... this fine movie year was propelled by many stern and responsible—O.K., important—American films. America is in trouble (no kidding), and many of the best movies this year, intentionally or not, embodied the national unease, the sense that everyone is on his own, that communal bonds have disappeared in a war of all against all, or the indifference of all to all. (A recent study suggests that hard-heartedness as a social sentiment goes up—not down—in periods of greater income inequality; we don’t want anyone else to get something we don’t have.) “Blue Jasmine,” “Gravity,” “All Is Lost,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Her,” “The Bling Ring,” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” are all powerful movies that touch on the national loneliness and despair. That they are also such strong movies is, at the same time, a defiance of misery.
Furthermore, we must not overlook the urgent apprehensions about the state of the American consciousness that unite and illuminate World War Z, Lee Daniel's The Butler, The Croods, This Is the End, and Pacific Rim.
|Not by Vermeer|