Movies have the ability to transport you to another world. They entertain you, they educate you, and they can even inspire you. I love it when a film shows me somewhere I’d never seen before, piquing my interest in actually visiting that place someday. Awhile back I posted my list of Top 10 Travel-inspiring Movies, so I thought I’d follow it up with some movies from this year. Some of them are already available for home viewing, but a few won’t hit theaters until later this year. Have you seen any of these films?
To Rome With Love – Italy
Following Midnight in Paris (France), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Spain), and Match Point (England), Director Woody Allen continues his Grand Tour of Europe with his latest opus, To Rome With Love. Set in the Eternal City, the film features several intertwining stories: young couple on their honeymoon, an American architect reliving his youth, an average Roman who suddenly becomes the city’s biggest celebrity, and an opera director who has a talent for discovering new singers. Like all of Woody Allen’s recent films, To Rome With Love features an all-star international cast including Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, and Allen himself. [Coming to Blu-ray and DVD January 15, 2013.]
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – India
For their own disparate reasons, a motley crew of British retirees travels to India in order to live out their “golden years.” Lured to the Marigold Hotel by advertisements showcasing its luxurious accommodations and exotic locale, they discover upon arrival that it doesn’t quite live up to their expectations. However, they are transformed by their new experiences and discover that it’s never to late to live life to its fullest. The movie showcases India as a cacophony of sound and brilliant color, just like one would expect in a film that takes place in that country. Granted, I’m not in the target demographic, but I found The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to be funny and poignant. [Now available on Blu-ray and DVD.]
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – New Zealand
Providing the spectacular setting for Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, New Zealand opened the collective world’s eyes to the beauty of that country. Now, in the first of two new films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. The characters of Galdalf the Grey and Gollum (with his “precious” golden ring) are also featured. This is likely to be one of the biggest hits of the holiday season and is sure to draw countless visitors to the gorgeous island nation once again. [Opens December 14th.]
Taken 2 – Turkey
Liam Neeson reprises his role as ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills, the totally bad-ass father who used his “particular set of skills” to rescue his daughter from kidnappers in Paris in the first film. This time around Istanbul provides the backdrop for some good old-fashioned vigilante justice. I’m hoping that moviegoers are treated to all of the beauty that the city has to offer, and not just its underbelly. The original Taken was a sleeper hit and I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. [Now playing in theatres.]
Skyfall – U.K., China, Turkey
Bond, James Bond is known for traveling to exotic locales so it’s no surprise that his latest, Skyfall, will have him globetrotting from London to China to Turkey. The script has been a tightly guarded secret (for now) but according to IMDB, “Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.” Known locations include Shanghai, Istanbul, and Duntrune Castle in the Scottish Highlands. Daniel Craig returns for his third outing as Bond, Judi Dench as M, and Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes also join the franchise. [Now playing in theatres.]
Can you add to this list? What are your favorite travel-inspiring movies of 2012? Feel free to comment in the section below!
Michael Figueiredo is a freelance travel writer based in Los Angeles, California. When he’s not gallivanting around the world, he’s enjoying the laid-back lifestyle and perfect weather of Southern California. So far he’s visited forty countries and territories on five continents. His goal is to see at least one new country every year! . Read more from this author