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Motivation from Movies

The start of Term 3 marks the beginning of exam season. Exams are fast approaching and various other deadlines are looming over us, so what better way to spend your free time (what free time?) than by watching a movie? I personally watch way too many movies in the weeks leading up to exams, so it might be a good idea to watch a few who are particularly inspiring and motivational. Even though it still definitely won’t count as revision, it might help you feel more enthusiastic about the work you’re doing and hopefully make you more productive.

The Theory of Everything

 This is a 2014 biopic portraying the life of world-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking (who sadly passed away a few weeks ago) and his wife, writer and teacher Jane Hawking. The film depicts their relationship, from their University years to their divorce, Stephen’s (yes, I call him Stephen) works, from his PhD thesis to his acclaimed book entitled ‘A Brief History of Time’. His University years and how he overcomes his illness is remarkable and inspiring. The scientific discoveries he made in the field of cosmology will leave you in awe and perhaps might be particularly motivating for Physics students (though quite frankly, it motivates me and I’m not even a Science student).The film’s beautiful score is composed by the brilliant Johann Johanssonn (who also sadly recently passed away) and adds to the feel of the movie and renders it even more inspiring.

I feel like there’s no way you won’t feel inspired by this

Dead Poets Society 

Dead Poets Society came out in 1989 and is still as relevant as it was when it first came out. It is set in a boarding school where Robin Williams’ character, John Keating, is an English teacher who inspires his students through the medium of poetry. It’s an incredibly inspirational film who is likely to make you want to chase your dreams, pursue your dream job and/or become an artist. It’ll undoubtedly make you understand the importance of art, love and passion. If your interests lie in theatre, poetry, film, literature and the arts in general, I feel like there’s no way you won’t feel inspired by this. You’re also likely to end up sobbing. You’ve been warned.


Damien Chazelle’s directorial debut Whiplash also takes place in an academic setting and tells the story of Andrew Neiman, an ambitious jazz student and conductor Terence Fletcher. Fletcher is violent and both mentally and physically abusive, constantly insults his students and traumatizes most of them. Hopefully you won’t feel inspired by that. However, some might find Neiman’s ambition, drive for success and determination to impress quite motivational. He’s the type of person who never gives up and seems to be willing to do rather insane things in order to get what he wants and achieve his goals. Let’s not forget he drums until his hands bleeds (and keeps drumming even then) and chooses to go on stage to play music rather than going to the hospital after a car accident. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.

it never fails to make them feel productive

The Social Network 

The Social Network is a 2010 biographical drama directed by the legendary David Fincher and written by the great Aron Sorkin. It tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook and we follow him throughout his years at University, including a breakup, his friendship with Eduardo Saverin, his meeting with twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss as well as Sean Parker, the creation of the famous social network and two lawsuits. I don’t know if it’s because it’s set in Harvard, directed by Fincher, written by Sorkin, well-acted, tells the story of what became the most popular social media ever created or because the score is phenomenal, but this movie sure feels inspiring. In fact, I’d say the score alone (which was composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) is what makes this film so motivational. I know a lot of people who listen to a few of its songs whilst studying and it never fails to make them feel productive, so you could always give that a try if you’re desperately drowning in revision right now!

That’s it! I should have been studying instead of writing this article, so I’ll get back to work! I hope this selection of films can motivate you and somehow make your studies a little more bearable.

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