Loneliness-themed films are rare and difficult to make. Because they require accurate information and must be sensitive to the topic of mental health.
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As humans, we all experience loneliness at one time or another. Loneliness is a problem for many individuals right now because of the epidemic and other problems.
Loneliness can lead to despair, social anxiety, and a host of other serious mental health disorders. Loneliness makes people feel powerless and demotivated. It may also cause them to engage in hazardous or irrational behavior.
Movies are the best method to escape reality for people who are feeling lonely, and there is no better way to do this than by watching a movie.
Millions of people have found comfort and understanding in the various films about loneliness that have been produced.
When they depict mental health in a genuine way and modify their outlook on life, these movies can be beneficial. Not only may these films benefit those who are depressed themselves, but they can also be beneficial to those whose loved ones are depressed.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best 18 movies on loneliness or alienation.
List of 18 Loneliness-Themed Movies
For this list, we’ve curated a selection of films with a central focus on loneliness and isolation. Regardless of the genre, the protagonists in all of these stories suffer from self-doubt and loneliness.
Let’s get started with the list right away.
18. Her (2013)
Her, directed by Spike Jonze, is an award-winning film. The film’s leading actors are Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson.
When Theodore is in the final stages of his divorce, the film’s plot concentrates around him.
Most of his time is spent playing video games or conversing with strangers on the internet after work.
Operating system OS1 has just been created, which is touted as the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system in a futuristic time period.
When Theodore discovers this operating system, which is designed to meet his every need, he creates a strange bond with it.
With his portrayal of a guy going through the stages of grief, Joaquin Phoenix has done an incredible job showing how he comes to terms with his fate and moves on.
The theme of loneliness is handled brilliantly in the film.
However, it may be labeled a science fiction story, but it feels like a realistic depiction of our future and conveys a great deal of human feeling.
This film does an excellent job of tackling the themes of loss and loneliness. Her is an emotional roller coaster.
17. Lost in Translation (2003)
Sofia Cappola is the director of the 2003 film Lost in Translation. Actors Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson portray the film’s two main characters.
For a whiskey commercial, middle-aged American movie star Bob Harris flies to Tokyo.
Even though he is past his peak, he has been offered this high-paying endorsement because of the notoriety of his name.
While staying at a posh hotel in Tokyo, he meets Charlotte, a recent Yale philosophy graduate and her photographer husband. She, like Bob, is a little disoriented by the events of her life and is in desperate need of some down time to decompress.
If you’ve ever been away from your family, you’ll understand this masterpiece. In both actors, the audience will be able to identify with them.
Cinematography and tempo in the film are stunning. It even received an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay because of the film’s excellent writing.
This is one of the best movies about feeling out of place and alone.
16. Into the Wild (2007)
A lonely figure is frequently depicted as a social outcast who is shunned by the rest of society in films about loneliness.
To the contrary, Into the Wild offers a different spin on that theme. Adapted from Chris McCandless’s memoir, this film was directed by Sean Penn.
For Christopher McCandless, a back-to-nature journey began at the age of 19, when he decided to leave his comfortable upbringing and promising career behind. He encounters a wide range of people and experiences as he travels, all of which have a profound effect on him.
The entire film revolves around the theme of self-discovery and the necessity of occasionally removing oneself from contact with the outside world.
Christopher McCandless is well-played by Emile Hirsch. You’ll be impacted for a long time by his evocative performance.
Into the Wild is a standout film when it comes to the issue of loneliness in films, but in a positive way. Several touching scenes will bring you to tears.
15. Cast Away (2000)
One more film that deals with loneliness in a literal sense is Cast Away.
Tom Hanks stars as the protagonist in this picture, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Due to an unfortunate accident, Chuck Noland, the FedEx systems engineer, loses his life in the film. After a plane disaster, he wakes up on the beach of a tropical island. Initially, he is annoyed, but he soon realizes that he has virtually no chance of ever going home.
