All the feels - in all of them.

1) The Dish (2000)

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With Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Sam Neill was front and centre for one of the feelgood films of the past decade. He had form, mind, as he also headed the cast of this glorious Aussie gem from the Noughties; a trip back to July 1969, when the world watched as one. On the eve of the Apollo Moon Landing, the team at the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales is tasked with bouncing the TV images from Lunar Module Eagle around the globe. That bit actually happened, but thankfully The Dish never lets the truth get in the way of a good gag. Led by the redoubtable Cliff Buxton (Neill at his avuncular best), the Parkes team battle climate chaos, cock-ups and cultural differences to cement their place in history and hearts. The Dish is very sweet, with just the kind of reach-for-the-stars inspiration we all need a dollop of right now. "Failure is never quite so frightening as regret," says Cliff. Let's all keep that in mind for better times ahead. 

2) The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

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Shia LaBeouf has said that working with co-star Zack Gottsagen on this Huckleberry Finn-style charmer changed his life. They'll work some magic on yours too. Gottsagen stars as Zak, a young man with Down syndrome who lives in a retirement home because the state has nowhere else for him to go. With a dream of becoming a professional wrestler, Zak successfully pulls of a midnight flit and hits the road. Along the way he meets Tyler, a troubled fisherman who also happens to be on the run. Tyler is dismissive of Zak's offer of friendship, but that doesn't last for long. This tearaway travelogue is funny and profound, with stunning scenery the backdrop for the golden moments between its two stars. Now, the ending is badly rushed, but everything else in this sleeper hit is a winner. "Maybe we could be friends and buddies... bro dogs... and chill," suggests Zak. "Have a good time!" Please, please take him up on that offer. 

3) Stand and Deliver (1988)

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Having delivered one of TV's most iconic characters as the brooding Lieutenant Castillo in Miami Vice, Edward James Olmos was almost unrecognisable - and Oscar-nominated - as real-life high school teacher Jaime Escalante in this "true story about a modern miracle". Escalante was a trailblazer who decided to teach his disillusioned students at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles calculus so that they could sit exams for college credits. The kids thought he was mad; his colleagues madder still, but Escalante wouldn't take no for an answer, and the life lessons here prove that every day is still a school day for us all. After 30 years (and countless repeat viewings), Stand and Deliver still feels fresh and urgent, with the back-and-forth in the classroom scenes as special as anything we watch from the here and now. In 2011, the US Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry - arguably the ultimate endorsement of its power. You may well be adding it to your own Best Of list long before the closing credits. 

4) Local Hero (1983)

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If it's unhurried charm you're after, then the Highlands are waiting in writer-director Bill Forsyth's glorious fish-out-of-water story. Peter Riegert plays Macintyre, the Houston oil executive who's the point man on the "acquisition of Scotland", or rather "the bay in a million" fishing village of Ferness. Dispatched across the Atlantic by his eccentric boss (a wonderful Burt Lancaster), Mac discovers that the people of Ferness are well up on his big city ways and can run rings 'round him with their endearing quirkiness. He's barely unpacked when he falls in love with the place - and them. You will too. With the warmest glow of friendship, enough-is-plenty wisdom and a strong ecological message, Local Hero encourages us all to live up to that title and leave the world in a better state than we found it. A Sunday comfort movie of the highest quality, this is a bolthole to better times. There's room for us all.  

5) Love, Simon (2018)

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Dawson's Creek showrunner Greg Berlanti did the teenage state further service by directing this adaptation of Becky Albertalli's award-winning Young Adult book, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Nick Robinson plays the high school senior with the Midas touch who comes to the rescue of a fellow student online, only for the saloon doors of fate to wallop him right in the face. Here, the spectre of public humiliation roams the corridors and blog posts, and with Simon scrambling to do the right thing by everyone, the risk increases that his last few weeks of high school will play out with him in the leading role of the loneliest guy on campus. Robinson is great and, wisely, Berlanti leaves Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel in the background for most of the story and allows his young cast to carry the film in style. If you have Simon down as a movie BFF by the closing credits, then there's also a new spin-off series, Love, Victor, with Robinson reprising his role - this time as the narrator.

