CHILD LOSS

A Beautiful Boy

Parents deal with the fact that their only son committed a mass shooting at his university before taking his own life. They move through the haze of the funeral, the reporters, and flat condolences testing their already failing marriage.

Alex

Based on true events, film follows former sports writer, his wife and their baby daughter, Alex, after she is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Alex shows remarkable courage and strength until her death at age eight.

Broken Circle Breakdown

A young couple, who earlier fell in love at first sight, now deal with their religious differences after their daughter becomes seriously ill.

Gravity

A brilliant medical engineer, still grieving the death of her child, accepts a routine spacewalk. What was supposed to be a routine shuttle mission becomes a disaster. The shuttle is destroyed, and she and her partner are alone and tethered to nothing but each other.

In the Bedroom

Young man spends his high school post-grad summer as a lobster fisherman before leaving for college. A woman ten years his senior and separated from her husband, starts a relationship with the young man.  His parents are divided on whether to support the relationship. After the women’s estranged husband, free on bail, breaks into the house and kills the young son, the parents’ fight over the loss.

In the Gloaming

Movie about the effects of AIDS on a family as the parents struggle with their son’s life and illness.

My Sister’s Keeper

Child is conceived via in vitro so the parents would have a genetic match/donor for a daughter who has leukemia. Family falls apart as they work through the turmoil.

Mystic River

Three young boys are playing when one it captured and raped by another man in the backseat of a car. Since the fateful day the three boys are no longer close. Flash forward 25 years, the main character’s wife dies while he serving a two year prison sentence. After release he marries again and has two children, one of whom is murdered.

Ordinary People

Complex film about the death of a son in a boating accident, the subsequent tensions between parents and the emotional problems of the remaining son.

Philomena

Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent, film focuses on an elderly mother’s trek with British journalist to the US to find her grown son, a boy she had conceived out-of-wedlock decades earlier and been forced to put up for adoption by her Irish-Catholic family. It appears to be a wasted trip until a person comes forward and explains the truth about her son.

Rabbit Hole

Couple struggles to cope with the death of their 4-year old son who was killed by a car when he ran into the street after his dog. The mother wants to give away her son’s belongings and sell the house, the father wants to stay and have another child.

Reign Over Me

Melodrama about two men who meet after long break in friendship. One of them has lost his wife and three daughters on 9/11 and he has isolated himself since. The other tries to help him return to the world and in the process, he renews his own relationship with his wife and family.

Steel Magnolias

Revolving around a beauty parlor in a small town in modern-day Louisiana, film is story of a close-knit circle of friends whose lives are filled with humor and heartbreak. After one of the woman buries her 27-year old daughter, one of the five tells her that her daughter is now with God. The mother explodes.

Terms of Endearment

A widowed mother and fatherless daughter develop love-hate relationship as the daughter grows up. The film follows their searches for romantic love to the day when the 30 year old daughter is diagnosed with cancer. So begins a tense bedside vigil as they argue over who will raise the children.

The Laramie Project

Laramie, WY is a small town that was put on the map in 1998 when a gay college student was found tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and left to die. A national debate regarding hate crimes and homophobia was started as a result of the death. Film adaption of the play in which Laramie residents express their thoughts and opinions regarding the death.

Still Walking

Drama unfolds over the course of a single summer day as the Yokoyama family gathers for a rare reunion to commemorate the death of a drowned in a tragic accident 15 years earlier. As the festive gathering commences and a lavish meal is prepared, it gradually becomes obvious that resentment and sorrow bonds this family as powerfully as does love.

The Sweet Hereafter

Small community is torn apart by a tragic accident which kills most of the town’s children. An ambulance-chasing lawyer visits the victims’ parents and stirs up a class action lawsuit against anyone they can blame. Things steadily spiral downhill until one young girl, who is in a wheelchair after the accident, finds the courage to lead everyone toward healing.

Taking Chance

True story of Marine who volunteered to escort the remains of a nineteen year old soldier killed in Iraq to his small hometown in remote Wyoming.

The Way

An American father goes to France to retrieve the body of his adult son who died while walking the Camino de Santiago trail in the Pyrenees in Spain. After walking the ancient spiritual trail himself, he decides to spread the son’s ashes along the trail instead of bringing them back to US.

 

FRIEND LOSS

Beaches – Friend Loss

Childhood best friends live through decades of competition, jealousy and conflict until one of them is diagnosed with a terminal disease and dies leaving the gift of her daughter for her friend to raise.