As a result of four years of living on his own, Chuck has developed the skills to exist on his own, such as fixing his dental health, catching fish, and forecasting the weather using his own calendar. Kelly’s image has kept his ambitions alive for all these years. When a wooden boat washes up on the shore, Chuck decides it’s time to get home.
The story in this picture, as well as the acting, is excellent.
To survive, but also to reflect the experience of being alone in an unfamiliar location, is the film’s focus.
If you’re looking for a simple movie to watch, this one is for you.
14. The Lighthouse (2019)
In The Lighthouse, there are a few moments of fear, but it is a dark, dramatic, psychological film. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe star in the film, which was directed by Rober Eggers.
For a period of four weeks, a lumberjack named Ephraim Winslow is sent to work at a lighthouse in the late nineteenth century.
Then again, he isn’t the only one. Thomas Wake, a cranky old man, is in charge of the lighthouse.
This New England island is home to two lighthouse keepers who are struggling to save their sanity.
Throughout the film’s production design, the notion of loneliness and monotony is woven throughout. The director’s objective may be to make you feel confined.
At times in the film, it feels as if the audience is also stranded on the island with the characters.
Vintage black and white lenses are used to create a striking visual effect.
A number of emotionally charged scenes are delivered by both actors in this film.
13. Taxi Driver (1976)
Taxi Driver is a Martin Scorcese-directed criminal thriller. The film’s leading actors are Robert de Niro and Judie Foster.
The film’s plot revolves around Travis Bickle, a Vietnam veteran who has returned to New York City.
He accepts a job as a nightly cab driver, where he spends much of his time thinking about the harshness of the world around him and the loneliness and alienation that accompany it.
When it comes to forming emotional bonds, he is an outcast in every element of his life and is unable to connect with anyone.
As he is unable to sleep at night, Travis seeks solace at the local porn shops, where he fantasizes about fleeing his dreary existence.
As a soldier returns from combat, he or she is confronted with feelings of loneliness and the horrors of war, which this film explores.
The film’s direction and narrative are both stunning. It’s a must-see for anyone who like movies.
12. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
Spike Jonez directed the adventure film Where the Wild Things Are.
We are introduced to a little boy, Max, who has a rich imagination and has become resentful because he feels he is being overlooked by his parents.
In addition to a disagreement with Claire (his sister) and her friends, Max had an emotional breakdown since his mother was spending more time with her boyfriend than with him.
Physically and emotionally, Max, who is currently clothed as a wolf, evades the situation.
Huge wild animals like Carol live on this ocean-facing planet, which has a temper like that of Max’s.
After Max proclaims himself a king who can magically solve all of their problems, the wild things begin to accept him as a friend rather than an enemy.
Even though it may appear to be a children’s film, this film includes a wide range of emotions and may be enjoyed by individuals of all ages.
Director Spike Jonez has dealt with loneliness before in his films, and Where the Wild Things Are is a good example of his knowledge.
11. Coraline (2009)
Henry Sellick, who also directed A Nightmare on Elm Street, is the director of Coraline. The film is based on a book by Neil Gaiman and is animated.
In this film, Coraline is the protagonist as she and her family move into an old house where she feels bored and disregarded by her parents..
She stumbles onto a secret passageway leading to a walled-off corridor. During the night, she sneaks through the passage and finds a parallel world where everyone has buttons for eyes and her fantasies come true. She refuses to stay in the Other Mother’s world forever and realizes that the parallel reality in which she is confined is really a ploy to draw her in
It’s a great movie to watch, and it’s well-written. Coraline, the protagonist, is an empathetic character who suffers from feelings of isolation and invisibility.
That no matter how bad things get, we should never try to run away from them and instead face them boldly.
10. Barton Fink (1991)
Set in 1940’s Hollywood, Barton Fink is a 1940’s period drama film. The Coen brothers are responsible for both the script and the direction. It features John Turturro as the protagonist.
