Tuesday, March 2, 2021

My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68 including shipping

A WHILE AGO, I asked friends on and off Facebook to give me names of what I call "feel-good movies," which, in my mind, are generally (but not always) smaller movies, generally but not always with lesser-known actors. 

My friends assembled a great list, which I've included below. I'm not sure that all of these qualify as "feel-good," but I've included even the ones that I think maybe are just comedies, and not necessarily feel-good movies. I'd put "A Fish Called Wanda" in this category, for instance. 

I am not sure that "My Octopus Teacher" qualifies as a feel-good movie, mainly because the octopus dies. The narrator (who is the only other character in the movie) tells you right at the beginning that the octopus is going to die, so I was prepared. But I have avoided all sort of movies because it is clear to me, sometimes even from the titles, that the dog/cat/squirrel/whatever was going to die. 

The movie so enchanted me, octopus death notwithstanding, that I made this painting. 

OK, here's the list. If there are movies on it that you sort of remember from a while ago, but haven't seen in a few years, I encourage you to go back and take a look. I've been delighted when I've done that. 

Big Night

The Thomas Crown Affair

My Octopus Teacher

The Birdcage

Enola Holmes

Bread & Tulips (available on YouTube)

Legally Blonde

October Sky

Shirley Valentine

American Dreamer

Must Love Dogs

City Island

Strictly Ballroom

Tin Cup

Radium Girls

The Goldfinch

Don't Let Go



Just Mercy

Penguin Bloom

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

A Model for Matisse

Waking Ned Devine

Billy Elliot

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Big Little Farm

Little Miss Sunshine

Funny Farm

Keeping Mum

Lars and the Real Girl

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Baghdad Cafe

Harold & Maude

Notting Hill

Love Actually

Dear Frankie

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Mrs. Palfrey at the Clermont

Tea with Mussolini

Madame Souzatska

A League of Their Own

Hunt for the Wilder People

Whale River

Garden State

School of Rock

Julie and Julia

Something's Gotta Give


Inn of the Sixth Happiness

The Holiday


Hamlet 2

What About Bob

Someone Like You

Crazy, Stupid Love



Silver Linings Playback

The Fisher King

The Princess Bride

When Harry Met Sally

My Cousin Vinny

Joe's Apartment

Angel in the House




The Station Agent

The Dig

Nobody's Fool

Keep On Keepin' On

The American President


Romancing the Stone

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

The Hundred-Foot Journey

A Knight's Tale

The Intern


It Happened on Fifth Avenue

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Operation Petticoat

Some Like It Hot

any Studio Ghibli film


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

While You Were Sleeping

Sleepless in Seattle

When Harry Met Sally

Finding Your Feet

Grumpy Old Men

Peanut Butter Falcon

Second Hand Lions

The Proposal

Nothing to Lose

The Magic of Belle Isle

Slumdog Millionaire



Fool's Gold

Blow the Man Down

Shakespeare in Love

Book Club

Enchanted April


Under the Tuscan Sun

Mr. Holland's Opus

The Secret Garden

The Full Monty

Two Family House

Say Anything

Begin Again

Truly, Madly, Deeply
Singing in the Rain

Heaven Can Wait



"Your aspirations are your possibilities." 

- Samuel Johnson

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