Film has the power to transport it’s audience from the banal to the fantastic, from a normal life to one of decadence and artistry that isn’t found in our day-to-day lives. Some films, however, do it better than others. Destination Luxury has narrowed down it’s top twenty most luxurious films. And don’t worry, we don’t spoil anything too badly.
20. CLEO FROM 5 TO 7
The French New Wave film by Agnes Varda follows a young singer name Cleo as she wanders through the streets of Paris, exploring the fashion, art, and lives of 1960s France. Beautiful from start to finish this is a lesser-known film that needs to be seen.
19. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
One of the more recent films from controversial director Wood Allen, this 2011 romantic comedy lets it’s audience see the beauty of present Paris and explore the wonder of 1920s (and earlier) Paris. Artistic and beautiful with a soulful performance by Owen Wilson, this movie will sweep you away.
I swear, we’re not going to stick on this French kick too much, but luxurious is defined as “comfortable, elegant, or enjoyable,” so we have to include the 2001 comedy Amelie. Filmed in over 80 areas of Parisian beauty, this fanciful and vibrant movie is fairy tale come to life.
One of the most beloved and important films for 1950s American Cinema, this stunning and elaborate film had a budget of fifteen million dollars, or around one hundred and twenty million today, and not a penny of it was wasted with elaborate sets, costumes, and stunts that will have you on the edge of your seat.
16. THE FALL
Set in the roaring twenties in Los Angeles, this Tarsem direct film tells the story of a stuntman as he creates an elaborate and stunning narrative starring classic heroes of fantasy. Filming in over 20 countries (including India, Italy, Spain, and China) and taking over four years to complete, this film just oozes luxury in every stunning frame.
15. THE GREAT GATSBY
A tragic tale about the dangers of wealth, Baz Luhrman’s 2013 adaptation of the famous novel brought us style, flair, class and elegance out the proverbial wazoo with Leonardo Dicaprio’s suave and undeniably fun performance.
One of the most profitable films of all time, the James Cameron vehicle brought it’s audiences into a whole new, luscious, and living world. While the plot might be a bit on the simple and predictable side, the world of Pandora looks like one of the best vacation spots ever.
Winning four Academy Awards and being one of the first films to use 3D technology in a truly memorable way, Martin Scorsese’s love letter to film history and technical pioneer Georges Melies manages to make a train station into one of the most beautiful places on earth, and really remind audiences what makes movies so great.
12. THE GODFATHER
Quotable, memorable, and one of the most beloved films of all time, the Godfather shows elaborate parties and the beauty of Italian wineries juxtaposed with the brutality of the Italian mob. Open up a bottle of Coppola’s own brand of wine and enjoy.
11. MOULIN ROUGE!
Bringing director Baz Luhrmann back on this list is the 2001 musical phenomenon about the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret in, where else, France. Everything in this film is sparkling and golden and shiny and whimsical and just… Spectacular. Wild and luxurious, a perfect spot for #11.
Elizabeth Taylor brings out her best royal attitude for this 1963 adaptation of The Life and Times of Cleopatra. The highest grossing year of it’s year, the film somehow managed to still loose money in the long run. How? By being one of the most expensive films of all time!
9. CLOUD ATLAS
This more recent film by the Tom Tykwer and the Wchowski siblings is a romp through space and time itself, and while one might fear it will get a bit too Star Wars, it never stops drawing you into it’s rich and stunning worlds, be they the Pacific Islands in the Nineteen Hundreds, a future-punk version of Seoul, or the English countryside in the 1930s.
You’ve watched it, you were awed by it, you braced for impact, then you whispered how you’d never “never let go” and sob uncontrollably. James Cameron’s 1997 classic takes you away to the 1912 maiden voyage of the most famous shipwreck in history, with a love story for the ages to top it off.
7. CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
This action film from writer-director Yimou Zhang sweeps it’s audience into ancient China. The tragic tale of a family torn apart from greed and corruption, this movie features some of the most breathtaking visuals to come from Chinese cinema in recent memory, with elaborate costumes and sets that will leave you breathless.
6. MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
The story about the original blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe’s rocky relationship with Sir Laurence Olivier, this 2011 film by Simon Curtis really shows the stunning and opulent life of Hollywood starlets. Michelle Williams turns herself into the controversial figure before your very eyes.
5. ANNA KARENINA
The story of a Russian aristocrat falling in love with a Count is the stuff classic Hollywood is made out of, and none do it quite so well as the sparkling and stunning Anna Karenina. Based on the Tolstoy novel, this film manages to bring fashion, movement, and romance together in one giant package.
4. THE WIZARD OF OZ
The MGM classic has recently celebrated it’s diamond anniversary, and the beauty of this American classic has yet to wane. This movie brings out the fabulous and the fantastic with some of the most important and iconic moments in American film history, and the luxurious world of the Emerald City has yet to be replicated.
3. DANGEROUS LIAISONS
French Rococo aesthetics matched with an absolutely astounding cast (including John Malkovich and Glenn Close) creates one of the most luxurious and mesmerizing films about greed, corruption, and self-destruction ever made. Based on the play Les liasions dengereuses, this Best Picture nominee is sure to have you enjoying some 18th century beauty.
2. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
What can be said about Lawrence of Arabia that hasn’t already been said? This sprawling three-and-a-half hour epic won Best Picture for the Academy Awards, Best Film from the British Academy Film, and almost every other gold you could give a film. While the sprawling desert might make you want a glass of water, the costumes and the small bouts of beauty really make this epic a worth a watch.
1. GONE WITH THE WIND
No other film on this list could ever, ever take the top spot of this list like Gone With the Wind. A film about the antebellum south, it is stunning, romantic, luxurious, heart-wrenching, funny, and poignant. Released the same year as The Wizard of Oz, neither of these films have lost an ounce of their splendor.
Those are our top twenty most luxurious films. Think we missed any? Let us know in the comments below.