For many, Trinity term brings about deadlines, exams and proves to be one of the more stressful terms of the academic year. But, for every bit of stress, there’s a summer day, an approaching sense of closure and a long sprawling summer to keep us going. With those days in mind, here’s a list of my top ten films for a trouble-free trinity.
1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In this 1986 comedy caper, high school wise-guy, Ferris, has refined the art of skipping school and getting away with it. Ahead of his graduation, he is determined to enjoy one more day off with his girlfriend and best friend despite his principal’s mission to catch him. In the words of whip-smart Ferris: ‘Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!’. If that isn’t a welcome reminder for Trinity, I don’t know what is.
2. Everything, Everywhere All at Once. The film that swept this year’s Oscars is every bit deserving of the critical acclaim it’s been receiving. The absurdist adventure follows Chinese immigrant, Evelyn, who alone must save the world from an inter-dimensional rupture. There are sausage fingers, googly eyes, unfinished taxes and a massive heart at the core of the film that spotlights the highs and lows of the so-called American Dream. If you want a slice of summer escapism, look no further.
3. Black Panther is the film that marked a new chapter for the MCU. With a hugely successful commercial release and critical acclaim, the film demonstrated to Hollywood and its audiences the beauty and importance of African-American narratives. The film has a stellar cast and is a stunning superhero adventure to immerse yourself in.
4. Stand by Me. Four friends decide to sneak away from their homes and hike to find the corpse of a local teenager killed by a passing train. It’s not the typical set up for a coming-of-age story and yet it works. As Gordie, Chris (young River Phoenix is a particular stand out performance), Teddy and Vern pick their way across train tracks and woodlands, they all go through learning curves that will resonate with audiences as much now as the film did when it was released in 1986.
5. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Nicolas Cage plays a version of himself in this bonkers comedy that sees himself, a struggling actor, accept a payment of $1 million dollars to be the guest of honour at the mysterious Javi Gutierrez’s Mallorca birthday bash. The film is hilarious, wild and the perfect way to spend a couple of hours destressing this term.
6. Pride and Prejudice (2005). It’s hard to get more romantic than Mr. Darcy’s hand flex after helping Lizzie into her carriage and, for that scene and more swoon-worthy romance, Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice is the one to watch. With its dewy cinematography, longing stares and familial charm, this take on Jane Austen’s classic is the ultimate comfort watch.
7. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Emma Thompson’s English teacher hires sex worker, Leo, in hopes of fulfilling everything she’s missed out on in three decades of marriage with her late husband. Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson make an electric pair on screen and, with a minimal set and Emma Thompson’s final, empowering nude scene, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is an absolute feel-good delight.
8. Top Gun. 1986 was a great film for cinema and Top Gun is a large reason why. A classic for a reason, Tom Cruise stars as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell who, alongside his best friend, Goose, are training at the Navy’s prestigious fighter weapons school. Exhilarating action sequences, an iconic soundtrack and heartfelt relationships has ensured that this aviation adventure has stood the test of time and makes for the perfect summer watch.
9. The Breakfast Club. Another iconic film from the 80s, The Breakfast Club sees a band of teenagers from different high school cliques thrown together for another after-school detention. Overcoming their preconceived notions of each other, the film resounded with my teenage self when I first watched it, over thirty years after its release, and remains timeless.
10. Coco. Young Miguel has a passion for music despite his family’s ancestral ban on it in their household. Journeying into the Land of the Dead, Miguel finds adventure, music, magic and learns more about himself and his family than he had ever hoped for. Teenage me was impervious to the hype of this film, firmly believing myself to be ‘too old’ for animated movies. But, having finally sat down to watch it with my family, I was proven entirely wrong. Coco is an absolute treasure of a movie – bright, heartfelt, funny and utterly charming, it’s a joy of a film to ensure a trouble-free trinity.
Trinity term can, notoriously, be a stressful time for students who struggle to give themselves a break in the face of mounting academic pressure and deadlines. Hopefully, this selection of films will provide momentary reprieve for any who may need it. Happy watching!