Sponsored: The emotional goodbyes. The euphoric hellos. The sheer excitement of embarking on an adventure – or returning home once the adventure is over.
Yes, airports are full of heightened emotion. Thus, they often lend themselves perfectly to films looking for a bit of dramatic heft.
Heathrow Airport is one such example. Here are seven films that memorably featured Europe’s biggest airport…
1 Our Kind of Traitor
Year released: 2016
Rotten Tomatoes score: 73%
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Damian Lewis
This British spy flick concerns a money launderer who recruits am everyday couple to help him in his work. It was filmed in buzzing locations in London, Paris, Bern and Marrakech, from five star hotels to market squares to the Eurostar.
But for Adam Richards, the film’s locations manager, one setting was a particular triumph. Step forward Heathrow Terminal 5. He told The Telegraph the scene filmed there was ‘A bit of a coup – it’s never been done before.’
2 The Bourne Ultimatum
Year released: 2007
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Starring: Julia Stiles and Matt Damon
The third instalment of the Bourne franchise (five and counting) is also the highest-grossing and the most critically-acclaimed.
Damon stars as Jason Bourne: a CIA assassin suffering memory loss who must figure out who he is. As well as Heathrow Terminal 2, other quintessentially British filming locations used in the movie include Waterloo Station and St Paul’s Cathedral.
3 Edge of Tomorrow
Year released: 2014
Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt
Tom Cruise-fronted action flicks can be pretty hit and miss (did you see The Mummy?), but this was certainly a high point on the superstar actor’s varied CV. Full of bombastic scenes, Heathrow Airport is depicted as post-alien invasion makeshift army base.
In the movie, Tom Cruise’s solider William Cage finds himself stuck in a time loop where, every time he’s killed, he reawakens to the day before the previous battle. Heathrow’s own staff played army personnel in the film, and the production team flew a ‘drone ship’ around the control tower.
Year released: 2012
Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%
Starring: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz
The most critically-derided film on our list, Gambit never even received a general release in the US, so poor were the reviews. Proving every career is full of ups and downs, it came only two years after Colin Firth’s Best Oscar win for The King’s Speech!
The story revolves around a disgruntled art dealer (Firth) coercing his abusive boss into purchasing a fake Monet painting. Tenuous plot threads mean a Texan rodeo queen (Cameron Diaz) is somehow roped along for the ride – leading to a colorful meeting at Heathrow Terminal 5 [above].
5 Love Actually
Year released: 2003
Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%
Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martine McCutcheon, Keith Knightley, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman
A Christmas classic with a one of the most impressive ensemble casts ever, Love Actually’s scenes at Heathrow Airport are iconic. In fact, Heathrow essentially serves as the inspiration for this series of interconnected love stories.
The opening scene shows loved ones reunited at arrivals, with Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister opining: ‘Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport.’ Furthermore, a study by Heathrow has even shown that 74 kisses are shared each hour at the airport – or 1,258 per day!
6 A Fish Called Wanda
Year released: 1988
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Keven Kline, John Cleese, Michael Palin
Another British classic, for which Jamie Lee Kevin Kline won the 1989 Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
A Fish Called Wanda – also featuring Fawlty Towers’ Cleese and Halloween’s Curtis – is a crime caper about diamond thieves trying to outsmart each other to go home with the loot. Where are the diamonds located? A hotel near Heathrow…
7 Red Sparrow
Year released: out next year
Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Charlotte Rampling
She’s currently wowing audiences in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller ‘mother!’, but Oscar winner (and four time nominee) Jennifer doesn’t let the grass grow beneath her feet. As well as promo for the thriller, she’s been working on a new project for next year.
In 2018, she’ll star in thriller Red Sparrow, about a Russian spy who considers becoming a double agent after falling in love with a member of the CIA.
The 27-year-old actress was recently photographed at Heathrow Airport shooting scenes for the action flick. We can’t wait to see it!
With over 35 bars, restaurants and cafes, including the new Gordon Ramsay Plane Food outlet, and dozens of designers stores, Heathrow is the perfect place to start your holiday or business trip. To book your trip, visit go.heathrow.com.
Heathrow Airport is a partner of Gay Star News.