The year’s best films that capture “sense of place”

Films have always played a very important role in defining our impressions of the outside world. In fact, for the majority of people on this planet, film is the only way to see far off lands and exotic locales.

But which ones portray a sense of place the best?

Condé Nast Traveler recently asked its readers this very question. The magazine limited it, however, to films released between July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2007. This was hardly limiting, however. Readers still came up with an impressively extensive list of more than 50 films that “capture a sense of place” which Condé Nast Traveler has just posted. Sadly, I’ve seen just one of the top ten–The Lives of Others and man, does it capture Berlin before the Wall came down. Oh, and I bet you didn’t know that parts of Letters from Iwo Jima were filmed in Iceland. Wild!

For a complete listing beyond the top ten, click here.

1. The Painted Veil (China)
2. The Queen (Paris; United Kingdom)
3. Paris, Je T’aime (Paris)
4. The Last King of Scotland (Uganda)
5. The Lives of Others (Berlin)
6. The Namesake (India; New York)
7. Volver (Spain)
8. Letters from Iwo Jima (California; Iceland as Iwo Jima; Japan)
9. The Holiday (England; Los Angeles)
10. Blood Diamond (Mozambique and South Africa as Sierra Leone)