The 25 Movies That Literally Moved Us
As you watched, you thought, 'Someday I'm going to go there'. Now you can
3. Lost in Translation, Tokyo, 2003
Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) has come to Tokyo with her husband, who's there on business; Bob (Bill Murray) is an actor doing an ad for Suntory whiskey. Paralyzed by ennui, they talk about escape, but once they break out of their self-imposed asylum-the exquisite Park Hyatt-they find that a jolt of electric Tokyo is exactly what the doctor ordered. Your Turn: A majority of the filming took place in two of Tokyo's most vibrant neighborhoods-Shinjuku and Shibuya. Bob's first views of the city are the neon-lit buildings at the entrance to Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku's entertainment district. (Charlotte's giant elephants and dinosaurs are outside Shibuya Station's Hachiko exit.) Staying at the Park Hyatt probably isn't an option at $470-plus a night, but you can enjoy your own Suntory times at its New York Bar (3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, 011-81/3-5322-1234, $18 cover after 8 p.m.). Jugan-ji temple, where Charlotte listens to monks chant, is within walking distance of the Park Hyatt (Honcho 2-26, Nakano-ku). Charlotte and Bob sing at Karaoke Kan in the K&F Building (30-8 Utagawacho, Shibuya-ku). Follow Charlotte to Kyoto on the Shinkansen, or bullet train (jreast.co.jp, $125 each way), and visit the Heian Jingu Shrine and Nanzen-ji Temple (take bus 5 from Kyoto Station to either). Their good-bye is in Plaza Dori, near the west entrance to Shinjuku Station. Kintetsu International offers flights to Tokyo starting at $500 from L.A., $600 from New York. Discounted hotels are available, too (212/259-9648, kintetsu.com). Wherever you end up staying, tune into TV Asahi at 11:15 p.m. on Wednesdays for Matthew's Best Hit TV, the kooky talk show that Bob appears on so he can spend more time with Charlotte.
Reel Life! One of my favorite movies, which inspired a trip to Scotland, is I Know Where I'm Going! A film from the '40s, set in the Hebrides Isles of Scotland, it highlights Gaelic culture, traditions, language, and music. Today, you can visit almost all of the film locations and you'll find that little has changed. --Audrey Smerkanich, Flemington, N.J.
2. A Room With a View, Florence and England, 1985
Enchanted April, Summertime, Under the Tuscan Sun... There's a subgenre of literature and film concerning stuffy Brits and/or brash Yanks who come to Italy and are seduced, learning to live and to love and to let down their hair. A Room With a View beats the pants off all of them-even more remarkable when you consider that two thirds of it takes place in England. It's in Florence that Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) meets the brooding George Emerson (Julian Sands). George falls in love at first sight, but it takes Lucy the rest of the film to realize she loves him back. At one point, Reverend Beebe (Simon Callow) laughs off George's certainty about how fate-and a chance encounter in the Italian Art section of London's National Gallery-brought the two destined lovers to the same English town months after their first stolen kiss in Tuscany: "You talk of coincidence and fate! You're naturally drawn to things Italian, as are we and all our friends." George smiles. "It is fate," he replies. "But call it Italy if it pleases you, Vicar." Your Turn: First, the bad news: You can't book that room with that view. For one thing, the Pensione Bertolini had already disappeared by the time E. M. Forster returned to Florence several years after writing the novel. The hotel in the movie was made up of three locations: interiors from the Villa Maiano (closed to the public), off the road between Florence and Fiesole; the terrace of a private apartment where a fake wall with a window was built expressly to film the titular view; and the Pensione Quisisana, a back room of which was used for the room without a view at the beginning of the film. It's now the Hotel degli Orafi and charges more than $400 for a double Doesn't matter. We've found better rooms with spiffy views. Fifth- and sixth-floor rooms at Hotel Medici have panoramas across the historic center to the Duomo, two blocks away (Via dei Medici 6, 011-39/055-284-818, hotelmedici.it, from $50 without private bath, $80 with bath). The Hotel Ritz is right on the river and is the closest you'll get-on a budget-to the view from the novel: across the river to San Miniato al Monte, on the hill above the Oltrarno (Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia 24, 011-39/055-234-0650, hotelritz.net, from $135). Hotel Silla is on a leafy square along the Arno, with views to the historic center-albeit several blocks upriver from the view in the film (Via de' Renai 5, 011-39/055-234-2888, hotelsilla.it, from $184). Loggiato dei Serviti is a Renaissance palazzo overlooking the loggias of Piazza SS. Annunziata; Eleanor Lavish and Charlotte Bartlett pause under its portico while exploring the city (3 Piazza SS. Annunziata, 011-39/055-289-592, loggiatodeiservitihotel.it, from $252).