(RNS) — The most blatantly spiritual title of 2020, Pixar’s “Soul” turned out to be a bait and switch. With inventive, almost casually brilliant animation, Pixar invented a “before life” realm where souls have to earn their ticket to Earth. The cosmological setup and the nature of the soul are prime subject matter for religious themes, yet there’s nary a nod to religion, just Disney-Pixar’s patented brand of self-realization.
Movies that have the most to say about spirituality almost always end up taking place close to the ground, even, like Oscar contender “Minari,” among those covered in sweat and dirt, struggling for a better future — tomorrow, hopefully, not just in the hereafter.
With this premise in mind, the RNS staff offers its list of 10 movies from last year — spiritually minded or not, Oscar-nominated or not — that caught hold of some truth about faith or glimpsed the spiritual in the stories they told.