I'm a big fan of foreign films, and recently I stumbled upon the gem The Intouchables. In this French movie, Driss, an African-American from the poor side of town, applies for a job as a live-in aide to Phillippe, an aristocrat who was left a quadriplegic after an accident. Driss is not really interested in getting the job--he only wants the signature saying he applied so he can get his government unemployment check--but Phillippe decides to give him the job on a trial basis, saying that Driss won't last two months. Their lifestyles and personalities could not be more different, but Driss takes on the challenge.
This film is full of comical moments, as well serious scenes. As the story progresses, we get to know the characters more fully, and we see how each of their lives is changed by their experiences together. The movie has a great soundtrack, and a hopeful ending--just the right thing to start out a new year.
Other foreign favorites to try are Life is Beautiful, The Visitor, Amelie, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
Recommended by Angela Prandini