For a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of adding a new, occasional feature to my little blog, all about my favourite films. While I’m not a film buff in any sense of the word, I’ve got enough favourite movies, for one reason or another, that I’d like to share them here. First up, and appropriately enough for a design blog, are films that feature beautiful houses.
When I started thinking about homes to include on this list, everything from Tara to Annie Hall’s NYC apartment came to mind, and I soon realised that if I included them all, I’d be writing a novel rather than a blog post. In the interest of brevity I’m limiting my list to five; not necessarily the best of the best, but the ones that have stuck with me through the years.
Anne of Green Gables
As a Canadian Girl, I grew up on a steady diet of Lucy Maud Montgomery, which included everything Anne. But it wasn’t the books, or even visiting the real Green Gables in person that had the biggest impact on me: it was the 1985 miniseries, which I’ve seen more times than I could possibly count. To leagues of girls in my generation, Megan Follows is Anne, just as the house used for Green Gables is her PEI home. It’s a little larger and more ornate than the real deal, but I couldn’t care less. To this day I love wrap-around porches with a passion.
Something’s Gotta Give
The Hamptons beach house in this 2003 film has been enthused over on the blogosphere so often, it’s practically a cliché (especially the kitchen– people are obsessed with the kitchen). But with good reason: this light-filled, stylish space perfectly captures Diane Keaton’s character in the film, which is one of those that I’ll always watch if I notice it’s on TV.
Under the Tuscan Sun
If unrealistic travel films are your jam (aren’t they everyone’s?) you’ll know what I’m talking about here. Bramasole, the Tuscan villa Diane Lane’s character lovingly restores in Under the Tuscan Sun, is everyone’s dream Italian escape. Huge, wisteria-covered, with frescoed walls and terraced gardens, the home oozes charm through every frame of this film (which is also a great panacea for wanderlust and broken hearts, FYI).
The Family Stone
Another Diane Keaton film (what can I say, I’m a lifelong fan and she’s worked with some seriously talented set designers), The Family Stone is one of those love-to-hate films. Whether it’s Sarah Jessica Parker’s uptight character you can’t stand, or the obnoxious family who treat her so terribly, everyone’s got feelings about this holiday movie. One thing I defy anybody to hate is the chaotic, charming family home where all the action takes place.
A Single Man
Every last frame of this 1960′s-era masterpiece oozes style, and why wouldn’t it? With Tom Ford in the director’s seat, everything from the music to the costumes and props has been tightly controlled. Colin Firth gives a subtle yet powerful performance as a recently bereaved gay man in 1962 Los Angelos, but it’s his character’s 1949, John Lautner-designed modernist house that really steals the show. I’d live here in a heartbeat.
So, those are (a few of) my favourite film houses. I’d love to know what yours are!