 

GENERAL

Five People You Meet in Heaven

An elderly maintenance man, who has spent his life repairing the rides in an amusement park, grieves the loss of his wife until the day he is killed trying to save a young girl’s life. He’s greeted in the afterlife by five people he knew while alive, who explain to him the key moments in his life, and what he could learn from them.

The Big Chill

Comedy-drama. Couple who are struggling to keep their marriage together put their relationship on hold in order to open their house to former college pals who are coming together for the funeral of a man who was part of their original group. The weekend together causes each of them to examine their own lives.

Tuesdays with Morrie

A successful newspaper columnist who is emotionally and spiritually bankrupt comes across an episode of the news show Nightline and learns that his former university professor is battling ALS—better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. At first, he is reluctant to visit his former mentor since he had failed to fulfill the promise to stay in touch. He eventually overcomes his uneasiness and the two begin to meet on a weekly basis as he re-assumes the role of the professor’s student.

 

PARENT LOSS

Big Fish

Young man holds bedside vigil for his elderly father—a man he had not known except through the legends he had heard from others. As the father dies he talks about his elaborate youth. Doubting his father’s stories, the son journeys to find someone who would tell him the truth about his father’s younger years.

Corrina, Corrina

Comedy-drama. Songwriter’s wife dies leaving him a broken man who buries himself in work rather than grieve. Realizing he and his daughter need help, he places an ad for a maid who can double as a nanny. After a long series of unsuitable applicants, dad meets a woman who isn’t much on cooking and cleaning but who makes an immediate connection with his daughter.

Da

Irish/ American playwright living in New York tries to escape the influence of his deceased adoptive father. Instead he is confronted by ghosts of his father and mother, as well as himself as an adolescent. He finally realizes his success was actually driven by the failures of his adopted father.

Incredibly Loud and Incredibly Close

Young son is convinced his father, who died in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, has left a hidden message for him somewhere in NYC. He begins searching the five Burroughs for a lock that fits a mysterious key he found in his father’s closet.

Life as a House

A down-and-out architect draws disapproval as he sets out to change his life—only to discover he has terminal cancer. Attempting to reconnect with his estranged wife and troubled son, he keeps the diagnosis to himself and spends his last summer building his dream home with his son.

Step-Mom

Mother is diagnosed with terminal lymphoma as her ex-husband and girlfriend plan on marrying.  The family dynamic start to change as the two women establish a shaky truce and finally bond, as the mother accepts the fact that the girlfriend will become her children’s step-mother.

Tender Mercies

Alcoholic country music singer finds himself working at a gas station where widow and son are coping with the death of the husband/father killed in the Vietnam War.

The Boys Are Back

Successful sports journalist, who had never taken life seriously, assumes responsibility for raising two sons from different marriages after his wife unexpectedly dies. One son from a previous marriage returns to live with his father and step-brother and, in frustration, the grieving father throws the rules out the window.

The Descendants

Attorney and children suffer the slow death of wife/mother after a boating accident has put her in the hospital with a coma. Father learns that his wife was having an affair and planned on divorcing him. He and the kids set out to find the lover without really knowing what they will do once they find him.

The Secret Life of Bees

A 14-year-old in a small Southern town in the 1960’s becomes haunted by memories of shooting her mother when she was a young girl. Living with an emotionally distant father and her African-American housekeeper she runs away to find the place where the only picture she has of her mother was taken.

Two Weeks

Four adult siblings meet at house to be with their dying mother. They expect to visit and leave quickly but end up having to spend two weeks together.

We Bought the Zoo

True and amazing story about a single dad who decides his family needs a fresh start, so he and his two children move to a zoo.

 

SPOUSAL/PARTNER LOSS

A Single Man

A Brit teaching English at a California college is so distraught after his gay partner’s death from AIDS that he decids to kill himself. Throughout his methodical preparations, he repeatedly runs into people who offer him glimpses of why he should stay alive.

Corrina, Corrina

Comedy-drama. Songwriter’s wife dies leaving him a broken man who buries himself in work rather than grieve. Realizing he and his daughter need help, he places an ad for a maid who can double as a nanny. After a long series of unsuitable applicants, dad meets a woman who isn’t much on cooking and cleaning but who makes an immediate connection with his daughter.

