Mandatory Staff Picks: The Best Movies About Loneliness That We Can Totally Relate To Right Now
Quarantine is taking its toll. While we recognize the importance of social distancing (it is a life-and-death matter, after all), that doesn’t make it any more bearable. We thought we could tolerate all this alone time, but two months (or more) into self-isolation and we’ve reached new depths of loneliness we didn’t know existed.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that we aren’t half as resilient as we thought we were, but we’re not completely alone (even if we physically are). Hollywood has been making movies about loneliness for ages, and they’re some of the most profound films you’ll ever see. Watch one of these 10 exceptional flicks and you’ll feel like someone (even if they’re fictional) truly understands what you’re going through.
Cover Photo: Paramount Vantage (Getty Images)
10. 'About a Boy'
Nerdy 12-year-old Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) feels alienated at school and is tiptoeing around a suicidal mom (Toni Collette) at home. When he meets fellow loner and bachelor Will (Hugh Grant), the duo discover a whole new form of friendship that expands both of their social circles.
9. 'Up in the Air'
Corporate downsizer Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is so busy traveling he barely has time to get lonely, but as middle age approaches, he finds himself longing for more company in the form of a fellow frequent flier (Vera Farmiga).
8. 'One Hour Photo'
An isolated photo lab technician (Robin Williams) lives vicariously through his customers' photos. He becomes obsessed with one family in particular, leading him to interfere in their private lives in this chilling thriller.
Based on a true story and set in 1970s Florida, oddball Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall) strives to make a name for herself in journalism -- and succeeds in a grim and shocking way.
6. 'Two Lovers'
Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) is a young man with mental illness who moves back in with his parents in Brooklyn. He soon meets Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), a similarly disturbed (but immensely charming) person, and the two embark on a secret affair in which neither can really be what the other one needs.
Photo: Magnolia Pictures
5. 'Leaving Las Vegas'
In an Oscar-winning role, Nicolas Cage plays Ben, an alcoholic with nothing to lose and plans to drink himself to death. Even meeting and falling in love with troubled prostitute Sera (Elisabeth Shue) won't make him stray from his self-destructive path. This heartbreaking film proves that two people can be just as lonely -- if not more so -- together than alone.
4. 'Lost in Translation'
Two lonely Americans (Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson) cross paths in Tokyo and form a unique bond over their insomnia, unfulfilling marriages, and professional restlessness in this sweet indie film from Sofia Coppola.
3. 'Into the Wild'
College grad Christopher (Emile Hirsch) decides to drop out of society and move, alone, to the Alaskan wilderness instead. What sounds like a wondrous adventure at first, however, turns into the young man's worst nightmare as living off the grid proves harder than he anticipated.
While going through a divorce, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes enamored with his AI operating system, Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). His infatuation begins to interfere with his ability to connect to real-life women and leaves him even lonelier than before. This film is a cautionary tale for the digital age.
OK, so quarantine in no way compares to being stranded on a deserted island, but some days it feels that way. If there's one character we can totally relate to right now, it's FedEx exec Chuck (Tom Hanks) who, after a plane crash, must learn to survive without human interaction and only a volleyball named Wilson to keep him company.
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