Are you in the same boat as me? The boat where you were supposed to be on a yacht, cruising around the pristine islands of Croatia instead of sitting in lockdown in Canberra?
Where your travel plans were deferred indefinitely thanks to that pesky Delta variant?
Maybe your literal boat was supposed to be a cruise liner around the fjords of Scandinavia, or a gondola in Venice or even a rowboat in the English countryside. Whichever one it was—I feel your pain.
So how do we make this metaphorical lockdown boat better? We travel through our screens, of course.
Sitting in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house this lockdown (yes, I am very cool!), I’ve been searching for a way to get that perfect dose of armchair travel.
Here’s what I’ll be watching on repeat until borders open.
The Beach (Thailand)
This cult 90s film has everything you need—bustling Bangkok nightlife, a Thai beach so beautiful it had to be protected from tourists and a young Leonardo DiCaprio.
It’s also a great low-key thriller (although perhaps not one to watch with the kids).
Crazy Rich Asians (Singapore)
The most recent—and possibly most lush—of the films on this list, I have never wanted to book a ticket abroad more urgently then when I watched Singapore come to life in Crazy Rich Asians.
The hawker markets, the harbour, the food, the neighbouring beaches…did I mention the food? I know where I’ll be planning my extended stopover…
Midsomer Murders (English countryside)
I will never apologise for being an all-out Midsomer Murders fanatic. The premise of this cosy murder mystery series is simple—beloved Inspector Barnaby and his ever-changing handsome offsiders investigate various crimes against a picturesque backdrop of a fictional English county.
With 20 seasons available on streaming platform Britbox, there are plenty of quaint villages filled with scheming killers who need to be found and while the title may sound gory, the blood and gore is kept at a minimum—it’s less of a thriller than a darkly humorous whodunnit.
Mamma Mia! (Greece)
If Greece was on your itinerary, Mamma Mia! is a must and yes—even the sequels will do for that hit of Greek beach dopamine.
No, I don’t care if you hate Cher—block your ears during Fernando and focus instead on the scenery. We all have to make sacrifices.
Angels and Demons (Rome)
People have mixed feelings about this eponymous Dan Brown adaptation (the sequel to The Da Vinci Code) but I find Angels and Demons’ blend of Illuminati mystery and murder against the backdrop of summery Roman streetscapes quite seamless.
Note: this one is MA15+ only as the gore and jump scares have been dialled up to 11. Even I have to cover my eyes sometimes.
Julie & Julia (Paris and New York)
The perfect film to keep your lockdown cooking buzz alive, Julie & Julia shifts timelines to tell us the story of legendary American cook Julia Child (a pitch-perfect Meryl Street) as she learns French cooking in post-war Paris and Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a 21st century New Yorker who decides to cook her way through Child’s iconic cookbook—Mastering The Art of French Cooking.
Bon appetit is all I will say about this heartwarming family film.
A Good Year (the South of France)
An ambitious London financier (Russel Crowe) inherits a vineyard in the South of France from his winemaker uncle. What could go wrong?
Throw in some excellent wine and equally excellent performances from Abbie Cornish and Marion Cotillard and you have a corker of a film (sorry).
Feature image, Crazy Rich Asians, via Facebook