Meet Joe Black

A powerful wealthy man oversees a worldwide media empire while coping with the loss of his beloved wife. At a 65th birthday party he has a heart attack and is visited by an angel of death named Joe Black. Much to the man’s surprise he doesn’t want to die. The rest of the movie is about the two men striking a bizarre deal.

Message in a Bottle

A mother goes on a vacation by herself while her son visits his father. Running on the beach, she finds a bottle washed up on the shore. She opens it and finds a love letter inside.  Captivated by the author’s words of love, she returns to her job at the newspaper and eventually locates the man who is trying to survive the tragic death of his beloved wife.

Moonlight Mile

Romantic drama set in a Massachusetts town in the early ’70s. While the protagonist mourns the death of his fiancée, he moves in with her parents so he can cancel the wedding plans. In a surprising twist he connects to a woman whose husband is missing in action.

My Life

Terminally ill husband prepares for his death from kidney cancer as his pregnant wife prepares to have their first baby. The father starts to make home movies to be shown to his son after his death.

PS I love you 

A young woman copes with her husband’s sudden death from a brain tumor by withdrawing from everyone—until a surprise 30th birthday party is given to her by family and friends. A cake is delivered, and with it is a message from her deceased husband. The message turns out to the first of many meaningful messages he wrote before his death—all ending with “P.S. I Love You.”

Reign Over Me

Melodrama about two men who meet after long break in friendship. One of them has lost his wife and three daughters on 9/11 and he has isolated himself since. The other tries to help him return to the world and in the process, he renews his own relationship with his wife and family.

Shadowlands

A isolated British bachelor lives in his world of philosophy and religion until an intelligent American female poet, fleeing an abusive marriage, arrives with her young son for a visit. The novelist agrees to a platonic marriage so the woman can obtain British citizenship. Shortly thereafter the woman is diagnosed with terminal illness and the relationship becomes a true commitment.

Shipping News

An emotionally drained newspaper reporter is in a bad marriage with a woman who tries to sell their daughter into adoption before the mother is killed in a car wreck. After the death the father takes his daughter to Newfoundland, his ancestral home, and starts to rebuild his life by getting a job as shipping columnist for the local newspaper.

Tender Mercies

Alcoholic country music singer finds himself working at a gas station where widow and son are coping with the death of the husband/father killed in the Vietnam War.

The Boys Are Back

Successful sports journalist, who had never taken life seriously, assumes responsibility for raising two sons from different marriages after his wife unexpectedly dies. One son from a previous marriage returns to live with his father and step-brother and, in frustration, the grieving father throws the rules out the window.

The Descendants

Attorney and children suffer the slow death of wife/mother after a boating accident puts her in the hospital with a coma. Father learns that his wife was having an affair and planned on divorcing him. He and the kids set out to find the lover without really knowing what they will do once they find him.

The Intouchables

Comedy about a wealthy man’s ability to accept the death of his wife and his later permanent disability as a result of a paragliding accident. A renewed interest in life develops as a result of his relationship with an unemployed caregiver from the wrong side of the tracks.  A true story, the film is the highest grossing French film in history.

Up

Animated. Good for all ages. Elderly couple turns a ramshackle house into their dream home while saving for a trip to the legendary Paradise Falls. Real life gets in the way and his wife dies. Having made his

living being a balloon man, the old man decides to suspend the house from helium-filled balloons and find Paradise Falls. Much to his surprise he has a Wilderness Explorer scout as a stowaway.

We Bought the Zoo

True and amazing story about a single dad who decides his family needs a fresh start, so he and his two children move to a zoo.

CHILDREN’S MOVIES

Grades: K-4

  • Annie
  • Ann of Green Gables
  • Babe
  • Babar
  • Bambi (could be too intense for children even though it is a classic)
  • Black Beauty
  • Black Stallion
  • Brother Bear
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Cinderella
  • ET
  • Finding Nemo
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Jack the Bear
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Kolya
  • Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Lilo and Stitch
  • My Life as a Dog
  • Peter Pan
  • The Black Stallion
  • The Education of the Little Tree
  • The Lion King
  • The Little Princess
  • Unstrung Heroes
  • Up
  • We Bought the Zoo

Grades 5-8

  • Because of Winn Dixie
  • Beetlejuice
  • Clara’s Heart
  • Ever After
  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • Finding Forrester
  • Forrest Gump
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Life as a House
  • Marvin’s Room
  • Remember the Titans
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall
  • The Learning Tree
  • Untamed Heart
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?