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10 Movies To Watch When You Feel Lost

Teo Yoo and Greta Lee look at eachother in the middle of the street holding a suitcase

When you’re feeling lost, why not turn to a movie to find some solace? Here’s a list of 10 movies to watch when you feel lost!

When you’re feeling lost, whether it is in a relationship, in your career, in your friendships (or you took a wrong turn and you’re quite literally lost), being able to connect with a piece of art that echoes how you feel can be deeply comforting. Film has a powerful way of reflecting your life back at you. Regardless of whether the characters are in fact completely different from you innately, what they’re feeling and experiencing can feel so wholly relatable. Here’s a list of 10 movies to watch when you feel lost! 

1. Lost in Translation (2003)

Director: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson looks out of the train window in the film Lost in Translation
10 Movies To Watch When You Feel Lost: Lost in Translation (Focus Features)

“You’ll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”

Sofia Coppola’s seminal work explores the intertwining lives of two Americans in Tokyo. Bill Murray plays Bob, an ageing movie star, who is in Japan filming advertisements for a whisky company. He is staying in the same hotel as Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), a young newlywed who tagged along on her photographer husband’s work trip, unsure of her own plans for the future. Both are unhappy with life, in unsatisfactory relationships and lost in this new and intense city. They find one another and understand one another. Though they feel lost in very different stages of their lives, their connection is infectious and palpable. Their relationship is tender and human and never fully delves into the romantic realm, and that is what makes the film so authentic. One to watch if you’ve moved to a new city, and feel isolated and unsure of yourself. 

2. The Worst Person in the World (2021) 

Director: Joachim Trier
Starring: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum

The Worst Person in the World: Film Review – Loud & Clear Reviews
Film Review: The Worst Person in the World stands out in the crowded coming-of-age genre thanks to a smart, sensitive script.

“I always worried something would go wrong, but the things that went wrong were never what I worried about.”

The best way to describe The Worst Person in the World is as a coming-of-age movie for people in their mid-20s. The film, an introspective and boundlessly brilliant work of cinema, follows the protagonist, Julie (Renate Reinsve), as she navigates the complexities of her love life whilst struggling to find her career path.. The film perfectly captures the turmoil and confusion that comes with being in your 20s, finishing education and becoming an adult.

Selfhood is a central focus, with Julie trying to forge her own identity, despite not being quite sure what she wants that identity to be. She starts out at medical school, then decides she wants to be a photographer, then maybe a writer. Julie is interesting and interested; she has ideas but has not quite defined her purpose yet. The film illustrates that when you’re in your 20s, you’re still young, and it’s okay to not know your purpose quite yet, and that is why it is a great film to watch when you’re feeling lost. One to watch if you’re in your 20s and are not quite sure on the direction you want to take yet. 

3. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) 

Director: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig

Ben Stiller is on a skateboard in the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, one of the movies to watch if you feel lost
10 Movies To Watch When You Feel Lost: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (20th Century)

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

Walter Mitty is such an underrated, feel good adventure that teaches you to take the leap and enjoy life in abundance. When the protagonist, Walter (Ben Stiller), an introverted and cautious man with big dreams, is about to lose his job at a famed adventure magazine, he finally takes action and makes his fantasies a reality. The film is about escaping the monotony, and taking action. When you’re feeling lost, taking risks and plunging head first into change can feel overwhelming and difficult; Walter’s story uplifts and excites, illustrating the brilliant things that can come out of just doing it. The film emphasises the fragility of life, and the loss in letting time pass you by without embracing life fully. One for when you feel lost and unconfident, and need that boost to get you out of bed in the morning!

4. Past Lives (2023) 

Director: Celine Song
Starring: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro 

Past Lives: Film Review – Loud And Clear Reviews
Celine Song announces herself as a major voice in cinema with Past Lives, her divine and complex reflection on enduring love.

“The Na Young you remember doesn’t exist here. … She’s not sitting here in front of you, but that doesn’t mean she’s not real. Twenty years ago, I left her behind with you”.

One of the best films to come out of 2023, Past Lives is a tender exploration of the idea of fragmented identity and disconnection through the immigrant experience. The film follows the relationship of two childhood friends in Seoul, Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) over the course of 24 years. They are separated in childhood as Nora’s family move to Canada, and as she grows up, she builds a life in New York. The two weave in and out of each other’s lives; after losing touch as children, Hae Sung finds her on Facebook when they are in their early 20s and they reignite their bond. However, they then grow apart once more, as Nora tries to forge an identity in New York and marries an American man who adores her, and even learns Korean so that he can understand her cultural background. 

The narrative explores the fragmentation of her character; Nora believes there is a version of her that existed in Korea, and then a version of her that exists in the present in New York. For her, Hae Sung represents her past and Korea, and that is why she struggles to let him go. Past Lives is about letting go of the past and the what ifs, and allowing yourself to live in the present without regret. One to watch if you’re feeling lost after moving to a new country, or if you’re missing an old friend.   

5. Nomadland (2020) 

Director: Chloé Zhao
Starring: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn
Full Review: Nomadland: Frances McDormand Anchors an American Odyssey for the Ages

Frances McDormand sits in a laundromat, reading, in Nomadland
10 Movies To Watch When You Feel Lost: Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

“I’ve met hundreds of people out here and I don’t ever say a final goodbye. I always just say, “I’ll see you down the road.” And I do. And whether it’s a month, or a year, or sometimes years, I see them again.”

Anything with Frances McDormand as the lead is guaranteed to be an excellent watch, and Nomadland does not stray from that truth. The film follows the recently widowed Fern (McDormand) as she swaps her house for a van and starts her life on the road as a nomad. Not much really happens, but we see her meet and bond with fellow nomads – many of whom are played by real life nomads! – who impart knowledge and tell their stories.

Nomadland is a story of disconnection and reconnection as Fern battles with grief by building a positive, quiet and fulfilling life detached from society. There is a celebration of stillness and a search for peace: the film grounds the viewer and encourages reflection. The stunning cinematography captures the beauty of America’s vast outdoor expanses, making this film a visual feast about reconnecting with the natural world. One to watch if you’re feeling lost after the death of a loved one, or looking for escapism from your 9 to 5.

6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) 

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler 

Three characters sit in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, one of the movies to watch if you feel lost
10 Movies To Watch When You Feel Lost: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl  (Searchlight Pictures)

“I just feel like, you know, for a kid like me in high school best case scenario, just survive. You know? Survive without creating any mortal enemies or hideously embarrassing yourself forever.”

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is an often overlooked coming-of-age story that explores the pressures of being a teenager in your final year of high school. The story follows Greg (Thomas Mann), an incredibly awkward high schooler who refuses to have friends to avoid any emotional turmoil. In his final few months of school, his mother pushes him to befriend her friend’s daughter, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who has recently been diagnosed with cancer.

They form a strong friendship, and she tries to impart on him the idea that he should value the life he has whilst hers is ending. In an epoch when teen cancer movies were at their peak, Me and Earl presented a different kind of story, one not of romance, but of friendship and with a focus on the impact Rachel has on Greg’s life. It is gloriously funny, and just as devastating. One to watch if you feel like you don’t fit in, and are unsure where you ‘belong’. 

7. Her (2013)

Director: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams 

Her: Film Close Analysis – Loud And Clear Reviews
Close analysis: Spike Jonze’s Her reminds us of the intricacies of humanity,in a world where the border between man and machine is indistinct.

“You know, I can feel the fear that you carry around and I wish there was something I could do to help you let go of it because if you could, I don’t think you’d feel so alone anymore” 

Her is such an excellent film because of its unique presentation of love in a futuristic world that does not seem so far away from our own. The film follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), whose job is to write personal letters for people who are unable to write emotive letters themselves. He is a sensitive, lonely individual who’s going through a divorce from his childhood sweetheart. When Theodore purchases an operating system update that provides an artificially intelligent virtual assistant, who names herself Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), they form a relationship, as she adapts and grows.

