It’s official: Vertigo is the best movie ever. Or at least, it has been voted the greatest film in Sight and Sound magazine’s poll held once every decade.

This year’s results of the influential publication, edited by the British Film Institute, are especially shocking, since Citizen Kane – which has been in the top position of the list since 1962 – has been toppled by Hitchcock’s psychological thriller, starring James Stewart.

Apart from this surprise, Sight and Sound’s list hasn’t changed that much at all and it is filled of the same old classics, including highbrow films such as FW Murnau’s Sunrise from 1927 and Renoir’s a Règle du Jeu (1939).

But before you fall asleep just reading these titles, let’s move to our own personal poll of the best holiday films, a chart that is not based on photography quality, social commentary or plot development. Instead, the criteria by which our movies have been judged is the humble “because we like them”. Read on and enjoy:

5. The Darjeeling Limited – Wes Anderson (2007)

Rather than a holiday per se, this trip across India by train is an attempt by three brothers to bond with one another one year after their father’s funeral.

Despite the rather sombre starting point of the plot, the story turns out to be a funny one and the journey, in the luxury Darjeeling Limited, includes drug related incidents, cobra snakes and spiritualism – all with the trademark mixture of humour and intensity of the director of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

4. The Beach – Danny Boyle (2000)

We have written about The Beach before on this blog, but it happens that the film’s set – Koh Phi Phi – is also one of the top holiday destinations at Kenwood Travel; although the story is supposed to happen on the other side of the Thai peninsula, around Koh Phangan.

Regardless of its location or cinematic quality, this film about the end of innocence – or when a backpacker’s dream turns into a nightmare – in a way perfectly captures what travelling is all about: the pursuit of the unknown and the search of a better place to be. However, Richard – played by superstar Leonardo DiCaprio – doesn’t quite find paradise at the end of his journey.

3. Into the Wild – Sean Penn (2007)

Another film about backpackers and another adaptation of a popular book – this time Jon Krakauer’s non-fictional account of the wanderings of Christopher McCandles, who leaves everything behind and surrenders himself to the wild.

Perhaps this film takes the concept of “holidays” to an extreme, but it’s still worth watching and is undoubtedly inspirational.

2. Bitter Moon – Roman Polanski (1992)

You know things will go wrong if your honeymoon has been scripted by Roman Polanski. Indeed, in this disturbing story, British newlyweds Fiona and Nigel Dobson (Kristin Scott Thomas and Hugh Grant) see their initially idyllic cruise to Istanbul, en route to India, turn into a rather sour trip. The reason for this might just be French beauty Mimi and her husband Oscar – a Mephistophelian character exquisitely played by Peter Coyote. But what these two only do is to show the bad seeds that are already sown inside the young lovers.

Forget about pink sunsets, cheesy bands playing catchy tunes and a smiley crew: sadism, abuse and humiliation are what this cruise is all about. Typical themes in a Polanski film.

1. Lost In Translation – Sofia Coppola (2003)

For some, this tale of alienation, loneliness and existential crisis in the ultramodern megalopolis of Tokyo is plagued with unpleasant stereotypes of the Japanese.

But for others, it represents accurately what to be thrown into another culture feels like, and the funny and surprising situations that come along with it.

Bill Murray stays at the Park Hyatt Tokyo for business, whereas Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte is there just as mere eye candy on the arm of her busy husband. Still, the semi-romantic story between the two characters lost in a strange destination tops our list of Best Holiday Films.

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