movies

Just 11 movies to watch that will make you feel like you've actually left your living room.

Well done on your self-isolation efforts so far – it’s important for not only your own good, but the good of everyone you know and even those you don’t.

But after days on end of moving from your bed to the couch, to the fridge to… bed, again, with maybe a daily walk around the block or to the nearest park… well, you’re forgiven for desperately craving some new scenery.

But our new normal means you probably won’t be travelling for a while, which means you’ll need to turn to the next best thing… nature via a screen.

Listen to Mamamia’s daily entertainment podcast The Spill.

Until you can run through the fields and gaze up at mountains yourself, here are some movies that will momentarily transport you from your couch to beautiful spots all around our world.

The Sound of Music.

Image: 20th Century Fox.
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Where to watch: Disney+.

Of course, the hills are alive with the sound of music. A lot of this iconic 1965 musical was filmed in a studio, but Julie Andrews really did sing among the mountains near Salzberg, Austria. The most iconic scene of her in the alpine meadow was shot nearby in Mehlweg, Germany, and you'll almost be able to feel the fresh mountain air as you watch her twirling around.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

best movie scenery
Image: 20th Century Fox.

Where to watch: Google Play or iTunes.

Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty, a daydreamer who escapes his life by disappearing into fantasy worlds in his head. As you follow Mitty's real-life adventure, you'll find yourself transported to spectacular scenes across Iceland, where a lot of it was filmed.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

best movie scenery
Image: New Line Cinema.
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Where to watch: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers are on Foxtel Now. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is on Stan.

A Lord of the Rings marathon would see you exploring Middle Earth for over nine hours. In that time, you could explore the real deal by flying to New Zealand, back to Australia, and then back to New Zealand again, but hey, these are weird times we're living in. Peter Jackson's trilogy is obviously fantasy, but the movies were filmed right across NZ, using the country's real, diverse landscapes like characters as well as just backdrops.

Into The Wild.

best movie scenery
Image: Paramount Vantage.

Where to watch: Netflix.

In 2007's Into The Wild, a young man gives up everything - including his trust fund and family - to live a solitary life in the wild. The marathon two-year shoot to make this movie encompassed 35 different locations throughout the United States, including the brutal landscapes of Alaska.

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Wild.

best movie scenery
Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Where to watch: Google Play or iTunes.

Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern were both Oscar-nominated for their performances in Wild, about a woman who hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone after the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother.

The Beach.

best movie scenery
Image: 20th Century Fox.
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Where to watch: Google Play or iTunes.

The Beach is the reason beautiful Ko Phi Phi Lee is on every single tourist's Thailand bucket list... So much so, they had to close the island to visitors in 2019 due to over-tourism. The film features a 24-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio as an American backpacker who travels to Thailand and explores a mysterious island which is believed to be a secluded paradise. With jungle and white sand beaches, you can feel like you're on a tropical island, too.

Lawrence of Arabia.

best movie scenery
Image: Getty.

Where to watch: Google Play or iTunes.

1962's Lawrence of Arabia is generally considered one of the best films ever made. It's four hours long, which is fine because right now, we've got nothing but time. The story is based on the life of T.E. Lawrence, who aided Arab tribes in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. You can pretend you're on your own desert safari as you watch the dramatic landscapes of Jordan, Morocco and Spain.

The Tree Of Life.

best movie scenery
Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
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Where to watch: SBS On Demand.

The story follows Texas child Jack from childhood to his adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. It was nominated for a Best Cinematography Oscar in 2012, and features many shots that celebrate nature: From close up shots of a fluttering butterfly to caves, deserts and volcanoes.

Life of Pi.

best movie scenery
Image: 20th Century Fox.

Where to watch: Google Play and iTunes.

The ocean scenes of Life of Pi were shot at a giant wave tank built by the crew in an abandoned airport, but somehow that doesn't make it any less magical. After a shipwreck, Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. Basically, it's a visual masterpiece.

Avatar.

best movie scenery
Image: 20th Century Fox.
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Where to watch: Disney+.

Okay, okay, James Cameron's epic Avatar is not set on earth and is about 70 per cent CGI, but it still counts because who wouldn't want to pretend they're on Pandora instead of the couch. I stand by it.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

best movie scenery
Image: Gramercy Pictures.

Where to watch: Foxtel Now.

Not only is Priscilla, Queen of the Desert hilarious and progressive as hell (it was made in 1994!), but it shows off some pretty spectacular scenery as Bernadette, Mitzi and Felicia road trip from Sydney to Alice Springs.

What movies transport you out of your living room? Let us know in a comment.

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