British culture is rich and varied, but it can be difficult to experience it if you live in another country. Thankfully, British cinema gives people from other countries the chance to learn more about Britain and British culture.
Britain has produced some brilliant and uniquely British films that should definitely be on your must-watch list. In this list we give you 5 films that show British culture at its best. Which is your favorite?
1. Billy Elliot
Billy Elliot is set in one of the most significant historical periods for the British working class, the 1980s. This film gives us an insight into the spirited mining community of 80s Northern England through the story of a young boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer at London’s Royal Ballet School. This film is popular with both children and adults, and it was even adapted into a popular musical for London’s West End.
2. Bridget Jones Diary
Bridget Jones Diary is perhaps the most loved chick-flick of all time. Adapted from the famous British Novel Pride and Prejudice, it gives us the dating adventures of hopeless and loveable 30-something Bridget (played by Renee Zellweger with a hilarious British accent). This film, which is full of funny British slang terms, gives us a great insight into life in England’s capital, and to the British art of self-deprecating humour. It’s Colin Firth’s second appearance on this list as he plays love interest Mark Darcy, and we also see another gorgeous British star, Hugh Grant.
3. James Bond Skyfall
We couldn’t have a list of great British films without including one of the James Bond movies, and we have chosen the most recent version, Skyfall (in part because of the amazing song by British belter Adele). James Bond, in this case played by the hunky Daniel Craig, is a British Hero and has been since the 1950s. Skyfall contains scenes throughout different parts of the UK including a brilliant chase through the London Underground and even a scene in the Scottish Highlands. James Bond is everything a girl wants in a British man and we can’t wait to see who plays him next. Who would be your choice?
Trainspotting is arguably the most famous Scottish film of all time, directed by top English director Danny Boyle and starring Scottish actor Ewan McGregor. Although the film’s main focus is a hard hitting look at drug addiction, it still contains a lot of brilliant black humour that British people love so much.
Trainspotting gives a great insight into the youth and music culture of late 80s/early 90s Britain and we get to see a fantastic portrayal of the wonderful Scottish capital Edinburgh, as well as scenes in Glasgow, another great Scottish city, and London. Admittedly, this is the darkest film on the list, and it is not appropriate for younger viewers.
5. The King’s Speech
The Monarchy is one of our favorite things about Britain and The King’s Speech, a British historical drama, lets us get a look into the personal life of England’s King George VI, who ruled England from 1936 to 1952. In this film we see stunning British architecture such as Lancaster House and Ely Cathedral, and we are treated to appearances from some our most loved British stars, including Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter.