Movies with Meaning – Being Observant

Weekly series. Please send in your movies via email, twitter etc. Our format  :

  • Three movies with meaning (and movies you love and recommend!)
  • One sentence on the core meaning you take from it
  • Send a link to a YouTube clip from the movie that speaks to that meaning


This week, three movies musing on the power of being observant. Oh, and who is Marilyn vos Savant, author of this quote ? The person with the highest IQ ever recorded. Do you find it as interesting as I do how she separate knowledge and wisdom ?

observant vos savant

There is so much information in the world, less knowledge, and far less wisdom.

So, to our three movie choices this week.


The Intern  (2015)

Thanks to Chip Conley for introducing this lovely movie to me. It really is a great example of what a #ModernElder can bring to an organisation. De Niro’s character is open to learning, and also he brings to the frenetically energetic start up a sense of calm equilibrium that attracts colleagues to him magnetically. Above all, he is deeply observant of others, then brings, from that source, insights, acknowledgement and mentoring.


Being There (1979)

A satire on US politics that looks eerily prescient in our times.

In one of his last films, Peter Sellers acts in a hugely restrained role as an illiterate gardener who somehow is catapulted into the highest echelons in Washington.

In one key scene, he simply says “I like to watch”. Despite not only talking at a simple “third grade level”, but also thinking at that level, people are magnetised by the fact that he is quiet and (appears to be) observant, rather than the too typical mode of the very intelligent to jump in with their ideas and opinions.

A worthwhile watch for fans of the genius that is Peter Sellers to see him in a very different role, as well as with this lens of considering the power of observation.



The Usual Suspects (1995)

I’ve featured this movie before in “Movies with Meaning – Power of an Idea“, and today with a different context, that of being observant.

This is absolutely one of my favourite movies of all time, and the closing scenes of the movie among the most powerful ever. Jaw dropping, totally, and through the power of being quietly observant. Do watch it, and if you have watched the movie before, watch through that lens of being observant.

Also published on Medium.

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