Gather friends, crank up the heating to replicate that searing California warmth, and make a batch of uber-healthy green juice – it’s time for an LA-themed movie night.
Inspired by the beautiful photographs illustrating Erin Spen’s tour of Los Angeles in January’s issue of The Simple Things (My City, page 68), we’ve rounded up our top ten films that best capture the City of Angels.
With Hollywood at the heart of the movie industry, films set in Los Angeles have a special appeal. And with the nominees for the 87th Academy Awards expected next week, we’re using these dark winter evenings to best effect – on the sofa watching some of our favourite flicks. No need to dim the lights.
Pretty Woman (1990)
“Big mistake... Huge” says Vivian to the snooty Rodeo Drive shop assistant. A classic line from a classic film, Julia Roberts stars as a hooker-with-a-heart alongside businessman, Richard Gere.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
The intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase are told in Tarantino’s trademark eye-popping dialogue to a classic soundtrack.
The Bling Ring (2013)
Sofia Coppolla’s most recent offering is the true story of a gang of teenage thieves targeting LA’s rich and famous to steal their clothes, shoes and jewellery.
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Robert Altman’s neo-noir tale twists and turns through the streets of Los Angeles and on the road to the Mexican border. Starring Elliott Gould as private eye, Philip Marlowe.
Loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless tells the tale of spoilt Hollywood teen, Cher Horowitz. Shallow and silly, Cher and her friends deliver on sharp lines and killer outfits.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in this twisting neo-noir by David Lynch.
Frequently featured at the top of ‘best movies of all time’ lists, Chinatown deserves its accolades. Jack Nicholson stars as a private detective hired to expose an adulterer who finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder.
Annie Hall (1977)
Straying from his beloved New York, Woody Allen’s character Alvy travels to Hollywood to try to win back his eponymous heroine. Plenty of gags poke fun at the superficial LA scene but the film showcases the city in beautiful ways.
The Graduate (1967)
Swimming pools and sunshine abound in this classic film featuring Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock seduced by the archetypal older woman, Mrs Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft.
A Single Man (2009)
Directed by Tom Ford, A Single Man is a beautiful portrait of a grieving professor in the 1960s. As you’d expect with a fashion designer for a director, every scene is like a perfume ad.
Words: Lottie Storey