Just because we have all had to put off the possibility of travel for several months, if not longer, doesn’t mean that we can’t regularly escape to exotic destinations. Here are some gorgeous travel movies that will help to satisfy your wanderlust whilst in lockdown….
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Starring: Diane Lane, Raoul Bova, Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan
Frances Mayes is a 35-year-old San Francisco writer whose perfect life has just taken an unexpected detour. Her recent divorce has left her extremely depressed and with terminal writer's block. Her best friend, Patti, thinks that she might never recover and so she urges her to go to Tuscany, Italy for a bit of healthy distraction. It's there that, on a whim, Frances purchases a villa in sore need of restoration. As she flings herself into her new life at the villa in the lush Italian countryside, Frances makes new friends among her neighbours and discovers that, in life, there are second chances.
Into the Wild (2007)
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden
Freshly graduated from college with a promising future ahead, 22 year-old Christopher McCandless instead walks out of his privileged life and into the wild in search of adventure. What happens to him on the way transforms this young wanderer into an enduring symbol for countless people. McCandless' quest takes him from the wheat fields of South Dakota to a renegade trip down the Colorado River to the non-conformists' refuge of Slab City, California, and beyond. Along the way, he encounters a series of colourful characters at the very edges of American society who shape his understanding of life and whose lives he, in turn, changes. Based on a true story.
Vicky, Christina, Barcelona (2008)
Starring: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Patricia Clarkson, Rebecca Hall, Chris Messina
Two friends, Vicky and Christina, go on a summer holiday in Barcelona, Spain where they meet and become enamoured with a handsome painter, blissfully unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture. Vicky is straight-laced and about to be married. Cristina is a sexually adventurous free spirit. When they all become amorously entangled, both comedic and harrowing results ensue, with the city of Barcelona setting the enchanting and smoulderingly sexy scene.
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann
With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behaviour, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. “Wild” powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her.
Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
Starring: Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, B.D. Wong
“Seven Years in Tibet” tells the story of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, whose attempt to scale a Himalayan peak in 1939 is interrupted by the Second World War. After escaping from a British internment camp in India and many other adventures, he finds himself in Tibet where he befriends the Dalai Lama, gaining maturity and humility. However, turbulent times lie ahead. This movie is based on a true story.
The Beach (2000)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel York, Patcharawan Patarakijjanon, Virginie Ledoyen
An adaptation of Alex Garland's acclaimed novel, “The Beach” tells the story of an American, Richard, who is backpacking through Asia. While in Bangkok, Richard meets a mad Scotsman who gives him a crude map to a place in the Gulf of Thailand that he claims is paradise on earth: beautiful, unspoiled, and uninhabited. For lack of anything better to do, Richard and his travel companions locate the spot after a dangerous and taxing journey, discovering that a large group of fellow travellers have already dug themselves in, establishing a community with the same social evils that Richard was hoping to leave behind.
The Bucket List (2007)
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Beverly Todd
Edward Cole is a corporate billionaire who is currently sharing a hospital room with blue-collar mechanic Carter Chambers. Though initially the pair seems to have nothing in common, conversation gradually reveals that both men have a long list of goals they wish to accomplish before they kick the bucket, and an unrealized desire to discover what kind of men they really are. In order to live their lives to the absolute fullest, Edward and Carter will have to make a break for it and do their best to fit a lifetime of experiences into their last remaining days while forging an unlikely, but truly remarkable, friendship.
The Trip to Italy (2014)
Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Rosie Fellner, Claire Keelan
Michael Winterbottom's largely improvised 2010 film, “The Trip” takes comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (or semi-fictionalized versions thereof) on a restaurant tour around northern England. In this witty and incisive follow-up, Winterbottom reunites the pair for a new culinary road trip, retracing the steps of the Romantic poets' grand tour of Italy and indulging in some sparkling banter and impersonation-offs. The characters enjoy mouth-watering meals in gorgeous settings from Liguria to Capri while riffing on subjects as varied as Batman's vocal register, the artistic merits of "Jagged Little Pill," and, of course, the virtue of sequels.
The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
Starring: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston, Michelle Nolden
A Chicago librarian suffers from a rare genetic disorder that sends him hurtling through time whenever he is under extreme duress; despite the fact that he vanishes at inordinately frequent and lengthy intervals, he attempts to build a stable future with the beautiful young heiress he loves. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams star in this dramatic fantasy, which is directed by Robert Schwentke and based on the best-selling book by author Audrey Niffenegger.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris, Akiko Takeshita, Catherine Lambert
Bob Harris is a well-known American actor whose career has gone into a tailspin; needing work, he takes a very large fee to appear in a commercial for Japanese whiskey to be shot in Tokyo. Feeling no small degree of culture shock in Japan, Bob spends most of his non-working hours at his hotel, where he meets Charlotte with whom he shares much bemusement and confusion over the sights and sounds of Tokyo. ‘Lost in Translation’ is a comedy drama that tells a story of love and friendship blooming under unlikely circumstances, while also taking viewers on a whirlwind tour of contemporary Japan.
The Way (2011)
Starring: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen
“The Way” is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an irascible American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as “The Way of Saint James.” Rather than return home, Tom decides embark on the historical pilgrimage to honour his son's desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn't plan on, is the profound impact the journey will have on him.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)
Starring: Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to "outsource" their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.