The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
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From Groundhog Day to … Raging Bull? – films to inspire and uplift

1 January 2017 10:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Supposedly ‘inspirational’ films tend to leave our critic reaching for the sick bag. He finds defeated boxers, desperate weathermen and boozy, cantankerous widowers far more uplifting

More uplifting culture for 2017

Can films be inspirational? Well, the good ones all are. And, in a broader sense, going to the cinema is a narcotic, luxurious experience that makes you feel inspired, uplifted and stimulated. But when people talk about “inspirational” films – underdogs achieving spectacular sporting success, charismatic teachers winning over pupils, people overcoming disabilities – I am sometimes a bit agnostic. An inspirational film often feels soupy and syrupy, schematic and cliched, faintly coercive and reactionary. Inspirational means aspirational, no arguments – and it brings out my ironic, grumpy Brit. When I’m asked for my favourite inspirational scene, I nominate Tom Courtenay’s final, miserable act of defiance in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.

One movie that was lauded as inspirational, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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