The festive fun might be over but we’ve got you covered with our best escapist films to see you through the winter months.

Sorry Capricorns, January sucks. We’re worn out from Christmas and attempting to kickstart our New Year, New Me regime isn’t always conducive to the most fun-filled month – that’s before we even get onto the weather. So if the prospect of another month of dark evenings and rainy days is sending you into a tailspin, we’ve got your back. From sun-soaked vistas to scheming families and Pinterest-worthy picks, we’ve rounded up our favourite films to help you beat the blues.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) dir. Anthony Minghella

Pa Pa L’Americano! Sun, sex, scandal and young Jude Law – The Talented Mr. Ripley has it all. Taking us on a hazy journey through picture-perfect Positano, onto the island of Ischia and back to The Big Apple, this psychological thriller is the ultimate combination of intrigue and escapism. Joining Jude, a star-studded (and babyfaced) cast of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Phillip Seymour Hoffman smoulder and smize their way across the continent for 2 hours, stopping for a few tense altercations and whiskey and sodas along the way. Balancing sun-drenched vistas with suspense and linen suits aplenty, The Talented Mr. Ripley is the ultimate in escapism. And if all this wasn’t enough to pique your interest, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Italian summer wardrobe definitely should be.

Marie Antoinette (2006) dir. Sofia Coppola

There’s a reason this film has made it onto every moodboard Pinterest account in living memory (that picture of Kirsten Dunst on a MacBook in full 18th-century attire lives rent-free in our heads). For anyone looking for a factually accurate account of the French Revolution, we’d probably recommend passing, but if like us, you’re in the market for pure sugar-coated teen-queen escapism then look no further than Marie Antoinette. While we wouldn’t suggest arguing with a film bro about whether this is Sofia Coppola’s most *acclaimed* film, we’d say it’s one of her best purely for the high quota of pastel pink pastries, petticoats and pugs. Bonus points for The Strokes soundtrack and Kirsten Dunst’s ever-growing shoe collection – she’s just like us fr.

Black Orpheus (1959) dir. Marcel Camus

Black Orpheus feels like falling asleep in the sun. The fever dream that ensues is an age-old tale of love, death, and mysticism. A retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, its story is subsumed into 1950s Rio during carnival time. Tragic, yet searingly beautiful – Black Orpheus is the perfect remedy for your winter blues.

A Bigger Splash (2015) dir. Luca Guadagnino

While you’re probably familiar with Call Me By Your Name – that Stujan Stevens soundtrack really put us through the emotional wringer – A Bigger Splash is the unsung hero of Luca Guadagnino’s back catalogue. Full of drawn-out silences and lingering glances, the film dives into the world of David Hockney’s painting of the same name, spinning an intricate love triangle set to a backdrop of crashing waves and The Rolling Stones. Playing a Bowie-Esque ageing rockstar, Tilda Swinton steals the show despite saying basically nothing for 2 hours while Ralph Fiennes excels as the insufferable ‘Harry’ and Dakota Johnson channels pouty poolside glamour with remarkable effect. Sex, lies and rock ’n’ roll – what more could you need?

Notting Hill (1999) dir. Richard Curtis

We’ll be the first to admit, Richard Curtis has a lot to answer for, and while his rose-tinted portrayal of London living might be a far cry from the reality of 21st-century life in the Big Smoke, we’re happy to indulge in a touch of nostalgia. Transporting us back to a simpler time of floppy-haired booksellers and Portobello Road, this Brit classic is responsible for a whole generation of Hugh Grant fangirls and rom-com fantasists, a demographic we’re proud to be part of. Basically, a two-hour advert for 90s/early noughties London, Notting Hill is the dose of serotonin we’re looking for, and after all, happiness isn’t happiness without a violin-playing goat.

Stealing Beauty (1996) dir. Bernardo Bertolucci

Stealing Beauty is languorous, sun-soaked, and sultry. In the wake of her mother’s death, a young Liv Tyler plays ‘Lucy’, who visits family in a quaint Tuscan village to go in search of herself. A classic coming-of-age film, Lucy’s emotional landscape unfurls over the rolling hills of Tuscany. Easy on the eyes, and stirring on the heart – Stealing Beauty is a must-watch.


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