From La La Land to Pulp Fiction - our favourite LA movies for winter nights in....11th Jan 2020
We're nearly half way through the hardest month of the year, and frankly, the going is tough. Its cold and wet, payday was months ago (it seems) and honestly it doesn't feel like we'll ever see light at the end of the tunnel....
So what to do when the going gets tough (and no, the answer is not "the tough get going) instead, settle down with a good movie and view the tough times out, and lets face it, if there is one thing that Los Angeles is good for, then giving good movie is it.
Even better - Los Angeles is brilliant at giving us movies about itself - so here to warm you up on a cold winter night are some of our absolute favourite LA movies.
Blade Runner (1982)
The dystopian LA of 2019 as imagined in Ridley Scott’s classic 80s future noir thriller is a world where old meets new, nothing is as it seems and Harrison Ford’s Blade Runner enters a world where his mission leads him to question his own identity.. With its delicate investigation of the human condition - what it means to be human - Blade Runner goes way beyond science fiction and enters the realms of psychological drama. Visually stunning with a gorgeous score by Vangelis Blade Runner has to be one of the all time great movies - and I defy anyone not to want to eat ramen at the White Dragon noodle bar….
Boogie Nights (1997)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s nostalgic depiction of the hedonistic LA porn scene of the 70s and 80s offers a compelling X Rated parallel to the mainstream movie industry playing out at the same time - and brings us a career making performance from Mark Walhberg as porn ingenue Dirk Diggler as well as the iconic Roller Girl courtesy of heather Graham
Boyz n the Hood (1991)
John Singleton made history as the first black director to be nominated for a Best Director Academy Award for this unflinching depiction of life in South Central Los Angeles. So compelling was the movie which also marked Ice Cube’s first film role that it defined the area for decades and spawned multiple imitations…
A coming of age movie with an enormous heart, hilarious dialogue and a to die for wardrobe - Clueless is Amy Heckerling’s 90s reworking of Jane Austen’s classic Emma re-told for the Mall age. Alicia Silverston plays Cher, the ultimate rich LA teen with a serious wardrobe and a penchant for matchmaking - a total must see….
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
A high school coming of age comedy that tells it like it is and features a blistering star making performance from Sean Penn, Fast Times at Ridgemont High benefits from writer Cameron Crowe's undercover work at a Southern Californian school - a Valley movie through and through….
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Curtis Hanson’s nostalgic neo noir cop drama starring Guy Pearce, Russel Crowe and Kim Basinger takes James Ellroy’s story and creates a world where hollywood tough guys mingle with Lana Turner lookalikes - a world from the 50s depicting the hollywood dream and exposing the dark underbelly of post Rodney King LA….
La la Land
Starring Emma Stone as an aspiring actress (somewhat of a theme in LA movies) and Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist who meet and fall in love whilst they are pursuing their dreams, 2016’s La La Land was fully shot on location & is writer-director Damien Chazelle's visually gorgeous ode to the hollywood golden age musicals. Heartbreaking and old school - La La Land gave Emma Stone her first best actress Oscar & has to be a must see LA Movie...
L.A. Story (1991)
The weather in LA - pretty predictable right? For Steve Martin’s TV weatherman Harris K. Telemacher there’s nothing in his job to inspire - he records his reports in advance and hits up the stand up comedy scene to get a buzz. But when he is fired from his job and his relationship falls apart, Telemacher starts to receive messages from a highway sign and his word changes. Sweet and whimsical this is Steve Martin’s love letter to his adopted hometown and gives us a glimpse of Quintessential New York girl Sarah Jessica Parker as we’ve never seen her before….
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Like any David Lynch - describing the plot of Mulholland Drive is easier said than done. Naomi Watts plays Betty Elms, an aspiring actor new to Los Angeles who meets and tries to help a brunette who happens to have lost her memory - party noir, part commentary on Hollywood, Mulholland Drive is impossible to pin down and like all great movies ultimately beguiling in its complexity…
Pulp Fiction (1994)
The lives of 2 Los Angeles mobsters, a gangster’s wife, a boxer and 2 small- time criminals are entangled in Quentin Tarantion’s cult 1994 movie. The first movie to gross more than $200million Pulp Fiction was the movie that revived John Travolta’s career and allowed Mr Saturday Night Fever to dance again in one of the most iconic dance scenes ever filmed…
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Teen angst immortalized forever in the tragic forms of James Dean (who died a month before the movie was released) and Natalie Wood. When Troublemaker Jim Stark moves to LA he’s supposed to be making a fresh start - but falling for the girlfriend of neighbourhood tough Buzz leads to a switch blade battle outside the Griffith Observatory and a dangerous drag race at (fictitious) Millertown Bluff…..“You’re tearing me apart”
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Possibly the greatest movie about Tinseltown ever made, Singin’ In the Rain tells the story of the uneasy transition for silent movie stars - Gene Kelly’s Don Lockwood & Jean Hagan’ Lina Lamont - to sound. Funny and heartwarming this joyous musical features untold glorious treats - but without doubt it’s the sublime title ballad and Kelly’s astonishing dance routine that will linger once the credits finish.
What do you get when you pair up Hero cop Keanu Reeves with plucky passenger Sandra Bullock on a bus laden with explosives and rigged to explode if the speed dips below 50mph? A crowd pleasing, super exciting relentlessly paced blockbuster. Throw in Dennis Hopper giving us his “mad bomber” as well as multiple City of Angels institutions—from LAX to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre - and Speed ticks a ton of Saturday night at the movies boxes.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
22 years on and Joel and Ethan Coen’s cult comedy starring Jeff Bridges is sharper and funnier than ever. The complicated story of mistaken identity, a kidnapping gone wrong, White russians, pot and the search for a new rug brought us a shaggy-haired stoner who went by “The Dude.” Essential viewing…
The Bling Ring 2013
When Paris Hilton allows you into her home to shoot a movie about how she was robbed by a gang of bored rich LA teens, there’s a good chance that the ensuing film will end up being iconic...Deceptively shallow, but ultimately provocative and engaging Sofia Coppola’s crime drama based on real life events seems pretty representative of the LA we see in those ubiquitous TV reality shows…