I'm taking a poll: How many of you believe in reading the book BEFORE you watch the movie? I ALWAYS believed in watching the movie first. Until recently.
Now, I think it actually makes MORE sense to save the more satisfying experience — reading the book — for last. When compared to the book, most movies are flat, boring. But something very cools happens when you watch the movie, THEN read the book: the book comes alive more fully and you're more engaged with it as you read.
Two personal examples are Game of Thrones (great series, even better books) and Dumplin by Julie Murphy. Both of them were pretty good on the screen, but once I read the books after watching them, I got pulled in with all sorts of nuance and depth that I hadn't gotten with the movie.
Just another perspective to consider.
In any case, there are a lot of great movies out there to inspire your outdoor adventures, or just inspire you to live more boldly in your everyday life. As of this posting, they were all either free or under $5.99, which is a pretty good deal for a couple hours of uplift and inspiration. Many of them I'd even encourage you to watch with your daughters.
So how do you feel about reading the book before the movie? Were there any movies I left off my list? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
1. Bird Box (Netflix)
Ok, so this may not be one to watch with your kids. This is the thriller everyone was talking about around the holidays 2018. We watched this movie on Christmas Day, and it was a doozy — Sandra Bullock's character was flawed, but incredibly strong. Also starring John Malkovich, much of this thriller was filmed on the Smith River in northern California. Watch Birdbox on Netflix
2. Wild (Amazon)
This movie — and the book (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail) that inspired it — inspired a thousand women to get out on the trail and deal with their own ghosts and insecurities. Reese Witherspoon received an Academy Award nomination for her performance. Highly recommended. Watch Wild on Amazon
3. Losing Sight of Shore (Netflix)
Over nine months at sea, four women row over 8,000 miles from America to Australia. This documentary shows the beauty and disappointment that comes along with taking on a really, really big goal. It was so uplifting to see a group of strong women working together and supporting each other to reach that goal. Watch Losing Sight of Shore on Netflix
4. Maidentrip (Amazon)
A 13 year old Dutch girl sails the world by herself. Most of us can't imagine letting our daughters take on such an adventure, but watching Laura Dekker navigate the world on her sailboat is both touching and nerve-wracking. A great film to watch with your daughter. Watch Maidenhead on Amazon
5. Blood Road (Amazon Prime)
A documentary film that follows the journey of mountain biker, Rebecca Rusch, and her Vietnamese riding partner Huyen Nguyen as they bike the Ho Chi Minh trail, searching for the site where Rusch's father's plane went down during the Vietnam War. As a former mountain biker, there are few things as thrilling as watching women tear down a mountain, leaping into the air, and the emotional storyline of the movie just adds to that excitement. Watch Blood Road on Amazon
6. Intersection: Micayla Gatto (Vimeo)
Sponsored by Red Bull films, this short documentary is about a champion mountain biker who also happens to be a painter. Mountain biking + art = amazing things. Watch Intersection on Vimeo
7. Tracks (Amazon)
A young woman leaves her urban life to trek through the sprawling Australian desert with her camels. — another movie that was inspired by a book (Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback). The movie stars Adam Driver, who's one of my most favorite actors. Watch Tracks on Amazon Prime
8. The Journey of Natty Gann (Amazon)
I LOVED this movie as a kid, which probably dates me but I don't care. A girl and her wolf (YES) trek across the country during the depression in an attempt to find her father who left her behind to find work. Also stars a young John Cusak, whom I also love. Watch The Journey of Natty Gann on Amazon
9. Women In Fire (YouTube)
Ok, this isn't really a movie at seven minutes long, but if you're short on time, I highly recommend this short documentary sponsored by REI. It features women forest firefighters, and it's pretty impressive. REI Presents: Women In Fire
10. Mulan (Amazon)
Every budding feminist should watch this classic Disney film about a young Japanese girl who poses to be a man to help defend her family and her home against the invading Huns. Also, an amazing soundtrack to work out to! Watch Mulan on Netflix
What am I missing? What's your favorite inspirational film that gets you excited about camping, hiking & backpacking?
Jill Hinton Wolfe,
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