6) The Station Agent (2003)

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Before they made HBO their own in Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, Peter Dinklage and Bobby Canavale teamed up with Far from Heaven's Patricia Clarkson and writer-director Tom McCarthy for this story of fresh starts and friendship. Dinklage plays Fin, a taciturn loner who inherits a disused train depot in New Jersey, turns the key in the door and hopes he'll be left in peace. Life, however, has a better plan. As Fin pulls out all the stops to keep himself to himself, food truck driver Pete (Cannavale) and artist neighbour Olivia (Clarkson) wear down his defences, giving him a new understanding of a place to call home. The Station Agent doesn't pull any punches in its depiction of the messiness of relationships, but there are plenty of laughs too as three very different people bring out the best in each other, and us. A movie made for summer nights, but it'll feel warmer right now than any of them.  

7) Kotch (1971)

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Jack Lemmon only directed the one film, but he made sure it was a treat. Of course, Walter Matthau just had to be involved. Piling on 23 years, Matthau plays Joseph P Kotcher, a retired salesman whose unshakeable determination to live life on his own terms leaves his son and daughter-in-law at their wits end. Befriending a pregnant teenager, Kotch has a series of (mis)adventures, realising that even he has underestimated the amount of gas left in the tank, and reminding us to think like him. Sure, 50 years after its release Kotch has dated, but its never-say-die attitude never gets old and, if anything, Kotch as a character was ahead of his time. Back in 1971, Lemmon described the comedy-drama as "The kind of film, I think, that we need, and that the whole world can relate to." Half a century later he's still right.

8) Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Mother Too) (2001)

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Director Alfonso Cuarón headed home for this look at life and the class struggle in his native Mexico, delivering one of the great road movies of our times. Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal play Tenoch and Julio, teen slackers who set off in search of a mythical beach called Boca del Cielo (Heaven's Mouth). Joining them is Luisa (Maribel Verdú), the Spanish wife of Tenoch's cousin - and things will never be the same again for any of them. En route, Cuarón presents us with insights into the socio-political makeup of Mexico, a voice-over freezing the action as we're told about the world outside the car. In many cases, the travellers pass by incidents like police searches and arrests, blissfully unaware of what is going on a round them, a ploy by Cuarón that draws the viewer deeper into the drama. Although Y Tu Mamá También packs a real emotional wallop, it's also a reminder to savour every day. Travel daydreams guaranteed.

9) The Girl from Paris (Une Hirondelle a Fait le Printemps)

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Bored with city life, IT worker Sandrine (Mathilde Seigner) signs up for a government scheme to take over a goat farm in the Rhone Alps from widower Adrien (Michel Serrault). He's none too happy about leaving his family's homestead and cuts a deal that he can stay on for 18 months, determined to watch her fail. One of them is in for a land... Leaving his job with France's Ministry of Agriculture to pursue his big screen dream, writer-director Christian Carion made his debut with this delight, capturing everyday life and the desire of the lonely to leave the past behind. Nothing too major happens here - there are changes of seasons and hearts - but the scenes between Serrault and Seigner are exquisite. Equal parts tetchy and tender, they raise the issues of the urban/rural divide with the lightest of touches. Carion, who grew up on a farm, makes lots of good points about farmers and officialdom too, but they never detract from the heartwarming nature of the story.  No English trailer - you'll get the gist!

10) A Better Life (2011)

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This one is all about resilience and being thankful. In an Oscar-nominated performance, Demián Bichir plays Carlos Galindo, a Mexican gardener who has lived as an illegal in Los Angeles for over 15 years. An awkward relationship with his teenage son Luis (José Julián) is further challenged in an emergency, which sees man and boy embark on a cross-LA odyssey. Using a bilingual crew and testing his mettle with 69 different locations, About a Boy director Chris Weitz really captures the energy of the barrios and the challenges faced by its residents in this oh-so-wise movie. Channelling the power of good dads the world over, Bichir remains low-key throughout, bringing out the best in young co-star Julián and providing plenty of tough and touching moments as two different generations with wildly different life experiences have the opportunity to meet as equals. Don't expect to make it through A Better Life without something in your eye.