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22 Quintessentially British Movies to Cheer You Up

22 Shows & Movies | by Town and Country Magazine

Love Actually

Love Actually

Comedy, Romance

'Love Actually' follows the lives of eight very different couples dealing with their love lives, in various loosely and interrelated tales, all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

Town and Country Magazine said: Though this beloved classic takes place during Christmas, the heartwarming film can really be viewed any day of the year. It stars all of your favorite British actors – Hugh Grant! Emma Thompson! Colin Firth! Keira Knightley! Liam Neeson! We could go on! – and weaves together a collection of love stories so varied that at least one of them is bound to resonate with you.
Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Romance, Comedy

William Thacker is a London bookstore owner whose humdrum existence is thrown into romantic turmoil when famous American actress Anna Scott appears in his shop. A chance encounter over spilled orange juice leads to a kiss that blossoms into a full-blown affair. As the average bloke and glamorous movie star draw closer and closer together, they struggle to reconcile their radically different lifestyles in the name of love.

Town and Country Magazine said: It is, very simply, one of the best romantic comedies of all time.
The Red Shoes

The Red Shoes

Drama, Romance

In this classic drama, Vicky Page is an aspiring ballerina torn between her dedication to dance and her desire to love. While her imperious instructor, Boris Lermontov, urges to her to forget anything but ballet, Vicky begins to fall for the charming young composer Julian Craster. Eventually Vicky, under great emotional stress, must choose to pursue either her art or her romance, a decision that carries serious consequences.

Town and Country Magazine said: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger are one of the most influential filmmaking duos of all time, and no film better embodies their groundbreaking work than The Red Shoes.
The King's Speech

The King's Speech

Drama, History

The King's Speech tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stutter and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country into war.

Town and Country Magazine said: If you're feeling The Crown withdrawal, you'll definitely want to check out this Oscar-winning royal drama
The Third Man

The Third Man

Thriller, Mystery

In postwar Vienna, Austria, Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime, only to learn he has died. Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning of a "third man" present at the time of Harry's death, running into interference from British officer Major Calloway, and falling head-over-heels for Harry's grief-stricken lover, Anna.

Town and Country Magazine said: This visually innovative and psychologically rich thriller often tops lists of the Best British Films of All Time, and with good reason.
Bridget Jones's Diary

Bridget Jones's Diary

Comedy, Romance

A chaotic Bridget Jones meets a snobbish lawyer, and he soon enters her world of imperfections.

Town and Country Magazine said: Though we can’t recommend the sequels as highly, the original movie is one of the best romantic comedies ever made. Renee Zellweger's performance as the lovelorn but plucky Bridget is one for the ages
Gosford Park

Gosford Park

Drama, Mystery

In 1930’s England, a group of pretentious rich and famous gather together for a weekend of relaxation at a hunting resort. But when a murder occurs, each one of these interesting characters becomes a suspect.

Goldfinger

Goldfinger

Adventure, Action

Special agent 007 comes face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time, and now he must outwit and outgun the powerful tycoon to prevent him from cashing in on a devious scheme to raid Fort Knox -- and obliterate the world's economy.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Drama, History

The story of the ascension to the throne and the early reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, the endless attempts by her council to marry her off, the Catholic hatred of her and her romance with Lord Robert Dudley.

The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria

Drama, History

As the only legitimate heir of England's King William, teenage Victoria gets caught up in the political machinations of her own family. Victoria's mother wants her to sign a regency order, while her Belgian uncle schemes to arrange a marriage between the future monarch and Prince Albert, the man who will become the love of her life.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Drama, Horror

The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, a.k.a Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Based on the hit Broadway musical.

Hamlet

Hamlet

Drama

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother now marrying the murderer... his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

Town and Country Magazine said: one of the best adaptations of Shakespeare's most iconic tragedy
Brief Encounter

Brief Encounter

Drama, Romance

Returning home from a shopping trip to a nearby town, bored suburban housewife Laura Jesson is thrown by happenstance into an acquaintance with virtuous doctor Alec Harvey. Their casual friendship soon develops during their weekly visits into something more emotionally fulfilling than either expected, and they must wrestle with the potential havoc their deepening relationship would have on their lives and the lives of those they love.

Town and Country Magazine said: This achingly poignant story of impossible romance is one of the most significant works from seminal British director David Lean.
Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot

Drama, Comedy

Set against the background of the 1984 Miners' Strike, 11-year-old Billy Elliot stumbles out of the boxing ring and onto the ballet floor. He faces many trials and triumphs as he strives to conquer his family's set ways, inner conflict, and standing on his toes.

Town and Country Magazine said: The poignant movie (which is now a Broadway play) tells the story of a young boy growing up in a conservative town in Northeastern England who trains to become a ballerina against the wishes of his coal miner father.
Atonement

Atonement

Drama, Romance

As a 13-year-old, fledgling writer Briony Tallis irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

Town and Country Magazine said: When a young English girl falsely accuses her sister’s lover of a heinous crime, a heartbreaking downward spiral ensues. The film earned a handful of Academy Award nominations and took home the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in 2008.
The Duchess

The Duchess

Drama, History

A chronicle of the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

Town and Country Magazine said: The movie is worth watching if only for the Duchess’s extravagant costumes and houses.
Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice

Drama, Romance

A story of love and life among the landed English gentry during the Georgian era. Mr. Bennet is a gentleman living in Hertfordshire with his overbearing wife and five daughters, but if he dies their house will be inherited by a distant cousin whom they have never met, so the family's future happiness and security is dependent on the daughters making good marriages.

Town and Country Magazine said: Though no actor will ever top Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the BBC series, Matthew Macfadyen gives him a run for his money in this surprisingly memorable 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved classic
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Adventure, Comedy

King Arthur, accompanied by his squire, recruits his Knights of the Round Table, including Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Lancelot the Brave, Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot and Sir Galahad the Pure. On the way, Arthur battles the Black Knight who, despite having had all his limbs chopped off, insists he can still fight. They reach Camelot, but Arthur decides not to enter, as "it is a silly place".

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Drama, Romance

In this Dickens adaptation, orphan Pip discovers through lawyer Mr. Jaggers that a mysterious benefactor wishes to ensure that he becomes a gentleman. Reunited with his childhood patron, Miss Havisham, and his first love, the beautiful but emotionally cold Estella, he discovers that the elderly spinster has gone mad from having been left at the altar as a young woman, and has made her charge into a warped, unfeeling heartbreaker.

My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

Drama, Romance

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

Berkeley Square

Berkeley Square

Fantasy, Romance

A young American man is transported back to London in the time of the American Revolution and meets his ancestors.

The Queen

The Queen

Drama

The Queen is an intimate behind the scenes glimpse at the interaction between HM Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair during their struggle, following the death of Diana, to reach a compromise between what was a private tragedy for the Royal family and the public's demand for an overt display of mourning.

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