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  • Writer's pictureColette DeGrazia

Movies with Scenery that Inspires Travel

I could come up with many more than this list, maybe in a part II I'll include more. It seems everyone's taste in movies is very different. I hope at least one of these you'll include on your movie list you may not have heard of. Not all these movies are Oscar worthy, that's not the reason for my article, so take that under consideration please! Get the popcorn ready and get cozy for a couple hours of dreamy scenery! Midnight in Paris (Paris, France) This is high on my list of fabulous Parisian scenery. Released in 2011, directed by Woody Allen, and stars Owen Wilson. Set in Paris, the film follows a screenwriter, who confronts the shortcomings of his relationship with his materialistic fiancée and their mismatched goals, which become increasingly exaggerated as he travels back in time to the 1920's each night at midnight. Under the Tuscan Sun (Cortana, Italy) This is a 2003 romantic comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Audrey Wells and starring Diane Lane. Based on Frances Mayes' 1996 memoir of the same name. I found the book hard to get through, if I recall I didn't finish it. The film is about a recently divorced writer who buys a villa in Tuscany on a whim, hoping it will lead to a change in her life. It's an entertaining movie with a nice storyline. The Lord of the Rings (New Zealand) The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand. Filming locations spanned more than 150 locations in both the North and the South Islands. From the towering Mount Doom in Mordor, to dreamy Hobbiton, New Zealand's otherworldly landscapes brought the movies to life. This epic high fantasy novel is by the English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien. The Secret Life of Water Mitty (Iceland) Directed by Ben Stiller, this 2013 movie version was filmed in Iceland and Greenland. The scenery is breathtaking and the romantic comedy-adventure is an adaptation of James Thurber's short story where the character oversees Life magazine images. The plot is about a missing negative that leads him on a global quest to track down the photo's elusive photographer. Roma (Mexico City) This back and white film revolves around a year in the life of a middle-class family's maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s. Aside from the interesting story, this film is different. They did not shoot it on a soundstage, but right in a Mexico City neighborhood and is true to the culture and time of the film. I enjoyed it! Into the Wild (Alaska) In 1992, a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. Based on the John Krakauer complex novel, Sean Penn directs this interesting film with the raw beauty of Alaska front and center. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Iceland) Wes Anderson uses symmetrical cinematography and intricate set design for this film he directed. He ended up taking bits and pieces of places from all over the Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany to create the perfect backdrop for Zubrowka. Filmed mostly in a charming old town of Görlitz in Saxony, Germany and Zubrowka and based partially on the city of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. (See the recipe below feature in the movie-YUM!) Encounters at the End of the World (Antarctica) This documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog captures the vibe of the scientists that study these vast, isolated lands and risk their lives to study it. Anyone fascinated with this part of the world or the science around cold weather needs to see this interesting film. Aside from the scenery you might expect, they also go underwater. Some wildlife is included, but it's more about the interviews with the scientists. Ship of Fools (1965) This movie isn't about natural scenery,scenery, but it's on my list because it's on a cruise ship. This drama was Vivian Leigh's last performance in 1965. The film tells the story of a group of passengers aboard a cruise to pre-War World II Germany. It was up for best picture back then, based on the 1962 novel by Katherine Anne Porter. the ship is sailing between Veracruz Mexico and Bremerhaven, Germany. Most of the scenes take place on the First Class deck or among the upper middle-class passengers. Back in the day, ships had 3 classes of passengers. Let Them All Talk (Queen Mary 2) I was so looking forward to this movie. I thought, wow, Meryl Streep and the Queen Mary 2 on a crossing! Sadly, I found the storyline and performances underwhelming, but not the scenery! I saw it twice because I love that ship. I am bound and determined to take a crossing one of these days. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this 2020 comedy drama has a plot twist that is unexpected. Apparently, much of the dialogue is improvised and because it was filmed on the ship, they used natural light and not a lot of equipment.

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