The (2013) Films of Anxiety

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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