Archives for posts with tag: pixar

If you’re already struggling to stick to your new year’s resolutions, take some inspiration from the movies. Whether it’s finding a new job, taking risks or embracing adventure, there’s a film to help see you through, well, until February at least.

Office Space (1999)

Stuck in traffic, headed for a job you despise, with bosses you despise even more, the joy of office politics and bureaucratic pettiness sucking the life out of you. You’re then trapped in a cubicle with not even a glimpse of daylight, being forced to work extra hours with nothing to look forward to.

Meet Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), Initech employee. Peter hates his life but finds it too hard to say no. When Initech hires consultants set on cutting the workforce, Peter (with a little help from a hypnotherapist) decides to take things in hand and royally screw them over.

No one’s suggesting you go to the criminal lengths of Peter and his disillusioned colleagues to get back at the company you loathe, but it might just give you the push to find a career you’re truly in love with.


About Schmidt (2002)

Warren R. Schmidt (Jack Nicholson), 66 years old of Omaha, Nebraska pours out his feelings in letters to a Tanzanian orphan he sponsors through Childreach. He always dreamt of being someone, of owning his own business, of going places, but life sort of got in the way.

After he retires and his wife passes suddenly, he needs to re-evaluate his future and work out what to do with the rest of his life. Warren goes on a road trip in his RV, on a pilgrimage of sorts, and revisits his old stomping grounds. He tries to find meaning, some sort of significance to life, and learns a lot about himself.

About Schmidt is a great film to watch if you’re dealing with change, trying to work out what you really want from life, or struggling to see where your place is in the world.


Adaptation (2002)

Adaptation certainly has many life lessons to teach us. Charlie (Nicolas Cage) is a screenwriter who is struggling to come up with an adaptation of the best-selling book, The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep). As Charlie’s writer’s block deepens, his insecurities heighten and his self-loathing reaches a crescendo. If this wasn’t bad enough his less talented, over-confident twin brother, Donald (also played by Nicolas Cage), is offered big bucks for his hammy, clichéd thriller script.

Inspired by the real Charlie Kaufman’s struggle to adapt the book, this film is about taking risks, controlling your inner demons and ultimately avoiding winding up a walking cliché.


Mary and Max (2009)

A young Australian girl named Mary (Toni Collette) who is unhappy at home decides to write to a random person in an American phone book, who turns out to be a middle-aged New Yorker called Max (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Both are friendless with little hope for the future – Max is overweight and depressed and Mary’s parents have little time for her.

Battling loneliness and negative influences, they forge a connection and correspond for the next two decades. Despite their obvious differences, through their mutual support they work to change their paths. Mary and Max is about being spontaneous, trying to stay positive and making lasting connections.


Up (2009)

The young Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) is one step ahead of most people – he’s found his soul mate early on and they settle in a lovely home. When life begins throwing them curve balls they stick together and work things through. However, their lifelong dream of visiting Paradise Falls in South America always seems just out of reach. When his wife Ellie passes away, Carl shuts himself off and fights to save his cherished home from demolition.

This poignant tale teaches us to embrace adventure and voyage into the world but ultimately to follow your dreams before it’s too late. Take that trip of a lifetime now. Find a way to make it happen. Don’t wait for a health scare, a relationship breakup or retirement to make changes or live the life you’ve always wanted.


Letters of Note

‘Correspondence deserving of a wider audience’

Edited by Shaun Usher, Letters of Note is described by its founder as an ‘online homage to offline correspondence’.

Some of the most popular letters – and my personal favourites – include ‘Pixar don’t finish films’ – a letter written by Pixar director Pete Docter to a young fan, ‘Wilder on Wonka’ – a letter penned by Gene Wilder to director Mel Stuart, and ‘I like words’ – a letter sent to MGM Studios in Hollywood in 1934 by a Madison Avenue copywriter named Robert Pirosh.

NB The Letters of Note book comes out in October of this year.

Messy Nessy Chic

‘Blogging on the off-beat, the unique and the chic’

This blog was founded by Londoner Vanessa (Nessy), who upped sticks and moved to Paris. This means there are a lot of Parisian-based posts, but also plenty of fascinating insights – past and present – from around the globe.

Messy Nessy Chic is a sort of amalgamation of interesting discoveries from the internet, and details such finds as the history behind abandoned buildings, secret hideaways in congested cities, and clandestine Parisian parties. My favourite series of posts includes ’13 Things I found on the Internet Today’, which is published weekly.

Apartment Therapy

‘Saving the world one room at a time!’

Apartment Therapy was founded in 2004 by ‘apartment therapist’ Maxwell Ryan. Its mission statement, ‘Helping people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online’ sums up the site very well, and the readers’ comments play an integral role in further substantiating the articles. As well as Maxwell’s tips, reviews and ideas, the site also features tours of real homes and design projects and has a strong sense of kinship.

Although the site is very New York-centric, contributors hail from Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, as well as the US, and there are still many relevant topics for a UK reader.

Three Apartment Therapy books have now been published, and there is also space on the site dedicated to food and recipes.