Extreme Themes from the Best Films of 2013

Astrology is a wonderful way of seeing trends and so are movies. What they share in common is a road map of the purpose, values and intentions that are presented in life, but are often hidden behind the drama of the story. Neptune rules film and our collective spirit; movies that are popular resonate to the heart and spirit of the collective. There is a theme to this year’s Oscar picks for best picture and it has to do with exploring the extremes of our lives. Extremes need special circumstances or a lack of values to manifest. Don’t forget to examine your own life and see where you are living on the edge. There is nothing wrong with pushing the boundaries, just make sure you don’t forget your values when you do. They’re our inner barometer of what’s right and wrong.

Twelve Years A Slave takes us back to man’s addiction to power over others and how the ego can justify cruelty by creating a society with a value system that supports it. In this movie we see Southern Plantation owners and their ability to treat others as inhuman.Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o give award-winning performances.

Extremes Social Hierarchy: When a society believes that one person is better than another, then one’s negative ego can emerge. Within many of us is a seed of darkness that just needs permission to show its face.

The Wolf of Wall Street gives us a view of greed and how it can destroy decency. The setting is Wall Street where money trumps values, because it can. Leonardo DiCaprioplays the life of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker; we see his continuous rise and fall and the loss of all things decent in his life. The lack of values always leads to destruction.

Extreme Wealth: When you can buy your way through life, you don’t learn consequences and sooner or later you self-destruct.

The Dallas Buyers Club explores the early years of Aids. In this film Matthew McConaughey plays a man with HIV who is given 30 days to live. He crosses the border into Mexico to find alternative ways to staying alive. In this film, we see how too many rigid and inflexible rules can be just as destructive as not having any.

Extreme Rules: When rules forget the reason why they exist, then they can do more harm than good.

Blue Jasmine is the story of a socialite, played by Cate Blanchett, whose sense of reality was based on her husband’s bank account – which suddenly no longer exists. She moves in with her struggling sister, played by Sally Hawkins, but is unable to accept her new life. It is her sister who has meaning and finds love; Cate has nothing to cling to except her delusional mind.

Extreme Illusion:  In this movie we watch the disintegration of a personality that was built around a sense of superiority based on wealth. Remove extreme wealth and the daily struggles of life return.    

Philomena exposes the cruelty of extreme judgment that is often hidden behind the façade of  “goodness.” In this film the Catholic Church punishes unwed mothers by selling their children to wealthy Catholic families. Based on a true story, Philomena, played brilliantly by Judi Dench, suffers her entire life from the loss of her son, yet manages to maintain her faith and values in spite of her experience. Her spirit uplifts the movie and brings a powerful message to all who see it.

Extreme Judgment: When one feels they are “right” and refuse any other possibility then they will create their own crisis and unhappiness.

Faith: Faith is absolute, and that in itself is an extreme, because it demands that one rise above and beyond reality to keep love living in one’s heart. This is how miracles occur.

Gravity takes us out of this world and into the universe with Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone and George Clooney as Matt Kowalski, a colleague in space. Communication with mission control is lost and Dr. Stone is forced to struggle for survival, but to do that she needs the will to live. The loss of her daughter has never been dealt with emotionally and now she must face all her feelings. Being close to death can often give one a renewed sense of life.

Extreme Physical Environment: When you choose to live in a dangerous place anything can happen. Death is the ultimate extreme and when you face it all your other fears are diminished.

 American Hustle takes us into the lives of characters that have lost their sense of self by pretending to be someone they are not – all for the purpose of the scam. Christian Bale and Amy Adams play characters that have thrown away their moral compass and get their excitement from their ability to create illusions that are guaranteed to deceive others with a greedy heart.

Extreme Role Playing:  Actors do this all the time for entertainment purposes.  Remove the moral Geiger counter from a person’s soul and they’ll eventually self- destruct.

In NebraskaBruce Dern plays Woody Grant, a man who has drifted through life, never really embracing it, but rather escaping through alcohol. Will Forte plays his son David, who makes a decision to take a pointless journey with his father who falsely believes he has won a million dollars in Nebraska. A life without meaning, desires and values led him to drink. At the end, a positive desire does emerge and it is the source of father and son uniting and experiencing intimacy for the first time.

Extreme Lack of PurposeWhen you live without meaning you live in extreme emptiness and then you must fill it with something – often negative choices.

Her takes us to another extreme – the digital age. Theodore, played by Joaquin Phoenixa lonely introverted man, falls in love with the voice in his OS (operating system) played by Scarlett Johansson. Here we see a man “imitating” life and not really living it. At first his experience with his OS gives him more than any human can, she is totally present, supportive and interactive. In the end his journey into fantasy leaves him more present in his life.

Extreme Fantasy: When reality is removed from one’s thought process then it’s only a matter of time before “the fall.”

Negative extremes are created by a lack of values or reality. Sure, there is a thrill to living on the edge, going into space, manipulating the ignorance of others so that you feel powerful, but it has consequences. What many don’t realize is that facing yourself, your fears of inadequacy, your sense of hopelessness can also be thrilling once you realize that so much of who you are was created by the opinion and judgment of others – especially your parents. Astrology takes us on a journey from Aries to Pisces, and as we learn skills and gain wisdom so that we can become the masters of our universe. Too many of us get stuck along the way because we don’t know what to do or how to fix what’s not working. The key to learning about yourself is to do for others. Help someone else overcome their fears and you will find meaning in what you do. Then satisfaction will live in your heart and increase your self-worth. Something money can never buy.