There’s a certain touch of magic found in movies that allows us to escape from the everyday. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg summed it up best when he said: “I don’t dream at night, I dream at day. I dream all day. I’m dreaming for a living.” Providing limitless travel possibilities from the comfort of our own homes, we present a selection of our under-the-radar favourites.
20th Century Women
This film presents a series of sun-dappled vignettes of Santa Barbara life in the 1970s. It stars Annette Benning, Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig as neighbors trying to figure out their lot in life. The setting captures the beauty of The American Riviera, famous for its vintage Hollywood glamour. It also serves as the perfect backdrop for this heart-rending family drama about our sense of connection with home.
Perched high in the city’s hills is our very own Belmond El Encanto. If you’re vying for a taste of coastal beauty with a touch of emotional weight, 20th Century Women is the movie for you. The cinematic equivalent of sandy toes on a warm summer’s day.
Y Tu Mamá También
Two teenage boys and an older woman embark on an adventurous road trip across Mexico in search of the perfect beach. This film is an early work of Alfonso Cuarón, who later went on to win four Oscars and international acclaim. When it comes to movies about travel, the director has covered road trips, space exploration and the wizarding world. With this film however, Cuarón’s natural filming technique imbues a sense of wistful realism to the story. This is no mean feat with a plot involving everything from love triangles to socio-political commentary.
Just like the varied locations the characters visit on their road trip, Belmond boasts two properties in Mexico with vastly different personalities. Visit the historic Casa de Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende, or the luxurious Maroma Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya.
Despite being his first film set outside of the US, Paul Thomas Anderson perfectly captures the flair of London’s high society in this film. Set in the 1950s, we follow the story of eccentric couturier Reynolds Woodcock, played by triple Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis. The film captures the glamour and excess of Fitzrovia and the upper crust of its fashionistas. All this combines with the irresistible vintage ambiance of the 1950s. With camerawork as textured and tailored as the storyline, the film is a sartorial feast for the senses.
Just a short wander away from the film’s setting of Fitzroy Square is the Cadogan Hotel, a stylish retreat for London’s contemporary elite.
With its verdant hills and charming vineyards, Tuscany has proven irresistible to filmmakers. Stealing Beauty perfectly captures the region’s potent, dreamlike allure. A lesser-known work by Oscar-winning Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, Liv Tyler stars as American teenager Lucy. One summer, she comes of age and falls in love in the Tuscan countryside during a visit to family friends. Bertolucci celebrates the hazy, heady atmosphere of summer romance with naturalistic, on-location filming.
The cast and crew shot at Castello di Brolio, just a short drive from our very own Castello di Casole. Heart-achingly romantic and boasting gorgeous frames of sun-dappled landscape, Tuscany has never looked so beautiful.
If you journey south of Tuscany towards the Amalfi Coast, you’ll soon hit the outskirts of Naples. This is where French film star Alain Delon truly earned his title of ‘sex symbol’ as blue-eyed cad Tom Ripley in Purple Noon. Based on the famous character created by Patricia Highsmith, we find Delon in the fictional Italian town of Mongibello. The trickster journeys across the glittering Mediterranean waters and through cobbled streets lined with pastel-hued houses. This film celebrates the charming beauty of these quaint Italian fishing ports in all their glory.