This post is dedicated to my fellow city-dwellers, as well as anyone else who hasn’t been able to get out into the great wide open much — if at all — over the past few months. Movies always provide escapism, but nowadays our need to live through them is hitting an all-time high.
These 9 films will help you get your nature on (vicariously) … although I’m pretty sure that all of them will also remind you of reasons besides COVID-19 that you might be safer inside!
The Call of the Wild – There’s only a few big movies that came out in 2020, and this is one of them. Starring Harrison Ford, it’s a new adaptation of Jack London’s beloved 1903 novel about an outdoorsman who sets out into the Yukon with a loyal and brave St. Bernard who crosses his path.
A River Runs Through It – Who doesn’t want to go fly-fishing in Montana with Brad Pitt? This 1992 drama won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, so you know it’s going to be gorgeous.
Legends of the Fall – Or maybe you want to explore the wide plains of Montana — still with Brad Pitt — at the start of World War I? OK maybe that doesn’t sound quite as appealing. But this 1994 drama also won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, so you gotta hand it to Pitt to know how to choose roles where he’ll get to work in jaw-dropping surroundings.
Into the Wild – In this true story, Emile Hirsch plays a young man who gives up all of his possessions and savings, hitchhikes to Alaska and attempts to live in the wilderness.
The Peanut Butter Falcon – Stow away with Shia LaBeouf and amazing newcomer Zack Gottsagen as they sail the Outer Banks in this inspiring dramedy that was the highest-grossing indie of last year.
All is Lost – Robert Redford wishes he had someone to socially distance from in this survival drama where he finds himself lost at sea — alone. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet along with your wide ocean takes, this is the one for you, as there’s hardly any dialogue in this film. But that doesn’t make it any less tense! (This was one of my favorite movies of 2013.)
The Perfect Storm – This true story about a commercial fishing vessel that got caught in the “Perfect Storm of 1991” stars George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg as the captain and an inexperienced crew member, respectively, of the doomed vessel. It’ll make you thankful to be safe (and dry) at home.
The Revenant – Leonardo DiCaprio (in the only role that’s nabbed him an Oscar!) will also help reinforce why it’s OK to not be running around in the woods right now. Spoiler alert: angry bears. This is yet another Best Cinematography winner, in addition to being a Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu) winner.
Cast Away – Tom Hanks (now recovered from COVID-19, thankfully) portrays the ultimate social-distancer in this survival drama where his character is stranded alone on a deserted island in the South Pacific after a plane crash. If he can get through that horrible experience, we can get through this quarantine! (We just need our own personal Wilsons…)
After making this list I’ve decided I’m no longer quite as antsy about by my lock-down in the concrete jungle of Chicago!