Who doesn’t love movies? Who doesn’t love holidaying? Most of all, who doesn’t love both?! Here is a list of ten films, technically twelve films, that you should watch the next time you’re on holiday, or if you want to pretend that you’re on one at the minute.
Whether they’re set in gorgeous, sun drenched locations, like the stunning Call Me By Your Name, or they simply have the feel of escapism to them, like Russian Ark, here are ten great movies that you should watch on vacation.
1. Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino 2017)
Luca Guadagnino’s gorgeous coming-of-age romance can be described in so many ways, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick to calling it a modern masterpiece for the romance genre. It holds within many of the most beautiful, most memorable images to ever be put to screen, thanks to Guadagnino’s very careful, extremely passionate direction, and when you place these breathtaking images alongside the most beautiful and heartbreaking romance story to come out of cinema for years, it is almost impossible not to be swept off of your feet by this tantalisingly gorgeous romantic drama.
Featuring within numerous stunning pieces of music, from the wonderfully extravagant Love My Way by the Psychedelic Furs to some incredibly touching pieces by Andre Laplante to the three achingly beautiful Sufjan Stevens tracks made specially for the film, it’s also impossible not to be swept up in the wonderful sound of the film, even if at some points all you can hear is the gentle breeze, trickling water or quiet breathing. The performances across the board are also just so believable and so true to life, particularly from Chalamet, who gives one of the most heartbreaking performances in recent memory.
To put it simply, Call Me By Your Name is a sobering yet simultaneously incredibly relaxing and visually stunning portrayal of a hidden romance, featuring many of the most beautiful moments and scenes to hit the screen in decades. It’s a perfect holiday movie, it’s enchanting, it’s poignant, it’s beautiful and it is piercingly emotional, with a brilliant bittersweet sting.
2. The Before Trilogy (Richard Linklater, 1995-2013)
One of these films just had to be on this list, so why not just cut out the difficulty of having to choose a favourite and include them all? From the beautiful introduction to Celine and Jesse in Before Sunrise, which chronicles their meeting and their one night shared in Vienna to their far more grounded, but still beautifully romantic time together in Before Midnight, this great American trilogy is one of the most beloved trilogies ever made. With Linklater behind the camera for each one, and nine years between each film adds a stunning reality to it.
And the entire trilogy is so simplistic, too. It’s just so relaxing, seeing these characters we come to know and love as they explore these beautiful places as well as their own relationship, with each film bringing new light to the situation.
Linklater shows and doesn’t tell, despite the fact that the entire trilogy is filled with almost constant dialogue, and the best part of all is that it’s a trilogy with no weak link. If anything, the films have only grown better with time, and seeing the three together is a beautiful experience worth cherishing.
3. Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002)
Apichatpong Weerasethakul is one of the best, most immersive filmmakers working currently, with his films creating such fascinating worlds and gradually sucking you in through the use of long takes, diegetic sound and slower pacing than most contemporary films. Blissfully Yours captures this style particularly well, taking its time to develop the characters and their situations before it turns into a whole other film halfway through, marked by the opening credits which appear forty five minutes into the film.
It’s just a stunning film, so immersive and so relaxing, even frequently comic in its honest nature. This isn’t one for all film fans, but for those who enjoy slower films, this is a must. It’s one of the most redeeming films to come from foreign cinema so far this century.
4. A Day In The Country (Jean Renoir, 1936)
Jean Renoir’s 1936 film, A Day In The Country, was never finished. It sits at just 40 minutes in length, and yet somehow it remains one of the greatest films ever made. Renoir is a master, undeniably, however A Day In The Country is one of his finest, if not the very finest, of his works, with so much charm to the romantic melodrama held within. It’s as if everything contained in the film’s brief runtime is intended to charm, with even the performances and the locations being just lovely.
The cinematography is some of the most beautiful black and white cinematography ever, and even if the film was never finished, every second is just so incredibly enjoyable that it is impossible not to fall in love with the film.
It’s a perfect holiday watch, even being surprisingly brief so as not to get in the way of all of the various adventures you should be getting up to whilst exploring the wonderful places in the world. If ever you need a rest on holiday, this is the film to see. It’s the cinematic equivalent of sitting in the sun, sharing great food as the breeze runs through your hair.
5. A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino, 2015)
Sorry to feature the same director twice in the same list, but choosing between Call Me By Your Name and A Bigger Splash was almost impossible. A Bigger Splash, Luca Guadagnino’s second feature film, has one of the finest casts placed together in any film this decade.
Ralph Fiennes even gives one of his greatest performances, Swinton transforms into her quiet (borderline mute) singer (She probably has an even more impressive transformation in Suspiria, however, maybe that’s not the nicest film to see on holiday…) and Dakota Johnson is just so excellent as a strange, seductive, secretive young woman who seems to have almost come from nowhere.
As if the stellar cast wasn’t enough, the script is excellent too. Whether it be the scene in which Fiennes’ character discusses his memory of working on Emotional Rescue with The Rolling Stones, in which he discusses how hitting a bin was the ingredient to give the song the life it was lacking, before erupting into dance as the camera elegantly follows, almost caressing against him, or the insane swimming pool scene which simply can’t be spoiled for anyone who hasn’t yet seen the film, this film is an amazing feat, helped along by terrific performances, a witty script, beautiful cinematography and Guadagnino’s great direction. It may lack in style a little, but who needs style when you’ve got damn impressive craft on show?