From the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, and courtesy of Studio Ghibli, which also brought you Spirited Away, comes this epic whirlwind of a story. Set during a fantastical late Muromachi period, the medieval era of Japan, in a time when many humans were still living among nature, while others set out to conquer and tame it, the movie follows a young man named Ashitaka, who he seeks cure for the curse of a boar god, giving him superhuman powers but eventually killing him. He rides west on a fantastic beast, where he eventually sees a young woman named San, also known as Princess Mononoke. What unfolds from here, is an epic tale of mythical war on many fronts, between the nature gods and humans. While this may sound like a dichotomy, it never is that morally simplistic. The story is action-packed and fast-paced, drawing freely from Japanese mythology as well as modern hot-topic political issues. Add to this the fantastic visuals: Hayao Miyazaki uses a mixture of hand drawings and 3D rendering that are nothing short of spectacular. In short, Princess Mononoke is movie history. If you haven't seen it yet, do it now.
5 Best Movies to Watch by Claire Danes
Plenty of things go on between love and separation, marriage and divorce. There is the pleasant high of intimacy, the devastating low of heartbreak, the frustration of misunderstanding, and the bliss of friendship. Fleishman is in Trouble explores all this from the point of view of recent divorcees Toby and Rachel Fleishman, but interestingly, this POV is narrated by their friend, Libby. The result is a multifaceted take on love, entertaining and enlightening in its nuance. Based on the bestselling book by essayist Taffy Brodesser-Akner, the series is also strikingly written. Whether it's Libby's storytelling you're hearing, Toby's witticisms, or Rachel's dagger-sharp remarks, prepare to cry and laugh in equal measure.
In a case of perfect casting, Jesse Eisenberg plays the neurotic Toby, Claire Danes his unhappy wife, and Lizzy Caplan their quick-witted friend. Other sitcom greats make appearances too, like Adam Brody and Josh Radnor, making Fleishman Is in Trouble highly watchable on all fronts.
Coming-of-age shows are not hard to come by these days. If anything, there might be too many, with a majority of them being hit-or-miss in terms of quality. But before all this, there was one show that tested the waters and bravely went where no teen show had gone: it was called My So-Called Life, and like anything ahead of its time, it was canceled almost from the get-go.
The show was one of the first to forgo happy endings and neat tie-ups in exchange for depicting the messy, complicated, and real. Fifteen-year-old Angela Chase (Claire Danes) was hardly likable, what with her bouts of angst and anger, but she was always relatable, and you could rely on her and the rest of the Three Rivers gang to deliver the unfiltered truth about teenhood. Even though the '90s series didn't attract enough eyeballs to warrant a second season, it's now getting its due among modern audiences who recognize its influence in every disaffected young lead trying their best to navigate the confusing waters of youth.
After being held captive his whole life, a man sets out to finish the only show he's ever seen. Thoughtfully written with a creative cast; it is not a film you would expect to laugh at and enjoy so thoroughly with such an unconventionally dark premise. However, it is a hilarious, wholesome, and loving film that will leave your heart feeling warm.