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5 Valentine's films you might have missed

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Valentine's Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than having a night in with a romantic film? Here we pick a few cinematic gems you might have missed. They may not as well known as Romeo + Juliet, but that doesn't make them any less perfect for Valentine's.

1) Like Crazy (2011)

This little indie film took just over £160,000 at the UK box office and stars Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin as student lovers Anna and Jacob. When Anna's American student visa runs out, she is forced to return to the UK and conduct a long-distance relationship with Jacob. Of course, this doesn't go smoothly and the film explores what it is to fall in and out of love and the stresses and strains of young romance. Jones and Yelchin give fantastic performances and the film's dialogue is mostly improvised, giving it a spontaneous realism. Shot distinctively and with an ending which is rather unconventional in romantic films, Like Crazy is an engaging look at young love.

2) Once (2006)

We pop across the Irish sea for Once, a low-key and low-budget love story set in Dublin. Its two lead characters, known simply as “Guy” and “Girl” are played by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová and their romance blossoms whilst they write and perform songs together. Cheesy, you may say, but the script and direction avoid any saccharine sentimentality and the songs – especially “Falling Slowly” (which, by the way, won an Oscar for Best Original Song) – will charm and delight you in equal measure. Oh, and it's just been made into a West End musical.

3) Amelié (2001)

Quirky, charming, distinctive and French are all words which can be used to describe Amelié, the film which propelled Audrey Tautou to global fame. Set in Paris, and dominated by vivid red and green hues, the film follows the young and naïve Amelié who sets out to help those around her and, in the process, discovers love. