It should not be a surprise that I’m an Anglophile, seeing how many British-related stuff I put on this blog Well, since my good friend Becky (aka Prairegirl) is visiting London in a few weeks, I thought I’d feature one of my all time favorite cities for my Traveling Through Cinema series. Yes, I kind of drop the ball with this series as my first one set in Bruges was back in January, but I’m going to try to do this once a month.
One of the reasons for Becky’s visit is to go see Harold Pinter’s theatrical play Old Times at the Harold Pinter Theater starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Rufus Sewell and Lia Williams. Yes I know, lucky girl!! I mean she’ll get to see Rufus LIVE in person on stage!
I wish I could go along with her to London, but for now I’d have to live vicariously through her.
By the way, I’m excluding the London tube scenes as I’ve already made a post specifically on that in London Tube and the Movies post.
So with that in mind, here are some of my favorite London scenery from contemporary films (90s and beyond):
28 Days Later (2002)
I found a great blog post describing the scene above so perfectly…
The setting of the film is … 28 days after a devastating plague swept through England. Jim (Cillian Murphy) is a London courier who was previously struck by a car on his route and plunged into a deep coma before the world came crumbling down around him. The world he awakens to is vacant madness, as the hospital he finds himself in is trashed and abandoned. He cries out for anyone still around. He’s weak and disoriented and hasn’t eaten for quite a while. Some sugary sodas give him some strength as he leaves the hospital, only to find more emptiness. London has been abandoned completely, with not a soul in sight. His cries go unanswered as debris gives him a hint as to what has happened. Missing people. Vigils for those departed. Old newspapers telling of a mysterious infestation.
An Education (2009)
Batman Begins (2005)
Alfred Pennyworth: Took quite a fall, didn’t we, Master Bruce?
Thomas Wayne: And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Bridget Jones Diary (2001)
Bridget: I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it. Well, I meant it, but I was so stupid that I didn’t mean what I meant… After all, it’s only a diary. Everyone knows diaries are just… full of crap.
Mark Darcy: Yes, I know that. I was just buying you a new one.
Bridget: Wait a minute… nice boys don’t kiss like that.
Mark Darcy: Oh, yes, they f***ing do.
Children of Men (2006)
The explosion scene as the film’s protagonist Theo (Clive Owen) exits a cafe is one of the most harrowing and memorable opening sequence I’ve ever seen. I could even hear the ringing sound after the explosion happen on screen, which I heard is a deliberate effect the filmmaker did to give the effect of what a loud explosion may do to your ears.
Finding Neverland (2004)
There are too many great London scenes in this franchise that I have to break them down to several collages.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and Harry fled a wedding after learning that the Death Eaters were coming for them, and ended up in Piccadilly Circus.
“The police are continuing with the investigation into the cause of the Millennium Bridge disaster. River traffic has been halted as police search for survivors. The surrounding area remains closed. The Mayor has urged Londoners to remain calm…“
— A Muggle radio broadcast
Love, Actually (2003)
Notting Hill (1999)
Nowhere Boy (2009)
John: Why couldn’t God make me Elvis?
Julia: ‘Cause he was saving you for John Lennon!
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
I love the art direction of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. The Oscar nomination for this category is absolutely well deserved. I love how the CGI somehow still look and feel organic, and it captured the gritty atmosphere of the time and place. The incomplete Tower Bridge looked spectacular in the finale battle between Holmes and his nemesis Lord Henry Blackwood. This article by setdecorators.org says Ritchie brought a new, energetic perspective to the enduring adventures of Sherlock Holmes, “While our story is rooted in London of the 1890s, we have tried to make it as contemporary as we possibly can,” Ritchie said.
The King’s Speech (2010)
Lionel Logue: What was your earliest memory?
King George VI: I’m not… -here to discuss… -personal matters.
Lionel Logue: Why are you here then?
King George VI: Because I bloody well stammer!
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Control: All I want from you is one codename: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier…
George Smiley: …Spy.
X-Men First Class (2011)
Erik Lehnsherr: After tomorrow, they are gonna turn on us. But you are blinded because you believe they are all like Moira.
Charles Xavier: And you believe they are all like Shaw. Listen to me very carefully, my friend: killing Shaw will not bring you peace.
Erik Lehnsherr: Peace was never an option.
V for Vendetta (2005)
Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot…
The Young Victoria (2009)
Now, this movie has not been released yet but based on the trailer, looks like All Things To All Men would have a TON of great London scenes (and gorgeous Brits), especially the ones in the London Eye! I’m a bit obsessed with that Ferris Wheel, if I lived in London I probably would go on there every weekend, ahah.
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Well, hope you enjoy my favorite London scenery in the movies. Certainly it’s not a comprehensive list by any means, so please feel free to add YOUR own favorite in the comments.