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The most uplifting movies to stream this winter

Cold days getting you down? These streaming options are guaranteed pick-me-ups

Photograph: courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment (Julie & Julia)
Sometimes, there's just nothing like a brilliant film to raise spirits. When Shanghai's cold and rainy days are doing their worst, these uplifting streaming options are good for the soul.

Good Will Hunting
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were underdogs themselves when they penned this story of an unrecognised genius working as a janitor at Harvard. Will’s math prowess might only be topped by his ability to humiliate people who underestimate him.
Most uplifting moment: ‘How do you like them apples?’

This is Not What I Expected
Wealthy hotel CEO Lu Jin is displeased with everything he encounters at his newest acquisition until he gets a taste of eccentric sous-chef Gu Shengnan’s near-perfect meal in this easygoing rom-com.
Most uplifting moment: Boss (the dog). Always.

This Is Not What I expected 2 (courtesy Well Go USA Entertainment)-0
Image: courtesy Go USA Entertainment

Shawshank Redemption
A timeless cable staple now streaming, this Stephen King adaptation tells the story of a falsely imprisoned man and the friends and enemies he meets behind bars. It’s a movie full of little victories and one major win.
Most uplifting moment: Andy in the rain.

Julie & Julia
The last feature film from writer, director and producer Nora Ephron, this comedy-drama about a famous chef Julia Childs (played by an eccentric Meryl Streep) and home cook Julie Powell, who attempts to cook all 524 recipes in one of Child’s recipe books in 365 days, is a throwback to the films of old, where dreams become reality.
Most uplifting moment: Julia vs the onions.

Ratatouille (courtesy Disney Pixar)
Image: courtesy Disney/Pixar

Ratatouille
The story of a brilliant chef who’s overlooked just for being a rat has become one of Pixar’s most overlooked movies. The film’s enduring mantra (‘Anyone can cook’) celebrates the fact that greatness can come from unexpected places.
Most uplifting moment: Anton Ego’s final review.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
To deal with her intense crushes, Lara Jean (Lana Condor) writes secret love letters to the boys she lusts after, which no one is ever meant to see. Of course, these letters end up being sent out and Lara Jean must deal with her feelings, and the implications of the letters, head-on.
Most uplifting moment: The track kiss.

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