Do you know the feeling of watching a really good film and as soon as the closing credits appear on screen you’re left in total awe? You just sit there for a while and need some time to digest everything you just saw in the last 90 minutes. And you usually can’t stop thinking about it for days.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be the greatest ending of all time or the most extraordinary plot in film history to leave you in such a state. It’s more the feeling the film gave you while watching it and the way it spoke to you. It feels as if the film addressed only you and said exactly the things you wanted to hear. It feels as if this film was made for you. And you’re so grateful that you’ve found this film that is so spectacular in its own inexplicable way.
Now, this state, the feeling of being left in awe is as beautiful as it is rare. It hasn’t happened to me in a long time before I saw Carol. But I’m lucky enough to have seen a few films in the past which had that effect on me. Here’s a list of five films that left me in awe, ranked by the awe-intensity:

1. Her

What it’s about

Her is set in the near future where technology is much more advanced than today and where you can purchase a new operation system that will make your life a lot easier by meeting your every need. After purchasing this OS Theodore – the lonely and introvert protagonist – develops an unlikely relationship with it. Behind the OS is an awfully attractive sounding and very much unreal woman Theodore falls deeply in love with her. But later on he’s got to realize that he’s not Sam’s only client and that she’s in a lot of other romantic relationships with other clients.

Why it left me in awe

Her is the film that didn’t only leave me in awe but also in shock of its beauty. After the film ended I literally sat there for about a minute or two and couldn’t believe what I just saw. I fell in love and am still very much in love with it. The film did something to me that I haven’t experienced to this intensity before.
First of all, Her has probably the most beautiful images I’ve seen in a film. The cinematography and the colors are simply stunning and they take you in a whole other world.
Second of all, the story itself might not be one I’d usually call great. I mean, it’s a guy falling in love with an operating system and having sex with it. It sounds weird but the way it was executed is truly special and unique. You shouldn’t see it as a story about a creepy and awkward relationship but rather as a story about love. As you’re watching Her you feel Theodore’s deep love for Sam, the passion and desire for her. And I’m not gonna lie, as soon as I was used to this special relationship and the sex scene was on, I loved it. It was so intense and combined with the beautiful soundtrack just perfect.
Which brings me to the last but definitely not least point: the soundtrack. Oh my, the soundtrack by Arcade Fire is the heart of the whole film. In my opinion, it’s the best elaborated and most appropriate soundtrack ever made for a film.

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Annapurna Pictures / giphy.com

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What it’s about

Charlie just startet out as a freshman and is already an outsider in his high school. He’s got no friends and passes lunch time by reading a book by himself. But soon, two seniors, a quirky guy called Patrick and his beautiful, calm step-sister Sam who also happen to be outsiders, take him in to their gang. Charlie might be hanging out with the outsiders, the misfits but he isn’t an outsider anymore, surrounded by friends and taken into the real world.

Why it left me in awe

The Perks of Being a Wallflower happens to be both my favorite film and book. I saw it when I was 21 and was still figuring out who I was, what I wanted in life. It was a time where I didn’t have a lot of friends and felt like I didn’t belong where I was. Much like Charlie. Watching this film I felt understood and realized the feeling of not fitting in is only a matter of chances and opportunity. At that time I was surrounded by people who simply didn’t live in the same world as I did. As soon as I started studying I was surrounded by people that had the same passions and views on certain things in life. I finally felt I belonged somewhere. The Perks of Being a Wallflower showed me that no matter what you might struggle with at the moment it gets better and there are people around you that will eventually lead you there.
The film lives from breathtaking scenes such as the famous tunnel scene. The three friends drive trough the city at night, while Sam is standing on the back of the pickup truck, spreading her arms with her eyes closed. Charlie and Patrick sit in the front and the perfect song is playing on the radio (in the film it’s Heroes by David Bowie). Charlie takes it all in and spells out the most beautiful words: ‘I feel infinite‘. Those words make one of my favorite film quotes ever and perfectly express the feeling of experiencing small miracles in life. From the moment I saw the film I started to appreciate and look for the beautiful, little things in life.

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Mr. Mudd / giphy.com

3. Mr. Nobody

What it’s about

Nemo Nobody wakes up as an 118 year old man in the distant future where people don’t age anymore due to the medical progress. He is the only mortal person left. The film goes back to the point of Nemo as a young boy who has to make a tough decision: should he stay with his father or leave with his mother? In the course of the film we get to see three different versions of Nemo’s life depending on that one decision he made as a young boy.

Why it left me in awe

Mr. Nobody tackles some questions that I’m sure all of us have thought about at least once. What is the meaning of life? What is love? What about fate? The film answers all those questions in a great extend. But that’s not all. It does answer a lot of questions but at the same time it raises some new ones. The first time I saw the film was a few years ago, so I don’t remember how I felt after watching it. But after I’ve watched it a second time with my roommate a few months ago, we went on our balcony and just sat there for like 10 minutes thinking about the film. Every now and then one of us would speak out a thought or ask a question. But all in all it left us speechless. We had so many thoughts and so many questions in our head that we first had to process. Questions like: What impact has a particular decision had on my life so far? How does time work and how can we use it wisely? Are there really soulmates? And if so, is there only one for each of us or do we have different ones for different versions of our life? Mr. Nobody managed to make me question love, the meaning of life and even my own existence or rather my purpose on this world. Simply put, this film made me think about a looot of things and still does.

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Pan-Européenne / giphy.com

4. Carol

What it’s about

Carol is about a upper-class woman – Carol – who falls in love with the younger shopgirl Therese. It’s the 1950s, Carol is a still married mother and she develops a romantic relationship with a woman. Hence, their love is highly forbidden and equally marvelous.

Why it left me in awe

In my last post I wrote about this Oscar nominated love drama and how much I loved it. I still remember the last couple of seconds that show Carol in a close-up as her mouth turns into a smile in slow motion as she spots Therese across the room. I think I just sat there while the closing credits appeared on screen and was so amazed about this sensational story. And I still can’t stop thinking about it. For me, it’s the greatest love story I’ve seen in any film and the way it is portrayed makes it all so amazing.
Carol is a very quiet movie with little dialogue and a lot of significant scenes and details that do the talking. What happens when Carol and Therese gaze at each other, when they approach or touch each other says a lot more than a long dialogue about their feelings and thoughts.
During the whole movie I was wondering if they would make it and be able to end up happy together and I was really rooting for them. I sometimes even caught myself being a little tense over my hope for them ending up together. The last couple of frames showing Carol’s face softening takes away all the tension and you’re left in – you guessed it – awe. All you’ve been hoping for in the last two hours has finally been fulfilled and you know that those women, who are obviously soulmates, can be together now without any fear.

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The Weinstein Company / giphy.com