Throughout all of this corona madness, people’s schedules have been thrown into disarray, some are working from home, successfully and otherwise. This has created an incredible amount of chaos, & the destruction of regular sleeping patterns and habits. If you’re like me, and most of your work is via a laptop, there’s now very little of a change in patterns and because of that maintaining a regular sleeping structure has become exceedingly difficult. This has led to countless hours awake throughout the middle of the night, struggling to get asleep, struggling to stay asleep, and not wind up awake and annoyingly alert at two or three am.
In light of this, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite films to watch at exactly these moments. This curated list holds a handful of incredible films that turn your highly frustrating hours without sleep into peaceful and enjoyable hours that happen to occur during the night. None of these films are high action – in each of them there is an inherently calming and soothing effect. They could also function quite well to lull you to sleep, particularly if you’ve seen them before and aren’t solely focused on plot development. But these aren’t simply films to entice you to sleep – they’re films that are best enjoyed at exactly those moments, your annoyingly alert and in a peaceful and quiet few hours where nothing much stirs around your house.
Indulging in any of these films can make your sleepless hours sail by in a delightful mood, and could leave you in such a peaceful place at the end that you curl up and fall asleep soon after. If they’re not new to you then your chances of achieving that lull are even higher as the part of your brain that lights up as it follows a new plot development is happily dozing. This carefully curated list is the perfect thing to throw on your laptop or tv to relax you enough to either enjoy your sleepless nights or potentially soothe you back to your slumber.
Magic in The Moonlight
This heavenly film is a creation of Woody Allen, one of his finer works throughout the years. Featuring Emma Stone and Colin Firth cruising around in incredible vintage cars with the film set in the 1920s. Prepare yourselves for a uniquely cultivated aesthetic and divine soundtrack.
The Little Prince
One of the most inspiring and well-crafted animated pieces that exist. A tale within a tale is the loose structure and it explores the tension that exists between childhood and adulthood. The pitfalls of prepping children too early, resulting in a lack of a childhood. This film is heavenly for kids and adults alike.
An absolute favorite, Johnny Depp portrays the famous J.M Barrie – the creator and author of Peter Pan. The film gives us a beautifully crafted tale of the real-life author, and the family he meets with the children who are the inspiration and base for the cultivation of not only Peter Pan but the concept of Neverland and the Lost Boys. An exploration of that elusive thing all children have easily within their grasp that adults exert themselves to hold on to; imagination.
Audrey Hepburn + Fred Astaire star in this 1957 film. Hands down one of my favorites of Hepburn’s and its surprisingly progressive and intellectually inclined for a film made in the midst of a solely patriarchal Hollywood Studio system. Highly enjoyable and easy-watching film that ties in just a smidgen of nostalgia for a world gone by.
Three Men and a Baby
Tom Selleck in one of his best films, he stars alongside Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg. In a glorious nostalgic pull one of the best comedies that came out of the 80’s. Three bachelors find their carefree lives thrown into upheaval when an old girlfriend of their roommates drops off a baby at their door. Chaos and heartwarmingly hilariousness ensue.
A favorite of the old nostalgic feels, with a host of impressive actors, from Ben Kingsley to Victor Garber to everyone’s favorite Gilmore Girl Alexis Bledel. It tells the tale of a young wealthy teenager who spends her life in a gilded cage. Trapped from any sort of childhood or freedom to just be – who happens across a young man from a family of curious immortals. It also has one of the most enchanting music box songs within it, and a variation of that as the theme song for the entire film, it’s a heavenly film to watch especially whilst slumber evades you.
An incredible creation – which won the Oscar for Best Animation the year it was released. It follows the age-old tale of a young boy who somehow winds up crossing over to the spirit world, on Dia De Los Muertos, aka The Day of the Dead. Its tale and songs throughout are extremely well-crafted and contains several songs and lullabies that are perfect for the late hour, alongside one of the most endearing explorations of what happens to us when we leave this earthy plane. I cannot recommend this film enough.
This has long been a favorite film of mine, particularly one that I put on when it’s bedtime, but I know I’m not quite at the falling asleep time. If Tim Burton was to hand craft a fairytale in his lifetime – this is it. The story structure is loosely based on the old soap by the same name, that follows Barnabus Collins throughout his life, and eventual afterlife when he’s cursed by a scorned witch and turned into a vampire against his will. To anyone in their thirties or above, it may sound like a silly story for teens when its boiled down to a few sentences, but this is a sharp, extremely witty film whose aesthetics are beyond compare – perfect for this late night adventure. It stars the classic Burton trio – Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter & Danny Elfman, it will not disappoint.
In time we may craft a second edition for those continually challenged by semi-insomniac tendencies, but for now curl up and enjoy these enthralling tales.