Friday, May 14, 2010

Eight Films For A Rainy Weekend

It seems to have been raining here for days and it is forecast all weekend.  there is not much to do in the countryside when it's raining. Curling up on the sofa, with wine and nibbles, watching a great film is always a good option.  So I have decided start the first of my 'Eight Films For A Rainy Weekend' series.

To kick off this series I am choosing escapist films shot in Italy, I have chosen these films for the wonderful locations, strong story lines and fabulous casts.

Up At The Villa

Starring Kristen Scott Thomas, Sean Penn, Derek Jacobi, Anne Bancroft
Mary Panton (Kristin Scott Thomas), beautiful, English, and widowed too young, is visiting friends among the ex-pats in pre-war Tuscany. When an old friend, Sir Edgar Swift, arrives to propose to her, Mary is neither surprised nor displeased. Despite her lack of passion, he is elegant and she looks forward to the stability and comfort life with him in India where he is to be the Governor of Bengal. She is, however, intrigued by a newly-arrived American visitor, Rowley Flint whose dishevelled charms are seductive despite being well-practised. Will Mary follow her head or her heart?


 The Wings Of The Dove

    Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alison Elliott, Charlotte Rampling, Elizabeth  McGovern
Highly acclaimed The wings Of A dove is a provocative tale of passion, temptation, and greed. Helena Bonham Carter delivers a stunning, award-winning performance as Kate, a beautiful young society woman whose desire for a common journalist (Linus Roache) presents her with an impossible decision: leave him, or marry -- and face a life of poverty. Events take an unexpected twist, however, when Kate befriends a lonely young heiress (Alison Elliott) whose own tragic secret offers an irresistible but dangerous solution.

My House In Umbria

 Starring Maggie Smith, Ronnie Barker, Chris Cooper, Benno Fürmann, Giancarlo Giannini
Based on the acclaimed novel by William Trevor, My House in Umbria is a charming, evocative drama about a group of travelers in Italy who find solace and friendship after being thrown together by tragedy.

Tea With Mussolini

 Starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher, Lily Tomlin
Florence, Italy, on the brink of WWII: it was a time of social unrest and, of course...afternoon tea. Pre-war Florence is the place to be for any proper British woman who relishes culture and the arts. These ladies have everything they could ever want or need including a promise from dictator Mussolini himself that not even the imminent world war will impose upon their lifestyle. But when it appears that his word is not kept, and these expatriates who chose to stay in Italy instead of seeking refuge in their own country are in trouble, it takes a young outcast boy and a brazen American woman (Cher) to keep them in the high life and out of harm's way.

Stealing Beauty
Starring Jeremy Irons, Liv Tyler, Carlo Cecchi, Sinéad Cusack, Joseph Fiennes

Director Bernardo Bertolucci explores one girl's personal journey into womanhood in this romantic adventure starring Liv Tyler and Jeremy Irons.

A Room With A View

Starring Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Day-Lewis, Julian Sands, Judi Dench
Nominated for eight Oscars in 1986, including Best Picture, and winner of three (Costumes, Art Direction and Adapted Screenplay), A Room With a View is the film that defined Merchant-Ivory as the masters of the romantic period piece. A brilliant adaptation of E.M. Forster's novel, A Room With a View tells the story of the coming of age of Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham-Carter). Longing to burst free from the repression of British upper class manners and mores, she must wrestle with her inner romantic longings to choose between the passionate George (Julian Sands) and the priggish but socially suitable Cecil (Daniel Day-Lewis). Boasting a brilliant supporting cast, A Room With a View is one of the most romantic of romantic comedies ever filmed.

Enchanted April

 Starring Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson, Alfred Molina, Neville Phillips, Jim Broadbent
Two proper Englishwomen, determined to get away from their drab lives and inattentive husbands, find paradise among the serene countryside of the Italian Rivera in this enchanting adventure staring Josie Lawrence and Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
When the pair rents a magnificent villa for a month, they share expenses with two unlikely companions an austere widow and a bored socialite. At first, personalities clash, but the hideaway holds a special magic that soon sparks friendships and reminds the women of ways to live and love that have long eluded them.

