“Carpe Diem. Enjoy the day, boys.“Thoughtful, emotional and truly exciting, Dead Poets Society is the gold standard for inspiring teacher dramas, discussing the importance of thinking for yourself, finding your tribe, and discovering the beauty of everyday life. The film was a huge critical and commercial success, launching the careers of several young actors including Robert Sean Leonard, Josh Charlesand Ethan Hawke.
The legendary Robin Williams plays unconventional teacher John Keating, who has returned to his old school to lift repressed students from the confines of their rigid upbringing and instead encourages them to embrace creativity and passion to ultimately lead extraordinary lives. A touching coming-of-age story and a tribute to the art that only humanity can create, the film will haunt you long after you’ve finished watching it, just like the dead poets whose deep and beautiful words still haunt us.
O Captain! My captain! Robin Williams’ storied career includes numerous films where he acts as a mentor to young people, a role he honed with his Oscar-winning turn as a therapist for troubled Will (Matt Damon). Both movies rely on Williams to bring his warmth, humor, and empathy to his characters, mixing in just a hint of the brash, goofy persona we see elsewhere.
The film clearly touched the screenwriters Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, challenging them to fulfill their potential as well. After failed auditions for poets as young actors, they wrote their own movie to play around with similar themes… only to receive the Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay – the same award as Dead Poets Society had claimed years earlier. When Keating asked his students “What will your verse be?” few would have expected the answer to come in the standing tribute of Goodwill hunting.
Students at risk in the classroom Freedom Writers Couldn’t be more different from the stuffy prep school students of Dead Poets Society, but both movies feature a teacher trying to help his students become the best people they can be and exceed all of the expectations that have been placed on them. In Freedom Writersthis teacher comes in the form of Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) who encourages her students to find their voices by writing diaries, eventually compiling them into The Freedom Writer’s Diary.
school of rock
Jack Black takes his signature style of comedy and music to a tense prep school where he turns his precocious students into a band and teaches them the fundamentals of what it means to rock. It’s a much more kid-friendly version of the life-changing teacher trope, but it’s no less effective in lifting audiences of all ages out of the doldrums of their lives. Black’s joyful and infectious performance will have you clapping and singing along to lyrics like “I was on the honor roll, got good grades and had no soul“As if you had become a teenager again.
Mona Lisa smile
Exchanging poetry on pin-ups for paintings and chasubles, Mona Lisa smile is essentially a female-led version of poets. julia robert‘ free-thinking teacher Katherine Watson forces her bright students (including Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, ginnifergoodwin and Julia Stiles) to reevaluate their rigid expectations when she challenges them to aspire to more than the societal norm of simply finding a husband. The ever-relevant messages that a woman is worth more than the one she marries and that there are many paths a woman can take in the pursuit of happiness make this film a must-watch.
A romantic comedy might not be what comes to mind when you think of a match for Dead Poets Societybut this truly superior film rises above the usual tropes to deliver a powerful message about how to live every day to the full, tell your family and friends you love them, and read as many books as you can. can. About time follows Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) on her journey to find and keep the love of her life with the help of her newly discovered time-traveling powers. Written and directed by Richard Curtis and co-starred Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy and Margot Robbie, the film will make you laugh, cry and feel endless hope for the future. Carpe Diem indeed.
dangerous spirits reverses the dynamics of poets by having unruly students and a conformist ex-marine discipline teacher Louanne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer). Initially, she struggles to connect with her students, but by employing unconventional methods to earn their respect, such as giving candy and reciting song lyrics, she eventually earns them. Like other inspirational teachers, Louanne comes up against an ambivalent school administration more interested in archaic rules than genuine student well-being, resulting in a drama that nearly drives Louanne to give up teaching. The film was a surprise hit with audiences upon its release, backed by a compelling lead performance and a distinctive soundtrack featuring Coolioit is gangster paradisealthough it was chastised by critics for its stereotypical story and stereotypical characters.
The Emperor’s Club
The ability to develop young minds and expand the possibilities inherent in students’ lives is a motivation for many teachers. Guillaume Hundert (Kevin Kline) is no exception, relishing his role as a history teacher at a private boarding school for privileged young men. He poses a question similar to Keating’s to his students: “What will be your contribution? How will history remember you?” He hopes to inspire his young students to become principled and dignified men, only to come up against a rebellious teenager (Emile Hirsch) whose wealth and privilege trumped the need for virtue and knowledge. The Emperor’s Club shows us that not all students are receptive to the power of an inspiring teacher.
Finding your tribe and gathering a group of peers who understand and love you is a feat to behold. JRR Tolkien and his brilliant group of outcasts formed their own society in their youth, the TCBS or Tea Club and Barrovian Society. Their brotherhood grows as they grow until, just like the society formed in poets, tragedy strikes and the remaining members must deal with the consequences of heartbreakingly cut short lives. Given this history, it is no wonder that The Lord of the Rings contains one of the most famous incarnations of male friendship ever created.
Boyz N the Hood
Adulthood is much harder when the bullets are flying, as we discover during this story of three friends growing up in downtown Los Angeles. Three styles (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) Ricky (Morris Chestnut) and Doughboy (Ice Cube) all have different approaches to their difficult lives, finding salvation in academics, sports, and gangs, respectively. Although furious styles (Laurence Fishburne) is determined to make his son a forward-thinking and respectful citizen, Tre still cannot escape the gang violence and shootings that occur around him, resulting in tragedy for the trio of friends. The film is thematically rich and pulls no punches, opting for realism over sentimentality despite the emotionally charged events that occur.
Mr. Holland’s Opus
Although we have seen a multitude of films where teachers radically change the lives of their students, Mr. Holland’s Opus flips the trope and shows us a man whose students radically change his life. Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) first takes a teaching job just to make ends meet while in his spare time he works on his real goal: to compose a really great symphony. However, over the years, he discovered that the real job for which he was destined was not to compose, but rather to share his passion for music with his students.
The Aries family
Recently remade as Best Picture Oscar winner Codathe original in French, The Aries family, also strikes a chord. The film rises above what could be a formal entry into the coming-of-age genre by allowing our young protagonist to find his voice both literally and figuratively. Paula is the translator for her deaf parents and brother, the only person in her family who can easily communicate with the outside world. Paula’s family relies heavily on her to run their business and get by in the world, so when her teacher discovers her fantastic voice and suggests she audition for an elite choir away from her family, Paula is torn between her duty and his passion. The film builds to a heartwarming crescendo, leaving audiences with tears in their eyes and a song in their hearts.
To sir, with love
In a role worthy of his Oscar-winning talents, Sidney Poitier plays Mark Thackeray, an engineering graduate who takes a teaching job out of sheer desperation. It’s not the job he had imagined, and he soon discovers that the children he teaches are wild and rebellious. Determined to show students the full potential they possess despite being from the slums of London, Thackeray treats them with respect and demands that they do the same in return. The film gets to the heart of what it means to be a teenager and how hopeless it can be when the world feels like it’s against you.
Stand up and deliver
Based on the true story of Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role), is the story of a high school math teacher for students who have been written off by the system. Use unconventional methods. he inspires his would-be school dropouts and gang members to incredible grades in the Advanced Numeracy Placement Tests…only to have them accused of cheating by the Educational Testing Service, which finds their marked increase in grades and similar errors very suspicious.
Like John Keating, Jaime Escalante is a dynamic teacher and role model; someone who can affect students’ lives long after they leave the classroom. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the teacher is real or fictional, because we can all relate to someone inspiring us in our lives, someone who challenges us to suck all the marrow out of life and make our lives extraordinary.