Feelgood films: the 10 best movies to help you escape the world

From classic weepies to warm-hearted romcoms, these 10 movies are perfect to snuggle up on the sofa in front of

Wendy Ide
Sun 26 Nov 2023

1. Paddington 2 Gentle comedy, a message of decency and kindness, and a generous layer of marmalade: both of the Paddington pictures are the purest comfort cinema, but 2 just has the edge. Bliss.

2. The Truffle Hunters With its painterly cinematography and leisurely rhythms, This documentary about truffle hunters in the Piedmont region of Italy is a sensual delight. A film you’ll want to live in.

3. Little Women (2019) Greta Gerwig’s sublime adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel captures the warm embrace of the book, with photography that glows with goodwill and performances that are. It’s joyously vital and alive.

4. The Straight Story David Lynch is not a director we associate with cosiness. But this empathic road movie, about an old man who drives across America on his ride-on lawnmower, is just lovely.

5. My Neighbour Totoro The beguiling magic of Hayao Miyazaki’sclassic animation taps into the healing power of nature and familial bonds. But the main draw is the chubby, acorn-munching enchanted bear-troll that gives the film its title.

6. The Shop Around the Corner Ernst Lubitsch’s black and white romantic comedy is about two gift-shop employees who fall in love, despite themselves, against a backdrop of frost and festivities.

7. Monsoon Wedding The quicksilver energy of Mira Nair’s exuberant bittersweet comedy romance is the first thing you notice, but this is more than just a giddy, feel-good romp: it’s a complex, satisfying portrait of family life.

8. Passport to Pimlico Of all the Ealing comedies, this gently absurdist postwar political satire is the most affably inviting.

9. Amélie An imaginative Parisian waitress dedicates herself to bringing happiness to the people around her, in this gorgeous, sugar-coated confection of a film.

10. The Holiday OK, so technically it’s a Christmas movie, but this house-swap romcom starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet is the kind of seasonal treat that it’s never too early to enjoy.

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