Since my last post about favourite films seemed to go over well, I thought I’d follow up today with another, this time about travel films (I’ve got travel on the brain, due to an upcoming escape this weekend). When I’m longing for a holiday but stuck in the doldrums of everyday life, reading a book or watching a movie about another place is the next best thing. This sofa-travelling has been a habit of mine for years, so some of these picks go back a ways.
What fashion-obsessed 12-year-old doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn, I ask you? While Breakfast at Tiffany’s might be the most iconic of the actress’ oeuvre, it was Roman Holiday, the story of the pampered princess who escapes her palace and spends a day running around 1950′s Rome with the dashing Gregory Peck, that was my favourite. When I finally visited the Italian capital at age 16, I made it a point to seek out the spot where the two run into each other on the famous Spanish Steps.
Everyone Says I Love You
I’ve been a Woody Allen fan ever since my parents first introduced me to Manhattan Murder Mystery at the age of 11 or so. I’m also a huge musical nerd (I’d pretend to be embarrassed about it, but musical are awesome), so one of my all-time favourites of his is the often-overlooked Everyone Says I Love You. With an ensemble cast of singing stars and scenes in Venice, New York City and Paris, this is the ultimate in silly, musical escapism. Highly recommended for a girls’ night in (though perhaps spare your boyfriends, husbands, etc).
Lost in Translation
My favourites list generally leans heavily toward European travel, probably because (to my shame, and hopefully soon to be rectified), that’s mainly where I’ve traveled so far in my life. But Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film Lost in Translation is a gem; it may be set in busy, almost other-wordly Tokyo, but it’s mainly about human nature and human relationships. It’s also subtly hilarious; the ultimate culture shock film.
A Good Year
A Good Year is one of those films that gets better the more times you watch it. The first time I saw this film, which stars Russell Crowe as a Brit who inherits a vineyard in France, and Marion Cotillard as the local French waitress who steals his heart, I was underwhelmed. The second time I was bemused, and by the third time I caught it on TV one night, I was utterly charmed. I’d urge any Francophile to give it a chance.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Last but not least, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is probably my favourite of the bunch. Another Woody Allen film, I think this story, about two American friends who spend the summer in Barcelona, is the best of his recent offerings. The chemistry between Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz is smokin’ (the now-marrieds started dating shortly after filming) and the film is at various points charming, hilarious and poignant. Plus, the beautiful scenery and general ambiance remind me of my trip to Barcelona last spring, so there’s that.
So those are my picks– what are your favourite travel films?