Often when describing art, I'm looking for a way to draw a connection with an emotional theme. Are these some of the ways to do that and are there any common alternatives?

This movie hits a lot of the tones...

This movie hits a lot of the strings...

The colors are supposed to remind...

 ….….…...of the [taoist philosophy].

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    The first word that came to mind is “evoke”, or To call to mind, as by suggestion, association, or reference. For example, The smell of hot asphalt always evokes memories of my childhood summers.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 15:04
  • I’m afraid that none of the phrases you’ve mentioned get across the point you want to. Tones are not hit. Strings are not hit in this way. Have you tried looking for movie reviews in English and reading as many of them as you can? Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 3:53
  • Well, when speaking of emotions, thematic resemblance is wrong.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 21:26

2 Answers 2


This movie echoes Taoist themes.

This movie reflects Taoist images/thought.

This movie will resonate with those close to Taoist philosophy.

  • You're getting closer to what I'm after but I'd like to describe the motifs present in an art piece without a "reference person" :) Thank you nonetheless
    – Probably
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 22:08
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    ...echoes Taoist themes? reflects Taoist images/thought?... Commented May 26, 2021 at 14:41
  • Thanks! Accept my edit if you'd like to have your answer accepted
    – Probably
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 15:19

An emotionally evocative movie, one that makes you cry, could be said to Tug at your heartstrings. The only time I've ever heard an English speaker mention heartstrings is to let me know something emotional has tugged at them (whatever they are).

A movie that causes you to become angry or insulted could be said to Push all your buttons.

Metaphors are applied to many situations. The good news about metaphors is that anyone can create them. They may not be good metaphors but they don't have to be. You'll get better as you get more experience.

For example The scene where person A did something to the caribou, lit me up like a Christmas tree on fire!"

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    "That last example was wrong on so many levels you need a high-speed elevator even to begin to comprehend them." :-) Commented May 10, 2021 at 11:59
  • I don't see how to connect these idioms to a theme like the "taoist vibes" I mentioned, thanks nevertheles. :)
    – Probably
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 17:42
  • The deep, slow rumbling of the Taoist vibe unwound the cinched harness that had imprisoned her soul. Something like that, maybe? Just go ahead and create yourself a brand new metaphor. Maybe I don't understand what you are asking.
    – EllieK
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 17:50
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    Haha, thanks, the word "vibes" is quite what I was looking for but it feels informal to me. The reactions under my question affirmed my belief the metaphores I come up with aren't understandable for native speakers :)
    – Probably
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 22:06

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