Time for my annual best movies to inspire travel story. Frankly, there weren’t a lot of movies in 2013 that had a distinct sense of place. And many, like The Great Gatsby, were filmed in a location (Australia, in this case) far away from where the movie is set (Long Island, New York). But here are five that stand out for me.
1. The Book Thief. Based on Markus Zusak’s book, this movie tells the story of a young girl who escapes the horrors of WWII Germany by stealing books and sharing them with others. Locations include Berlin; Görlitz, Saxony; and Studio Babelsberg, Potsdam, Brandenburg. Read my review here.
2. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. You want travel in a movie? Check out this remake of the classic 1947 movie, based on the short story by James Thurber. Ben Stiller plays a daydreamer who escapes his mundane life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job is threatened, he takes action in the real world, embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. Locations include British Columbia, the Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland, and the Time-Life Building in Manhattan.
3. Now You See Me. This movie directed by Louis Leterrier didn’t get a lot of press, but I loved it. The story follows an FBI agent and an Interpol detective tracking a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money. Count me in! Filming locations include the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, New Orleans and Paris.
4. Beautiful Creatures. Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert star in this movie about a boy who longs to escape his small Southern town. When he meets a mysterious new girl, together they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town. Based on the book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, this movie was shot in three locations in Louisiana — Covington, St. Francisville, and New Orleans. Read my review here.
5. The Spectacular Now. This indie film stars Miles Teller as a charming high school senior with a thirst for alcohol and no plans for the future. Until, that is, he gets involved with Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley), a “nice girl” with big plans. This movie was filmed in sunny Georgia.