10 Beautiful Movies To Inspire Your Travels
Happy weekend! I've had a crazy week, and I'm looking forward to relaxing (or at least my idea of relaxing) a little bit over the next couple days. After that I'll be diving straight into the final stages of packing for my next trip in a week and working on finishing up some big projects right be fore I leave.
I've always been in love with storytelling in all its forms, and the visual medium of film is one that I'm particularly fond of. I love the creativity and genius that goes into representing feelings in a visual way, but I also just love a pretty, feel-good movie. Being full of wanderlust, I'm naturally inclined to films with exotic backgrounds. If you're looking for something to do or a good way to spend a night in, these films are perfect for just that.
If you know me, you know that Paris isn't one of my favorite cities. I certainly don't hate it, and there's a lot more I'd like to see, but it was never one of the top places for me. Amelie is one of the few movies about Paris (the other one is also on this list) that made me feel in love with Paris.
The split toning of the color palette, the magical music and the perfectly lovable characters all make this movie one of my all-time favorites. I always want to cuddle up with some tea and watch it when it's raining, and then I immediately want to learn French, fly over to Paris and sit in a little corner cafe while people watching.
Far From The Madding Crowd
Truthfully, I fall in love with just about any movie I see that features the English countryside in anyway. Despite my personal love affair with all things British, I find the scenery in this film particularly enchanting. The hills, the fog, the ancient forests.... it's all beautiful to me.
Even though it's a period drama, there's a lot in this film that make it worth watching even if historical settings and classic novel adaptations aren't normally your thing. The first time I saw it, I was enchanted by the cinematography and the use of light. If it doesn't make you want to spend a few days in an English manor and wake up first thing in the morning to take a walk, then maybe you're just not the anglophile I am.
Eat, Pray, Love
This seems like a pretty standard wanderlust worthy movie. Italy, Bali and India. Three incredible places traveled to by one woman looking to restart her life. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of the plot. It's all right, but the real stars are the settings. There's something so fantastic about each place, and I remember just wanting to go and live in Italy for three months (or more) after watching the first part of the film.
Midnight in Paris
Midnight in Paris is the other film about Paris that makes me feel a connection to the city. Maybe it's the theme of nostalgia and Golden Age mentality, but I also love the beautiful background that the city makes for the story. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie since I'm not normally a fan of the majority of the actors who were in it, but I loved how I felt afterwards and how much I had fallen in love with the Paris backdrop.
In a word, it's magical.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
There are a lot of amazing movies about India out there, and I love a lot, but it's the fun characters and the study of culture that makes The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel one that left me smiling at the end. A group of retired British citizen decide to move to India since it's a cheaper place to retire, but find that the lush exotic place they were expecting is far from what it used to be. It's fun to see the characters learn about starting over, even at an older age, and is a good reminder that nobody is too old for a little adventure.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Italy is one of my favorite places in the world. I've long hoped to buy a villa to fix up there, and so maybe that's why Under the Tuscan Sun is such a fun one for me. I love basically any movie I've seen that features Italian landscapes as the scenery, and the adventures and encounters that happen throughout this film make it that much more enjoyable. I read the book before I saw the film, and I like both even though there are some big differences. In the movie, a woman discovers that her spouse is cheating on her and ends up buying a home in Italy that requires a lot of renovation. A great film if you have dreams - like me - of moving abroad and fixing up an old home.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
As far as plots go, this one is more fun than deep or profound, but it's enjoyable to watch Mitty traverse around the world in order to solve an issue at work. Featuring the backdrops of Iceland, Greenland and a few other places, it'll definitely get your wanderlust going. While in Iceland we visited the cafe that they turned into a Papa John's for the movie and found that they had placed stills from that scene all along their windows. It's a good escapist movie, and I've seen it a number of times. Also, the soundtrack is probably one of the best from any travel movie ever. Just saying.
This is another French film (yes, that means subtitles) that I was first introduced to during a French and Italian Cinema class (easily the best class I ever took in college, by the way). It's the first in a trilogy where the director's entire purpose was to showcase his love of the south of France. From the ambient sounds to the harbor shots at the beginning, it's pretty clear that he loved this area. There are two versions - the original from 1931 and a really good remake - almost shot for shot- from 2013. I suggest looking at both if you really want to enjoy the beauty of the filming.
What's it about? Basically a young man, Marius, is torn between his two loves - the beautiful, sweet Fanny and his dreams of exploring the ocean as a sailor.
Another international film, this time from Italy. Il Postino (The Postman) follows the story of a mailman who learns that he will be assigned to deliver mail to none other than Pablo Neruda. He begins talking to Neruda and becomes something of his pupil in order to learn the art of love poetry in order to try and win over a local barmaid he has been admiring. The story takes place on a small, gorgeous Italian isle that will make you want to move there and meet a sweet postman as well. While the ending is a bit sad, it's very much worth watching. Plus, Italian is possibly the most beautiful sounding language in the world, so that alone should keep your attention.
In The Mood For Love
One of my favorite films of all time, the beauty of In The Mood For Love cannot be ignored. Taking place in 1960s Hong Kong, it follows the story of two neighbors who discover that their spouses are cheating with each other. As the two cope and talk about their situation with each other, they also start to fall in love, but don't want to follow the path of their spouses. It's heart wrenching, beautiful, and set against the backdrop of a busy, crazy city. It'll also leave you wanting noodles. A lot of noodles.
And the two leads? Easily two of the most beautiful people I've ever seen.
Movies are an incredible storytelling platform that have the power to inspire. These films might inspire you to travel, but many of them also have stories that can teach you a lot as well. The world is full of inspiration and learning, and hopefully these films inspire you to get out and love life a little more.
I tried not to pick "travel movies" per say, but rather movies that have left me wanting to travel or do more in the world. A lot of them aren't really about people traveling, but serve as love letters to different places in the world.
What are some of your favorite travel related movies, or just favorite movies in general?
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