The Tourist (2010): A Return to Glamour

One of the closest things we'll get to a classic Hollywood film in today's era, and that is the main reason I adore this movie. It combats the gritty realism of modern movies without seeming stupidly impracticable. It's stylish and hilarious and classy and modern and exciting and...makes you feel as though you're watching a classic film!
Glamorous meeting on a train in France.
The most outstanding thing about this film is its seemingly effortless glamour. One of the special features is titled "Bringing Glamour Back" and I think that's quite an accurate statement. The visual palette is stunning and the costumes are timeless and sophisticated. Style is where this film shines.

Note the Dior-esque suit!
It hearkens back to the golden era of Hollywood with both its look and settings--several scenes in the film bring to mind classic Hitchcockian moments. Innocent man being swept up in a well of international intrigue? Check. Meeting with a mysterious femme fatale on a train? Check. Glamorous setting such as a national monument or the French Riviera? Check! The almost constant use of motorboats reminds me of that scene in To Catch a Thief, while the subway station bit was straight out of Charade. Perfect.

Gorgeous white gown...looks like something out of the 30s.
Angelina Jolie is at her most sophisticated and Johnny Depp, in one of his more normal roles, still never fails to charm (awkward Frank is adorable!). Paul Bettany is one of my absolute favorite actors, reliably buoyant and dry, and we get a surprise appearance from James Bond himself, Timothy Dalton (appropriately enough in Venice). Music by James Newton Howard, light and sophisticated this time round.The cast is stellar and it seems they pulled out all the stops for this movie...except one:

The classic thriller twist!

Now if you've been studying how to write thrillers, as I have, you might say that the twist wasn't bad, but perhaps...rather poorly executed? It came off much better with a second viewing, though. And I must say, the decided return to glamour was enough for me. It's also worthwhile to remember that the Tourist is meant to be a rather light, frothy, romantic, humorous thriller. Simply ravenous--uh,erm, I mean, ravishing. Modern movies would do well to take a lesson from the Tourist.


  1. Very stylish movie, I concur, in the style of Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Charade... I was surprised it was such a flop. I am not a big Jolie fan, but here she is gloriously beautiful and has great chemistry with Depp