Last week on The Poll (calling it The Poll makes it sound as if it's more important than it really is and, since I like to feel special, I may do that from time to time), we talked about controversial films. Entertainment Weekly came up with a list of those they considered most controversial,and we debated which ingredients belong in such a film -- and some of us even mocked EW for coming up with yet another crappy list.
For this week's (Episode? Edition? Version?) of The Poll, we will focus on a different list: AFI's 100 most inspirational films of all time. And yes, I'm curious -- what makes a film inspirational? Not surprisingly, they chose It's a Wonderful Life as its top pick. Ya know, some guy learns the meaning of life after an angel shows him what things would be like if he never existed. There's not a Christmas film that exists in which this one isn't on a television somewhere in the background. Has it ever inspired me to be a better person? No. Has it made me feel good? I suppose. And I guess feeling real good after watching a film is a form of inspiration.
Some other films ranked high on the list include Rocky, To Kill a Mockingbird, Schindler's List and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. One of my personal favorite feel-good flicks is Rudy, and I was somewhat peeved to see it all the way down at number 54. I mean, how does one film make you feel better than another? How do you rank inspiration? Honestly, at the end of the day, if there's anything this list inspires me to do, it's to never read another one of these lists.
So, I ask you: In your mind, what makes a film inspirational? And, after taking a look at AFI's list, do you feel some films should have been ranked higher than others or is it impossible to rank such a thing in the first place?