12 Movies for the Lost, Confused, and Disillusioned

As I have mentioned in some of my previous posts, I have reached a point in my life where things don’t quite make sense. I recently graduated from graduate school and am feeling the pressure to start making decisions, but I’m still not sure in which direction to go. My original career plan doesn’t seem quite so right anymore. Maybe my confusion and lack of direction is all part of the spiritual awakening process, or maybe this is a phase that so many other recent college graduates face when they try to transition from the academic world to the work world. I think both explanations could be applied to my situation considering I’ve spent the past seven years in college and have undergone some significant awakenings throughout the past year.

Anyway, it’s a difficult place to be in when you feel driven to do something with your life and to help others, but you’re just not sure what it is that you should do. I am positive that so many other humans on this planet are facing or have faced the same problem. When you add other typical symptoms of a spiritual awakening into the mix, like fatigue, disconnection from the physical world, loss of passion/motivation/purpose, heightened sensitivity, loss of identity, and emotional ups and downs, it can be an extremely tough, overwhelming, and confusing place to be.

I recently watched a movie called The Giant Mechanical Man that stars two main characters who feel like lost drifters who must accept that they don’t have life all figured out, despite the fact that they’re in their thirties. I thought it was a really good movie, and it inspired me to come up with a list of movie recommendations for others who feel lost, stuck, or confused about life.

The following list of movies all center around characters who feel lost in life and dissatisfied, at times, with living an ordinary existence. If you know of any other movies with a similar theme, please mention them below so I can preview them later. Also, just a warning: A lot of the movies below are more of the slow-paced type, so if those tend to bore you, it may benefit you to skip these.

1.) Into the Wild – Based upon the true story of a young college graduate who gave away all his money and abandoned the safety and security of a conventional life in order to live a life that is more connected to nature.

2.) The Giant Mechanical Man – (Available on Netflix) A love story about two people in their thirties who are having a hard time figuring out what they want to do with their lives. My favorite quote from the movie: “I feel like modern life can be alienating, and it can be like you’re mindlessly walking through it, like a robot. And you can feel lost. I guess I just want people to know that they’re not crazy…”

3.) Ghost World – Two friends who’ve recently graduated from high school are trying to plan for the future, but one is having a harder time figuring out what exactly she should do.

4.) The Graduate – (Available on Netflix) Most people immediately think of the affair with Mrs. Robinson when you mention this classic, but it also a movie that shows the desperation and anxiety that a young man faces when he graduates from college and is bombarded with questions about what he is going to do with his life.

5.) Ruby in Paradise – (Available on youtube) This is a movie of a young woman who flees from everything that is familiar and heads to Florida without a plan. It is there that she begins to understand herself better and what she wants from life.

6.) Rid of Me – A woman rediscovers herself and what she wants after enduring a divorce from a man she desperately loved.

7.) Trees Lounge – (Available on Netflix) The main character, Tommy, has lost just about everything that was once important to him. Throughout the film, it seems like he’s just drifting.

8.) Lost in Translation – An older actor and a young college graduate are both feeling lost and disinterested in their current relationships. Their encounter in Tokyo provides them the kind of connection they’ve been craving.

9.) The Good Girl – A woman who becomes increasingly dissatisfied with her slacker, dim-witted husband and her dull job at a discount store meets a young, troubled guy who can possibly add a little excitement to her monotonous life.

10.) Office SpaceThis movie is so popular that I hesitated to share it, but the characters and the plot of this movie perfectly capture the frustrations and dissatisfaction that go along with working a mind-numbing job.

11.) Metroland – The main character suddenly reevaluates his marriage, his lifestyle, and the choices he’s made when his old friend comes back to Metroland for a visit.

12.) Blue Valentine – (Available on Netflix) A marriage goes stagnant when one partner wants to move forward and grow while the other remains directionless without a single goal, other than to try saving their failing marriage.

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9 thoughts on “12 Movies for the Lost, Confused, and Disillusioned

    • Yes, I think you’d enjoy them! I think you should definitely watch Ruby in Paradise because I believe I recall reading on your blog that you once lived in Florida. I’ve never lived there, but watching that movie reminds me of the amazing feelings I experienced when I moved alone to the coastal city where I now live. There’s nothing like the feeling of having a new fresh start in life.

      • Yes! I moved to Florida from Michigan when I was about 20. I still think living there was the best times of my life. I will have to check out the movie!

      • I moved to the coast when I was 20, as well 🙂 I fondly look back on those days because I was filled with so much hope for my future. Definitely was one of the best and most exciting times of my life so far. I bet this movie is going to make you feel really nostalgic like it did for me!

  1. In the movie “Blue Valentine”, the guy was not actually, according to me, a directionless (without a single goal) person, he just wanted to live a normal life, earn just the amount it is needed to be earned so as to live a simple life; and he was more interested in the simple pleasures of existence. The girl on the other hand wanted a promotion and was more career-oriented, and started to loath the guy when she realized he is very different from her. They were just incompatible for eachother.

    • Thanks for offering your perspective on it. I can see what you mean about him just wanting to live very simply without a lot of focus on money and careers. I saw him as someone lacking in ambition and goals, especially after observing his drinking habit. His wife, on the other hand, was a planner type who had a clearer vision of what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go career-wise. Sadly, I saw the both of them as merely existing rather than fully embracing and experiencing life.

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