With the Oscars coming up, it’s time once again to give out the Greater Goodies, which honor movies from the past year that exemplify the keys to our well-being, like curiosity, purpose, compassion, and love.
There are some prominent themes in this year’s crop. The Pixar short film Bao, the Lebanese movie Capernaum, and the American indies Leave No Trace and Eighth Grade all explore the process of children becoming independent from their parents, with the pain and pride that entails. Blindspotting, Bohemian Rhapsody, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Annihilation, and Crazy Rich Asians all in their very different ways explore efforts to bridge differences—and many of these films tackle acceptance, especially self-acceptance, in diverse societies. Roma and Free Solo both highlight how our relationships make us more resilient. For its part, Disobedience somehow manages to tie all three of those themes together.
But the Greater Good film of the year was definitely . . .