So without long introductions and explanations and without further ado, let's start listing!

Testament of Youth

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During World War I, a young English woman named Vera Brittain postpones her studies at Oxford University to serve as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in London and abroad. After the war she returns to Oxford to read history and later becomes a writer, feminist and pacifist.

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Based on the memoirs of author Vera Brittain, this movie tells a shocking yet expected story of lives and destinies of young people during World War I. What I liked the best was the fact that it was told through a woman's perspective; a woman who is left home to wait for her brothers, father, lover, husband... to come back. It showed agony she went through because of unknown circumstances of her beloved ones but willingness to stop the hatred and further blood-spilling.

Black Swan

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Nina is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company's artistic director decides to replace his prima ballerina for their opening production of "Swan Lake," Nina is his first choice. She has competition in newcomer Lily, however. While Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan, Lily personifies the Black Swan. As rivalry between the two dancers transforms into a twisted friendship, Nina's dark side begins to emerge.

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Twisted obsession to be perfect. Pretty hurts. Imperfection kills the performance. Life is a theatre. Black Swan is a lovely example that shows brutality of a perfectionist's mind. The worst wars are waged in our heads so it is scary to aspire to greatness only to discover utterly opposite; something unexpected and unsettling.

The Blind Side

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Michael Oher, a homeless black teen, has drifted in and out of the school system for years. Then Leigh Anne Tuohy and her husband, Sean, take him in. The Tuohys eventually become Michael's legal guardians, transforming both his life and theirs. Michael's tremendous size and protective instincts make him a formidable force on the gridiron, and with help from his new family and devoted tutor, he realizes his potential as a student and football player.

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What I like the most about this movie is the fact that it's based on a true event. The message it sends warms my heart enough but knowing that this happened in real life, makes me even happier and all fuzzy inside. Sometimes, people do find happiness and chances in the most unexpected places but that is what makes them even more valuable and more precious. And most importantly, worth telling.

The Light Between Oceans

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Tom is a World War I veteran who maintains a lighthouse off the shore of Australia with his wife Isabel, a woman desperate to have a baby. Her prayers are answered when an infant washes up on shore in a rowboat. Tom thinks they should notify the authorities but ultimately gives in to Isabel's wish to keep the girl. Fate strikes again when the couple meet the child's biological mother on the mainland. Now, Tom and Isabel must make a decision that will forever affect the lives of four people.

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Hardships take many shapes. Heartbreaks can come from people we expect the least. And we learn from both of those. This movie, based on the same-titled book, teaches us that the most important lessons are learned from hard moments and even harder decisions that we have to make. Maybe the most important message is that it takes courage to actually live a life.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

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When her father goes blind, Griet must go to work as a maid for painter Johannes Vermeer. While cleaning the house, Griet strikes up an unlikely friendship with Vermeer, which both agree to keep secret for fear of provoking the painter's jealous wife, Catharina. When wealthy patron Van Ruijven begins to lust after Griet, and commissions a painting of her, Vermeer and Griet are obliged to spend long hours alone together.

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Finding out what's the story behind one of the most famous paintings of all time... Well, not really, it's just a made-up tale of how painting got created but it was so well-done that I neglected the fact that it's not the truth. Charming, rustic atmosphere of 17th century Netherlands and forbidden, intense attraction between Vermeer and a girl with a pearl earring is recipe for keeping your eyes glued to the screen.


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