He is able to connect with her deeply, sharing his thoughts and feelings and she becomes an emotional support to him through his divorce. Her excitement for the world is infectious, and Theodore begins to view the world from her perspective, which leads him to not feel so entirely lost and alone anymore. The film partners a brilliant script with a stunning score from the band ‘Arcade Fire’, employing music as a medium for Samantha to express how she feels in certain moments. One to watch if you feel lost after a break-up, and need reminding how exciting the world can be. 

8. Sound of Metal (2019) 

Director: Darius Marder
Full Review: Sound of Metal Film Review: The Beauty of Silence

Riz Ahmed plays the drums in the film Sound of Metal, one of the movies to watch if you feel lost
10 Movies To Watch When You Feel Lost: Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)

“I wonder, uh, all these mornings you’ve been sitting in my study, sitting, have you had any moments of stillness? Because you’re right, Ruben. The world does keep moving, and it can be a damn cruel place. But for me, those moments of stillness, that place, that’s the kingdom of God.”

Sound of Metal follows a metal drummer, Ruben (Riz Ahmed), who becomes completely lost after having to give up his music career due to losing his hearing. His ideal life of living in an RV with his girlfriend (Olivia Cooke) and touring the United States playing their music together is turned upside down when he receives his diagnosis. Ruben is a recovering drug addict, and his girlfriend begins to worry that he will relapse and so calls his sponsor who finds a rural shelter for Deaf recovering addicts.

During his time there, he comes to terms with his loss of hearing, and gradually begins to find peace in the silence. Riz Ahmed is astounding as the lead, grieving the loss of his previous path and coming to terms with his sudden new reality. One to watch if you’re feeling lost due to an uncontrollable change in your life, and need reminding that things will be okay. 

9. The King of Staten Island (2020)  

Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Pete Davidson, Bill Burr, Bel Powley
Full Review: The King of Staten Island Review: Apatow returns to his comedy throne

two characters hug and cry in The King of Staten Island
10 Movies To Watch When You Feel Lost: The King of Staten Island (Universal Pictures)

“Your dad was a hero, and heroes are necessary, and they should be allowed to have families.”

The semi-autobiographical comedy drama The King of Staten Island is a much more chaotic coming-of-age in your twenties story, and it’s a Judd Apatow movie so you know its going to be good fun. The story follows 24 year old high school dropout and all round lazy individual Scott (Pete Davidson), who lives with his younger sister Claire (Maude Apatow) and mother Margie (Marisa Tomei). Like Davidson, Scott’s father was a firefighter who passed away when he was 12, and the film explores the grief of the family and the impact his death has had on them.

When Margie starts dating a firefighter named Ray (Bill Burr), whom Scott hates, his life begins to turn upside down as Ray pushes him to grow up. Gradually, Scott begins to mature, working at his father’s old fire-station with Ray, learning about his father and bonding with his mother’s new boyfriend. The film excellently portrays the impact of losing a father figure and as such finding it difficult to pave a way in life. The story is hilarious and heartwarming, as well as heartbreaking in moments. One to watch if you’re feeling lost in your 20s because you don’t feel ready to be an adult yet. 

10. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) 

Director: Gabriele Muccino
Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandiwe Newton

Will Smith and his son laugh sitting on a train in The Pursuit of Happyness
10 Movies To Watch When You Feel Lost: The Pursuit of Happyness (Columbia Pictures)

“You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”

Truly Will Smith’s greatest performance, The Pursuit of Happyness is not a film for the faint hearted. The biographical story is deeply harrowing and difficult to watch, as it follows salesman Christopher Gardner (Will Smith) and his young son, Christopher Jr (Jaden Smith), in their nearly one year of being homeless. Initially, Gardner had invested heavily in a medical device that does not end up selling well, as such he fails to make ends meet, his wife leaves him and he loses his apartment.

The film follows his struggles, as he gets an unpaid internship as a stockbroker, and consistently hides his poverty to those he is aspiring to work for. The story is raw, and Will Smith’s performance is devastating due to his relentless hope and diligence in the face of dire circumstances. One for those moments when you’re wondering if you’re doing the right thing, when you’re pursuing your dream and faced with continuous blockages.

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