Barton Fink, an intelligent playwright from New York City, arrives in Hollywood in 1941 to create a Wallace Beery wrestling film, and this film is a character study of him.
But while living at the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton is plagued with writer’s block. As Barton’s neighbor, Charlie Meadows, tries to encourage him to overcome his creative block, a bizarre series of events further diverts him from his goal, despite Meadows’ best efforts.
An additional theme explored in this film about loneliness is the phenomenon known as “creative block,” which is experienced by many artists and other creative types. Loneliness is a common cause of artistic failure because artists are usually drawn to people and nature.
Some artists go so far as to take their own lives as a way of proving the severity of this problem. But Barton Fink does an excellent job of tackling this issue.
9. Joker (2019)
Based on DC Comics character Joker, Joker is a DC Comics-inspired film. It’s a modern interpretation of that character. ‘ Todd Phillips is the director of this film.
Zazie Beetz, Robert de Niro and Joaquin Phoenix play the key roles.
A failing stand-up comic, Arthur Fleck, suffers from a multitude of mental disorders, one of which causes him to laugh uncontrollably when he is uncomfortable and frequently puts him in perilous circumstances.
As a result of Arthur’s mental disorder, he is shunned and degraded by nearly everyone in society.
Delusions, violence and chaos take hold of Arthur when he is physically beaten and his medication is removed. He finally transforms into Gotham’s famous Clown Prince of Crime as a result.
Mental health awareness is also highlighted in Joker’s portrayal of self-isolation and social anxiety.
Because of its mature subject matter and exquisite photography despite being a comic book movie, this film has become a favorite of many cinephiles.
8. Birdman or “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” (2014)
Alejandro G. Iárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a drama film. Leading roles go to Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Emma Stone.
Riggan Thomson, the actor who has played superhero “Birdman” for more than two decades, is the focus of Birdman’s story.
Now in his forties, he’s making his Broadway directorial debut with a play based on a Raymond Carver novel, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”
With the help of his assistant and daughter Sam, as well as his producer Jake, he will do the show previews.
It doesn’t matter how much talent Mike Shiner has; the internal conflicts between cast members, the incessant demands of the media to see him as a hero, and the unexpected voices of his former character-the Birdman-all conspire to keep him from being sane until the show’s first performance.
One of the film’s central themes is a character’s investigation of one’s own self after a lifetime of pretending to be another.
To get the most out of this film, you’ll need to watch it numerous times.
7. The Conversation (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola directed The Conversation, a mystery thriller. In it, Harrison Ford and Gene Hackman are the main characters.
It revolves around Harry Caul, a surveillance expert who has the power to bug people from any location at any time.
For him, it is more than just a job; it is his entire existence. One day, he spots a young couple in a San Francisco park and captures their conversation on camera. As soon as he’s able to piece together the complete chat, he rapidly realizes that something is amiss in this couple’s talk. Caul is racing against the clock to find out who is behind this murder plot before the pair is assassinated by someone who wants them dead. His friendship with fellow investigators deteriorates as he gets closer to the truth, and he becomes increasingly paranoid.
He has a hard time telling the difference between what is genuine and what isn’t. ‘
The Conversation illustrates how a person’s mental condition can be adversely affected by loneliness to the point where he begins to fear the outside world and develops paranoid thoughts.
6. Moon (2009)
Duncan Jones directed the sci-fi film Moon. The protagonist is Sam Rockwell.
An astronaut named Sam Bell is reaching the end of his three-year contract to mine the moon’s far side for Helium-3, a key energy source.
In the weeks leading up to his expected return home, solitude begins to take an unpleasant toll on his mind due to the fact that his only means of communication with the outside world are pre-recorded messages and GERTY, a computer (voiced by Kevin Spacey).
His objective is revealed as a terrifying reality as this occurrence sets in motion a chain reaction.
Loneliness is a theme that is explored in a literal sense in this film, as well. It demonstrates how isolation affects a person’s mental health.
