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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer


One movie for each Notre Dame college

Call me crazy, but one fun activity to do is exploring random buildings around Notre Dame’s campus. To date, my favorite building on campus is the Eck Hall of Law, but there are plenty of study spots that I still have not yet found. Last Thursday, on my walk back from Eddy Street, I took a quick detour and walked through the Walsh Family Hall of Architecture. I had never been in this building before, but I was impressed with the Architecture Library in particular. As I walked out of the building, my mind started to wander and I ended up thinking about movies. Typical. I started by thinking about architecture movies, but I eventually began listing off movies that people in each college at Notre Dame (Arts & Letters, Engineering, Mendoza, etc.) would enjoy.  

When I got back to my dorm, I wrote down my list. So, with that said, here are the movies that I recommend students in each Notre Dame College should watch this weekend. 

College of Arts and Letters: “Dead Poets Society” (1989)

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

Set at the prestigious Welton Academy, this film revolves around an English teacher, John Keating (played by Robin Williams) who inspires a group of high school students to think for themselves through poetry. It explores themes of conformity, individuality and the power of literature to transform lives. It features several compelling scenes and performances that make it extremely rewatchable. For Arts & Letters students, this film closely aligns with the individuality of their education and the “Do Anything” phrase displayed on booklets and posters for the college.  

College of Engineering: “Hidden Figures” (2016)

“Whoever gets there first will make the rules.”

This one is best suited for aerospace engineers, but I believe that all would find it delightful. The film follows three female African American mathematicians who played crucial roles in the early years of the U.S. space program. This film highlights the resilience, intelligence and perseverance of these three women who overcame racial barriers to play a pivotal role in the success of John Glenn’s historic orbit around the Earth in 1962. 

College of Science: “The Fugitive” (1993)

“Your fugitive’s name is Doctor Richard Kimble. Go get him.” 

I get it. It’s more of an action movie than a science movie. But, you know what? I’m putting it down anyway because a story following Harrison Ford as a husband convicted of his wife’s murder while maintaining his innocence is endlessly entertaining. This film does a great job using many unique elements of Chicago including the Chicago “L” and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Tommy Lee Jones also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as Deputy Samuel Gerard because of his witty line readings. For doctors, the film also features conflicts over proper medicine practices and the drug approval process.     

Keough School of Global Affairs: “Argo” (2012)

“This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far.”

When I found out that this was a true story, I couldn’t believe it. Disguising as a film crew to rescue trapped embassy workers during the Iranian Hostage Crisis? No way. Ben Affleck gives a great performance as Tony Mendez, an officer for the CIA who rescued six Americans from the Canadian embassy. It’s well deserving of its Oscar for Best Picture and is an exciting thriller around one of the most important events in the past 50 years.  

Mendoza College of Business: “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992)

“Coffee is for closers.”

The easy answer would have been “Wolf of Wall Street” (2013), but I’m sure many students have already seen that newer film. However, likely far fewer have seen “Glengarry Glenn Ross.” First of all, what an incredible cast — Pacino, Lemon, Harris, Spacey, Arkin and Baldwin. I’ve seen each of these actors in at least five films, but Alec Baldwin’s A.B.C. monologue steals the show. For business students, this film highlights the pressure to succeed in a cuthroat sales environment. It tackles moral and ethical questions and shows how people become consumed by greed and desperation when their jobs are on the line.

School of Architecture: “The Money Pit” (1986)

“Ahh, home crap home!”

There’s a reason why my mind initially wandered to architecture movies — it’s because I couldn’t think of any. “The Money Pit” has a lighter tone than the other movies listed, but it is still a very enjoyable movie with a young Tom Hanks. A young couple finds a house out in the countryside at an extremely low price and immediately purchases it. Their initial excitement turns to frustration as doors, staircases and bathtubs begin to break. If only they had a Notre Dame architecture student to fix their problems! If you want a more serious architecture film than this comedy, I would also suggest “Columbus” (2017).