Did you end up in Europe this year? Maybe you didn't and want to be transported. Perhaps you did, but that feeling is fading. These 10 movies will do the trick.
Our motto of this week is that, though our bodies may be staying home, our minds still need to travel. And what better way than revisiting our ultimate European summers on screen? Open up your windows to let the breeze in. Pour yourself an aperitif and let your imagination run free. It’s all a matter of perspective.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Peak Jude Law. Need we say more? But like many films on this list, The Talented Mr Ripley is pleasing to the eye from every angle. 50s jet set costumes on Law and a young Gwyneth Paltrow. Lush interiors. A backdrop of Positano and Rome. The plot is dark but the rest is pure sunshine.
La Piscine (1969)
We could never look past La Piscine. Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, Jane Birkin. The picturesque French Riviera as backdrop to a story of lust and violence (we’re seeing a pattern). No film captures sun drenched days quite like this one. Beginning as a languid summer, only to be disturbed by visitors, La Piscine might actually make you appreciate isolation.
Croatia's Dalmatian coastline resembles not the summer destination it's renown for, but something alien and barren. Martin Scorsese oversaw the film as executive producer, and it won the the Caméra d’Or for Best First Film at Cannes in 2021. Meanwhile, it shares the same cinematographer (Helene Louvart) as Maggie Gyllenhaal's The Lost Daughter, which explains the pace and the tension ever lapping at our toes.
La Collectionneuse (1967)
Ever had a summer romance? La Collectionneuse is about that, kind of. Known to the Instagram generation for the most aesthetically pleasing film stills imaginable, director Eric Rohmer’s first film in colour follows young protagonist Haydée as she ah, collects men. It was the 60s. It was summer. Should we try and create her haircut at home?
Triangle of Sadness (2022)
There's nothing more humbling than watching Triangle of Sadness before a big trip. If it doesn't make you a more conscious traveller, it will bring you a laugh. The scenes of European wealth and beauty are juxtaposed with European greed and tragedy. Come for Woody Harrelson, stay for Dolly De Leon and Harris Dickinson.
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019)
This is a documentary, but in all other respects it fits the bill. Set to the rhythm of young love between poet Leonard Cohen and his longtime partner Marianne Ihlen on the Greek island of Hydra, the Super 8 footage is enough to transport you to another place. Things start out lush and get more complicated from there. Another story of summer love lost. Or is it?
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
Director Luca Guadagnino combines the sweetness of summer, artful references and sexual tension more skillfully than almost anyone. Throw in career-defining performances by Timothée Chalamet and a soundtrack that juxtaposes Sufjan Stevens and the Psychedelic Furs and you have yourself a recipe for the most heartfelt escapism.
A Bigger Splash (2016)
Another Piscine, this time on the island of Ischia, Italy. More Guadagnino. Another killer soundtrack. If you don’t want to see a modern La Piscine remake; Tilda Swinton dressed in custom Raf Simons-era Christian Dior and Ralph Fiennes dancing to the Stones, quite frankly, we don’t know what you’re doing here.
Step away from France for a moment and join us in Turkey. Paul Mescal plays a young father, Calum, who takes his 11-year-old daughter Sophie, played by Frankie Corio, away for a summer abroad. Things are sweet and tender, then taut and complicated. If only hindsight were foresight?
The Lost Daughter (2021)
How many of us have taken the novels of Elena Ferrante away with us on holiday? The author's Italy is lucid, so imagine what her rendering of Greece is like? Thankfully, we have a visual with Maggie Gyllenhaal's adaptation of the novel. There's Olivia Colman, Paul Mescal, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley and trouble in paradise. What more can a girl want?