5. 127 Hours (2010)
Based on the life of Aron Ralston, 127 tells the story of a real-life occurrence. Boyle’s film stars James Franco as the protagonist.
The film is based on a true tale of a mountain climber called Aron Ralston who is trapped in a remote Utah canyon after a rock breaks his arm.
Ralston assesses his life and survives the elements for five days before realizing that he has the courage and resources to save himself from the elements. A 65-foot wall and an eight-mile walk are required before he can be saved. As Ralston made his way over the rugged terrain, he recalled his acquaintances, lovers, family members, and the two hikers he met before his accident.
The fact that this film is based on true events heightens the drama. One can clearly observe the effects of loneliness and multiple physical and emotional injuries on this person.
The movie is well-made and worth seeing if you’re feeling isolated. Your outlook on life will be forever altered.
4. Three Colors: Blue (1994)
Blue is one of three films in the Three Colors: Blue trilogy. Krzysztof Kieslowski, a well-known French filmmaker, is the director of this film. The film has been nominated for numerous awards.
“Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” is the first film in Kieslowski’s trilogy about France’s motto.
We follow Julie, an accomplished composer, who loses her husband and her young daughter due to a vehicle accident.
Julie’s attempt to start life over, free of personal obligations, belongings, sadness, or love, embodies the film’s subject of liberation.
She plans to numb herself by isolating herself from society and living fully independently, anonymously, and in solitude in Paris.
People from her past and present lives interfere with their wants, despite her best intentions.
However, a surprise discovery was made by the reality generated by those that care for her.
Three Colors: Blue is a beautiful tale of self-discovery and setting yourself free from the burden of the world.
3. Wild Strawberries (1957)
Wild Strawberries is a Swedish film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Many moviegoers see it as a classic.
An elderly guy is the protagonist of this film, who is forced to reflect on his lonely lifestyle as a result of the road journey.
Dr. Isak Borg, a respected physician and researcher, is the focus of the film’s plot. He is 78 years old. He’s become cold, distant, and uninterested in anything. Honorary degrees are being bestowed on him by a university for his life’s effort.
While travelling with his daughter-in-law Marianne, who is currently split from his son Ewald, he found himself reminiscing about his past, particularly his 20s. He’s also begun having nightmares that serve as a reminder of his transformation and what lies ahead.
It’s worth seeing if you haven’t already, and you won’t regret it
.2. Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Kenneth Lonergan is the man behind the camera and the pen behind the script for the film Manchester by the Sea. Among the film’s many notable actors are Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, and Lucas Hedges.
Grief and how it affects a person’s sense of isolation are examined in Manchester by the Sea.
It centers on Lee Chandler, a mopey and depressed handyman with little empathy for others and a stoic demeanor.
Joe, Lee’s older brother, died of a heart attack at the age of 57. Afterwards, Lee is revealed to be Patrick’s sole guardian by his uncle.
Lee must confront his turbulent past, which has kept him apart from his wife, Randi, and from the place where he grew up, while he and Patrick get used to their new way of life.
Manchester by the Sea offers a fresh perspective on the subject of loneliness. The film’s stunning cinematography adds to the enjoyment.
The story moves along at a reasonable pace, which adds to the realism of the film. It’s going to be a blast to see.
1. The Shining (1980)
Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, The Shining is a psychological horror film. Stanley Kubrick directed it. Jack Torrance, an author, interviews for a job as a winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, an isolated, old, large, and beautiful establishment.
Along for the ride are Jack’s wife Wendy and son Danny. Apparently, Danny has a special power called “The Shining.” Hallorann, the hotel cook, tells Danny about the Overlook and the dreadful Room 237 on their first day there. During the course of the week, Danny begins to experience visions, while Jack degenerates into insanity.
Danny and Wendy begin to worry that Jack is up to something sinister as his demeanor deteriorates. We observe Jack’s deterioration towards lunacy as he isolates himself from the rest of the world. It is one of the best psychological horror films.