There’s an iciness to today’s films as we discover a dystopian ice age; an avalanche of regret; and, a great disappearing act.
But enough talk, let’s examine five more of 2014′s best movies for business professionals.
Directed by Joon-ho Bong
What’s it about: Global warming has finally hit the earth, or rather, a global ice age has hit. The planet’s only survivors are on a train that circles the earth. If it stops, everyone on board, the few remaining humans on earth, will freeze to death.
Why watch it: Not everyone on the train is happy with their lot in life and their attempts to move up in the world is captured with a bloody, balletic flare.
Business takeaway: Never accept your place on the corporate ladder; always strive for more.
Memorable scene: The scene where Mason (Tilda Swinton) orders her henchmen to hold a fellow passenger’s arm outside the train, exposing it to the arctic air.
Mason: Order is the barrier that holds back the flood of death. We must all of us on this train of life remain in our allotted station. We must each of us occupy our preordained particular position. Would you wear a shoe on your head? Of course you wouldn’t wear a shoe on your head. A shoe doesn’t belong on your head. A shoe belongs on your foot. A hat belongs on your head. I am a hat. You are a shoe.
Next up: Force Majeure
19. Force Majeure
Directed by Ruben Östlund
What’s it about: A Swedish family takes to the Alps for a family vacation only to find an avalanche, both literally and figuratively, in their path.
Why watch it: For the visual beauty of the Alps that is a constant counterpoint to the disintegrating strands of a failed relationship.
Interesting factoid: One of the movie’s final scenes, where a bus gets stranded, is almost a shot-for-shot reenactment of a viral video known as ”Idiot Spanish busdriver almost kills students.”
Business takeaway: While avalanches are tough, the ones you love can often be even tougher; so, word of advice: Don’t let the those loved ones down.
Memorable scene: The epic avalanche scene is at once terrifying and yet reminiscent of the best and worst moments of Seinfeld’s George Costanza.
Fanny: There’s nothing in your head that you haven’t said!
Next up: Still Alice
18. Still Alice
What’s it about: In a horrifying case of irony, a linguistics professor (Oscar winner Julianne Moore) begins to forget words. From there the news gets worse as she receives a devastating diagnosis.
Why watch it: Still Alice easily could have gone down a sickly saccharine road too often seen in Lifetime network movies, but Moore and costars Alec Baldwin and Kristen Stewart refuse to let that happen with performances that will leave you emotionally exhausted and wanting to give your loved ones a hug.
Business takeaway: You never know when a fatal diagnosis may hit you so make every day count.
Memorable scene: The bedroom scene where Alice tells her husband that she’s losing her mind.
Dr. Alice Howland: I used to be someone who knew a lot. No one asks for my opinion or advice anymore. I miss that. I used to be curious and independent and confident. I miss being sure of things. There’s no peace in being unsure of everything all the time. I miss doing everything easily. I miss being a part of what’s happening. I miss feeling wanted. I miss my life and my family.
Next up: Under the Skin
17. Under the Skin
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
What’s it about: A mysterious woman seduces hitchhikers late at night in the Scottish countryside.
Why watch it: Definitely an acquired taste, Under the Skin does exactly that, it gets under your skin, with its antiseptic tone and metallic atmosphere. An intellectual sci-fi flick, I’d almost guarantee you’ll either love it or hate it. One thing is certain, if you do see Under the Skin, you won’t soon forget it.
Interesting factoid: The men Scarlett Johansson‘s character lures into her automobile were not professional actors. Director Jonathan Glazer installed the van with hidden cameras, only informing the men after their scenes were completed that they would be appearing in a movie.
Business takeaway: Do your due dilligence before embarking on a partnership with a stranger.
Memorable scene: It’s not so much any one scene but the accumulation of shots of The Female (Johansson), so detached and rarely blinking, staring out from behind the steering wheel of her car. The big screen has not experienced a driver and his/her automobile so seductive and menancing since De Niro’s sociopathic creation, Travis Bickle and his taxi.
Female: You’re not from here? Where are you from?
Camper: I’m from Czech Republic.
Female: Why are you in Scotland?
Camper: I just… wanted to get away from it all.
Female: Yeah? Why here?
Camper: Because it’s… It’s nowhere.
Next up: Gone Girl
16. Gone Girl
Directed by David Fincher
What’s it about: Too often in recent years news headlines lead with a woman’s disappearance. While that’s the basic premise to Gone Girl, what actually transpires is a slap in the face to those of us conditioned to happy endings where the heroes and villains are clearly defined.
Why watch it: Even if you’ve read the book, David Fincher’s cinematic version retains enough fresh twists and turns to keep you guessing and wondering how this seductive, yet creepy mystery will play out.
Interesting factoid: If the plot seems familiar to Affleck fans, it should. Ben directed Gone Baby Gone (2007), which also features a woman’s mysterious disapperance.
Business takeaway: A message manipulated through the media is more terrifying than any number of horror movies.
Memorable scene: There are many, but one that sheds a brighter light on Nick’s (Affleck’s) precarious situation is in the police interrogation room, where he begins to realize how little he actually knows about his missing wife.
Officer Jim Gilpin: You ever hear the expression the simplest answer is often the correct one?
Detective Rhonda Boney: Actually, I have never found that to be true.
For the rest of the list, visit www.lifehealthpro.com/bestbusinessmovies.