Eight Movies That Inspire Travel
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Tags: A Good year Amelie Eat Pray Love Lost In Translation Movies that inspire travel Paris Je t'aime The Beach The Lover The Tourist
Has this happened to you? You’ve just watched a movie, the popcorn is gone and the theatre is emptying out, and there you sit watching the credits roll by, waiting to find out where it was filmed. I imagine everyone’s done it at least once in their life, and we are no different. After all, it was the “movies” that originally inspired us to explore, long before we could afford to travel, and they continue to motivate us today, though sometimes for different reasons. Without a doubt everyone has their own favourite inspirational film, so it’s impossible to put together a list that will satisfy all, but these are eight films that encouraged us to “get off the couch and go!”
I don’t know how many people have actually seen this film by French Director Jean Jacques Annaud. It was superbly filmed by cinematographer Robert Fraisse in Vietnam in the early 1990′s. Visually stunning and very sensual, it’s set in 1929 French Indochina and tells the story of a French teenage girl who embarks on a forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man. It stars Jane March and Tony Leung Ka Fai and is based on a novel by Marguerite Duras. Experience the beauty of Vietnam.
Paris, Je T’aime is about exploring love in Paris. The film achieves this through a series of short, 5 minute vignettes that are woven together into a single narrative. Each segment begins with the last shot of the previous mini-story, providing some form of continuity. The cast is composed of an amazing ensemble of international stars, and segments are directed by some of the ” best” in the business including the Coen Bros, Alexander Payne, Gus Van Sant and Alfonso Cuaron. The real star is Paris.
A high powered London stock broker whose once favourite uncle passes away, leaves him a Chateau and vineyard in France. He arrives and quickly prepares to sell the property. But memories of his childhood growing up at the Chateau resurface, and he starts to fall in love. Not only with the vineyard and the French countryside, but also with his childhood sweetheart, Fanny Chenal. The message is “slow down and enjoy life”….. particularly if you own a French vineyard. Filmed in Vaucluse, France. To be enjoyed with a glass of Bordeaux.
The movie that drove us to Thailand. A young Leonardo Dicaprio plays Richard who travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map that leads to a solitary beach paradise where he discovers the creation of a utopian society. But is it utopian ? Based on the popular novel by Alex Garland, the movie doesn’t capture the feeling of the book but it is beautifully filmed on Krabi, Phi Phi Island and Phuket. Directed by Danny Boyle, the movie also stars Virginie Ledoyen and Tilda Swinton. The Beach was panned by critics but……see it anyway.
This movie focuses on the relationship between two lonely American travellers, Charlotte and Bob, who meet while staying at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo. In spite of their age differences, they form an unlikely bond and set out to explore Tokyo together. The result is an intimate movie that is both funny and touching at the same time. Bill Murray and a young Scarlett Johansson do a bang up acting job but it is the direction of Sofia Coppola that makes this the perfect travel film by combining the vibrancy of Tokyo and the exploration of Japanese culture with a unique love story.
Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paris and Venice. Enough said? Perhaps not because this highly anticipated movie was a bit of a flop with the critics. The story reads like one of those old “who-done-it’s” of the 50′s, and revolves around Frank, an American tourist, visiting Italy to mend a broken heart where he meets a very glamorous Angelina Jolie….. I mean Elise. It’s light fun with a few twists, but the sights and sounds of Paris, and particularly Venice steal the show. The film also stars Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton . The Tourist makes you want to get online and book a room at the Hotel Danieli right now.
Based on the hit novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love, follows one woman’s search for…. just about everything as she travels to Italy, India and finally Indonesia. The story goes like this – married woman realizes how unhappy she is and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a messy divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to “find herself” and , as it turns out, Javier Bardem. I have to admit, I am NOT a Julia Roberts fan, but I sat through the film to see glimpses of Bali, Delhi, Naples and Rome. Nice travelogue, but as Peter Travers says…..the movie left me with the feeling of being trapped with a person of privilege who won’t stop with the whine whine whine.
The film that made Audrey Tautou a star. Amelie is tale of an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, who decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love. It’s a film that elevates the idea of romantic comedy to new heights, while at the same time offering a special walking tour of some of the wonderful arrondissements of Paris, including such highlights as the Gare Du Nord, Montmartre and Canal St. martin. Yes it’s a comedy but it’s also a heart warming and uplifting story set in a very romantic city. We watched this movie in French with english subtitles. It took a few minutes to get adjusted, but actually made the experience more enjoyable.
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