Life Is Beautiful

Starring Roberto Benigni,  Claudio Alfonsi, Lidia Alfonsi, Gil Baroni, Massimo Bianchi, Sergio
Bini Bustric
An inspired motion picture masterpiece, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL was nominated for 7 Academy Awards winning 3 Oscars, including one for Best Actor Robert Benigni. In this extraordinary tale, Guido (Benigni)  a charming but bumbling waiter who's gifted with a colourful imagination and an irresistible sense of humour  has won the heart of the woman he loves and created a beautiful life for his young family. But then, that life threatened by World War II ... and Guido must rely on those very same strengths to save his beloved wife and son from an unthinkable fate! Honoured with an overwhelming level of critical acclaim, this truly exceptional, utterly unique achievement will lift your spirits and capture your heart!

There were more I could have added, I could have gone on and on, but I think these are some of best. 

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.


  1. A wonderful selection! I've seen all of the chosen films here and I agree they would be a treat to watch them on a rainy day. In addition, I would like to add "A Good Woman" directed by Mike Baker. The film is based on Oscar Wilde's play and it's set in the Italian Riviera. The location, the set and above all, the fashion and costume in this film are absolutely wonderful.

    PS. Enchanted April - I prefer the book actually. Wings of the Dove is one of the most sumptuous films I've ever seen.

  2. I have not seen any of these films but will ear mark them, they all look wonderful. There is nothing nicer on a rainy day than a good film or a good read xx

  3. Oh ASD, I love 'A Good Woman' I nearly added it to this list, but I have it in mind for my next list which is on films set in the Art Deco Era/Jazz Age.

  4. Wonderful selections, I might try to find "Up at the Villa" for this weekend. Thank you.

  5. What a marvelous line-up for a rainy weekend- or any weekend for that matter. For Heavens sake-stay in your jammies. Your nibbles and wine complete a decadent weekend-have fun!

  6. Dash,
    I am so excited to see all these films on your list. The only one I have not seen is the first. That is exciting in itself...something to see. I just love love love Enchanting April..perfect rainy weather movie along with A Room with a View. My House in Umbria and Tea with Mussolini are beautiful films. Stealing Beauty and Wings of the Dove..great story line and pass the tissue...Life is Beautiful!

    I recently picked up Passage to India to watch again. The other is Indochine. Catherine Deneuve is stunning in it.

    Hope you have a great weekend, how could you not with this list!!


  7. Oh, you have made a wonderful list here. The sets and landscapes alone are worth the viewing. Room With a View is probably my favourite, although I adored Tea With Mussolini and Up In The Villa as well. Did you know that Tea With Mussolini was basically an autobiography of director Franco Zeffirelli?

    But I adore the scene in Enchanted April when the two ladies awaken on their first morning in Italy. So sublime.

  8. I love all of your selections, sweet friend. They are as enchanting as you. Wishing you a lovely weekend with your loves.

  9. Oh Dash
    You have some of my favourite movies there.. La Vita e Bella.. and Tea With Mussolini .. I haven't though seen Enchanted April.. nor Up At The Villa so this will remember to get these out now....

    I love most movies that features Italy or France... especially period pieces that focus on the countryside, architecture, art and fashion of that era... of course Life is Beautiful stands outside that rule.. but is possibly one of the best films I have seen...

    Gorgeous post... hope you have a lovely weekend.. rain or not.. xxx Julie

  10. The only film I have seen of these is "Life is Beautiful." And I have to say, it was beautiful. One of the most touching movies I have ever seen.

  11. Found you thru Ruthie...all great films. Stealing Beauty is one of my all time favorites. The soundtrack is wonderful!

  12. Hi I'm over from an Illustrated Life. I have seen and loved some of these movies, Tea With Mussolini and Enchanted April especially.

    I loved your post on your shoes, the Italian vintage ones look great!

    xxx DJ

  13. A great selection there, Dash. I haven't seen most of them. I'm usually having to adapt my viewing to 'thriller/action' films the guys in my life prefer.

    Sorry to hear about all that rain though. It was sunny but super windy over in the PO this weekend. Your garden must be happy at least.

  14. These are all brilliant films for when you're feeling like a holiday. I have seen all of them but my memory is so bad I can't remember which one I like best, and I can barely remember some of them. I am now able to watch something again after a few years and it's like the first time... I shall look them up again for a rainy Sunday. Hope you're good Dash, lots of love xx


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