15 Films that Inspire Minimalism and Mindfulness

Chapter, Fashionably Light

Apr 09 2014

Gold Tape

Sometimes when I leave the cinema, I am filled with a sense of calm. The best stories transform me. They slow down my mind and make me more alert to my surroundings. I feel composed and refreshed, renewed for the rest of my day.

These are those films, the ones that get me thinking about minimalism and mindfulness:

15 Films that Inspire Minimalism and Mindfulness

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki the minimalist witch flies to a new city with just one outfit, one bag, one radio, and one cat companion.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

The smallest steps, taken by the smallest of beings can still go a long way.

Moonrise Kingdom

If you ran away from home, what would you bring in your suitcase? Boy scout skillz and books are a pretty good combination.


Watching animals is a great way to calm down, and this Disney classic really captures of the magic of a forest’s serenity. Slow-paced with a great nature-y soundtrack.

Cast Away

Limitation fosters creativity. If you need inspo for making do with what you’ve got, this is it.


The tech-obsessed future is hands-free and clutter-free. More good news: befriending computers make people more mindful and appreciative of the of the physical world around them.

Midnight in Paris

While his fiancé dreams of a mansion in Malibu, Gil just wants to write, dream, and wander through Paris. Frustrating shopping scenes (“Cheap is cheap!”) contrasted with glitzy nostalgia. But despite gorgeous 1920s fashion, what’s really attractive is the content of artful conversation.

127 Hours

A film about a dude stuck in a rock that is so much more than just a dude stuck in a rock. A reminder that even if we’re off adventuring, it’s worth nothing without mindful awareness of our surroundings and the people in our lives.

The Bling Ring

We can all agree that stealing is bad, right? But what this film questions is our materialistic society, by luring us in with dazzling visuals.

Shi (“Poetry”)

A Korean film about an older lady whose life takes several devastating turns. But it’s really a film about hope, which she finds in a simple poetry class.


All about the details from the very beginning, Amélie reminds us of the joys and quirks of day-to-day things.

Labor Day

Includes an excellent mindful pie-baking sequence.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The most fabulous yet nearly-empty apartment, including the Bathtub Sofa.

Much Ado About Nothing

In a summer jam-packed with flashy superhero films, Joss Whedon took a step back to make a black and white Shakespeare film over the period of a week. In his own house.

Captain Fantastic

Viggo Mortenson plays a dad who raises his kids in the woods, where they are homeschooled in survival skills and philosophy alike. The opening montage of their daily routine, which involves running up a mountain, hunting for their dinner, and reading books by the campfire, is a fantastical reminder of life’s essentials, and appreciating the earth.

What are your favorite films for minimalist inspiration? Let’s grow the list in the comments!


P.S. Super-Inspiring Films for Productivity and Work Ethic

Play Audiobook

Be my pen pal!