The (2013) Films of Anxiety

I’ve recently been able to see two films this year that seem to be safe bets to be included in what is shaping up to be a crowded “Best Picture” race: Captain Phillips and Gravity. And while pundits often try to place certain themes on various Oscar seasons (see: 2012 as the year of the slave movie, with Django and Lincoln, or the year of the Middle East with Argo and Zero Dark Thirty), I won’t begin to say what the 2013 crop of movies say as a whole, especially because I have not seen many of them yet. But what I do find striking, at least so far, is how both Gravity and Captain Phillips seem to be about isolation and anxiety.* Continue reading