Film is said to imitate life, and at times life is set amongst New York high society, or along the Mediterranean coast of Cannes, or a palatial estate in the English countryside. We decided to compile a list of actual good movies that best portray the lives of people living in luxury…for better or worse. We’re looking at your Jordan Belfort!
The Age of Innocence (1993, Martin Scorsese)
THE PLOT: Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) falls in love with the Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), the disgraced cousin of his fiancé May Welland (Winona Ryder), a high society sweetheart. The film is an adaptation of the famous Edith Wharton novel about New York City’s crème de la crème in turn of the century America.
Arthur (1981, Steve Gordon)
THE PLOT: Dudley Moore’s plays Arthur, the drunken heir to a massive family fortune of one of New York’s richest families. After a chance meeting, Arthur begins to fall in love with Linda (Liza Minnelli), a girl with no money. However, his family has other ideas when they tell him that he can only inherit the money if he marries their choice of a bride, a stuffy millionaire named Susan.
Clueless (1995, Amy Heckerling)
THE PLOT: Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is living the highlife. She has the largest walk in closet in Beverly Hills, a high-powered lawyer as a father, and she is the queen bee of her high school. But what happens when new girl Tai (Brittany Murphy) begins rocking her perfect, little world?
Cruel Intentions (1998, Roger Kumble)
THE PLOT: This modern adaption of Dangerous Liaisons takes place in New York City, amongst the prep school kids of the high society. Sebastian (Ryan Philippe) makes a bet with his sister Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) that he can concur the new headmaster’s daughter (Reese Witherspoon) before the summer is up.
Goldfinger (1964, Guy Hamilton)
THE PLOT: James Bond’s (Sean Connery) third adventure finds him in the Swiss Alps, where he needs to investigate the evil doings of a high-powered gold smuggler who may be contaminating the Fort Knox Gold Reserve.
Gosford Park (2001, Robert Altman)
THE PLOT: Set in a palatial estate in 1932 England, the lives of wealthy house guests and estate servants are disturbed when a murder happens during a party.
The Great Gatsby (2013, Baz Luhrmann)
THE PLOT: Nick Caraway (Tobey Maguire) tells the tale of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), a poor solider turned millionaire boot leger to impress Daisy (Carey Mulligan), the girl he’s loved for many years. The film is based on the classic American tale by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
How to Steal a Million (1966, William Wyler)
THE PLOT: Nicole (Audrey Hepburn) is the daughter of a famous art forger, who sells his art for a considerable profit. When his reproduction sculpture of a famous work appears in the Paris museum, trouble ensues as experts begin to investigate its authenticity. Nicole then hires charming cat burglar Simon Dermott (Peter O’Toole) to steal it back before her father is unmasked as a fraud.
I Am Love (2010, Luca Guadagnino)
THE PLOT: The high-powered Recchi family is going through a crucial time in business. When family matriarch Emma (Tilda Swinton) begins a wild affair with a chef named Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), she puts the whole family’s business in jeopardy.
Marie Antoinette (2006, Sofia Coppola)
THE PLOT: The life of the young French monarch Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), from her first arrival to Versailles till the beginning of the French revolution.
Phantom Thread (2017, Paul Thomas Anderson)
THE PLOT: Daniel Day-Lewis plays Reynolds Woodcock, an obsessive, emotionally-abusive fashion designer who dresses royals and sociality in 1950s London. His life is turned upside down when he meets Alma (Vicky Krieps), a hardheaded waitress who captures his attention and his heart.
The Philadelphia Story (1940, George Cukor)
THE PLOT: Philadelphia society looks forward to the grand wedding weekend of Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) and George Kittredge (John Howard). However, the presence of ex-husband C.K. Baxter Haven (Cary Grant) and a charming reporter Macaulay Connor (1940 Best Actor winner James Stewart) begin to confuse her.
The Queen (2006, Stephen Frears)
THE PLOT: The relationship of Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren in an Academy Award winning role) and newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) as they try to navigate around the scandal of Princes Diana’s untimely death.
Sabrina (1954, Billy Wilder)
THE PLOT: After two years in Paris, chauffer’s daughter Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn) returns home a beautiful, sophisticated woman. She has one mission: to win the heart of David Larrabee, the womanizing son of her father’s boss, whom she has been in loved with for years. However, their romance is interrupted by David’s older brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart), who is relaying on David to marry an heiress in order to secure a crucial merger that will earn the family millions.
Something’s Gotta Give (2003, Nancy Meyers)
THE PLOT: Neurotic, successful playwright Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) begins to fall in love with her daughter’s much older boyfriend (Jack Nicholson) one interesting weekend in the Hampton’s.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999, Anthony Minghella)
THE PLOT: Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) longs to be successful. When an American millionaire commissions him to retrieve his philandering son Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) from Italy, things get messy. Tom longs to become Dickie, and will do anything to live his jet-set, perfect life.
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968, Norman Jewison)
THE PLOT: A bored millionaire named Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) performs heists purely for the thrill of the game. Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway) is an investigator hired by the bank to find the culprit of the robberies. But what happens when the two of them unexpectedly falls in love? A cat and mouse chase for the ages.
Titanic (1997, James Cameron)
THE PLOT: The doomed story of star-crossed lovers abroad the RMS Titanic. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack, a penniless artist, who meets Rose (Kate Winslet), a Philadelphia society girl, days before the infamous sinking. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture and holds the record for most Oscars win for any film in history.
To Catch a Thief (1955, Alfred Hitchcock)
THE PLOT: A famous burglar (Cary Grant) is being pinned for the crimes of a copycat. He decides to take matters in his own hands and begins to hunt down the robber who is suspected to target the jewels of a rich American socialite (Grace Kelly) and her wealthy mother vacationing in Cannes.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, Martin Scorsese)
THE PLOT: The true story of infamous Wall Street criminal Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his unbelievable rise and fall in America.