you find reading the short story made the emotional impact that much more intense? I found that with Atonement--I'd read the book first, knew what was coming, and ultimately I ended up being hit harder by it, I think.

  7. First time, and probably last time as I don't want to open up old wounds. I was in a nostalgic mood and chanced upon your blog.

    For what it's worth, I remember you fondly, my dear princess. It seems you've grown a lot in the years gone by. I'm proud of you.

  8. I remember you fondly as well, thank you for the kind words.

  9. The problem I have with A.I. is that if we buy into David genuinely having emotions, then he gets everything he wants at the end of the story -- so it's a happy ending. If he's just an automaton going through the motions of happiness, or sadness, or whatever, then the moment is neither tragic nor happy, but just sort of meaningless. But, the movie does manage to raise some questions, which I think is good.

    The saddest movie I've ever seen is probably Requiem for a Dream, although Ikiru would be right up there.

  10. I suppose in a way he gets everything he wants, but the fact that it's temporary, and practically an illusion just makes me really sad. I really do think it should have ended with him repeating his wish to the blue fairy for all of eternity, because that would have been really haunting and tragic.

    I've never actually seen Requiem for a Dream. Had it recommended to me, heard nothing but good just hasn't happened yet. I'll get on it.