For some of us mere mortals movies are the only get way to exotic places we have only heard or seen YouTube videos of but never had the good fortune of visiting those places for vacation or work. Cinema has that magic to transport us into those places in an instant and almost convince us to belief that we are actually walking down the streets of Paris or eating genuine Italian pizzas for the first time in our lives. Movies shape our way of thinking and make us associate certain clichés with a particular place like the Italians use too much of their hands while talking or that men in Paris are more stylish than most women out there. For some time the idea of visiting your favourite places through movies works great but you get frustrated after watching too many movies as the feeling that you may never ever get the chance of visiting those places in real life creeps in.
That’s a topic meant for a different website but here at Cinemaholic let’s stick to the movies. Just assume that by a wonderful twist of turns you got an opportunity to go on a trip to Europe. Happy? Alright then you need to do a thorough research as to which countries you want to visit and how to make the most out of your once in a lifetime trip. The answer is simple. Watch a couple of movies set or based in European cities and make a note of important tips and notable landmarks while doing so. If you are confused as to how to zero in on the movies that might be helpful for your trip then don’t worry, we have you covered. The list below features ten beautifully shot movies set in and around Europe which will give you an idea regarding some of the best preferred European destinations and why they are so to begin with.
10. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Iceland)
A negative assets manager at LIFE magazine gets an opportunity to go on an adventure trip of a lifetime when an unfortunate situation shows up and needed to be attended to immediately. And the mission requires him to go to Iceland to find a person in order to secure his position at the publication as they going online very soon. The moment Ben stiller lands in Iceland your eyes will get bigger and your jaws will drop. Yes Iceland is so breathtaking that you will almost wonder why Hollywood doesn’t shoot their films more often in that country. The film is not perfect but the views definitely are.
9. Roman Holiday (Italy)
Audrey Hepburn’s big ticket to super stardom ‘Roman Holiday’ is an endearing film in every manner possible. There is something about black and white images that add a layer of deep rootedness to its being and that is where the charm of the film lies. Hepburn who plays a European princess in the film strolls around the narrow lanes of Rome exuding her signature charm and runs away from the paparazzi driving one of those old scooters with Gregory Peck in the pillion seat. The film showcases the beauty of Rome in all its splendour; be it the palaces, flower shops, ancient bridges or the historical buildings. You get a tour of European luxury and daily life while sitting in your bedroom or inside a movie theater.
8. Leap Year (Ireland)
It’s a sweet love story set in the backdrop of rural Ireland. Dilapidated castles, railway stations that looks straight out of a fairy tale, cozy pubs and river side homes shown in the film makes you want to book a ticket to Ireland right now. Amy Adams and Matthew Goode add bundles of beauty and charm to the already photogenic movie.
7. Copenhagen (Denmark)
It is one of those feel good movies that reminds you of the good life in a European city. Boy meets girl and things only get better from that point onwards. It is impossible not to fall in love in a sun kissed European city – in this case it is the picturesque city of Copenhagen in Denmark. Spending leisurely evenings drinking coffee and just watch people passing by at open cafes, a trip to the museum and cycle rides with your friends are just a few things you can do when you are in Denmark.
6. Midnight in Paris (France)
France (Paris to be more precise) has always been the number one vacation destination in Europe. Its unique blend of history, modernism and cosmopolitan elements make it such a hearty place to spend some time in. If you are one of those skeptics who haven’t yet bought the charm of France then you need to see Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ – a cinematic tribute to the most romantic city in the world. Jazz, literature, art and fashion are the heartbeats of Paris and if you are not yet charmed then probably you are a person with no taste in the finer things of life.
5. Local Hero (Scotland)
Let’s just simply say that ‘Local Hero’ will make you fall in love with Scotland all over again. We have seen so many films and TV shows shot in and around Scotland but this one takes the cake. It makes Scotland one of the characters in the film; a place that has a voice, desire and journey of its own. If you can’t afford to buy a plane ticket to the famed Isles then watching this film will suffice, for now.
4. The Sound of Music (Austria)
The heavenly sight of Maria von Trapp (Julie Andrews) waltzing on the foothills of Salzburg has been etched in our memory forever, thanks to the evergreen musical ‘Sound of Music’. The film has forced us to associate Europe with a particular image – countryside by the hills, antique churches, riverside mansions etc. If Paris is the capital of romance then Austria is the cultural capital of the world. If you are the museum hopping type then it is the ideal place for you to visit once in your life.
3. Before Sunrise (Austria)
Okay so Austria has made it to the list once again, this time with focus on Vienna. Two young wanderers made an impromptu decision to spend some time in Vienna and explore what the city has to offer. It doesn’t take them long to recognize the antique charm of the city which is also as vibrant as any modern city in the world. The most striking part of the film is the way it shows the night life of Vienna which is quiet but happening and ideal for budding lovers to just stroll about.
2. The Girl on the Bridge (Turkey)
It is a tale of luck, destiny, muse and romance that is set in three European countries – France, Italy and Turkey (a country in Eurasia). This film is shot in black and white which adds to its depth and highlights the imagist metaphors. The passionate chemistry between the lead actors also amplifies the beauty of the places they visit in a bid to find the meaning of their lives. Let’s not go all philosophical here and stick o the point of travelling to Europe.
1. Dr Zhivago (Russia)
The snow capped valleys of Russia has a certain melancholy attached to them. No wonder Dr. Zhivago is one of the most poignantly romantic films of all time. The love story shown in the film is so timeless and the cinematography so grand that it’s almost poetic in a way. Russia has always been a kind of mystery for most of us accustomed to watching Hollywood films. May it’s because the Americans portray it in such a light or may be only a true Russian can explain it to us. I’ll go with the latter.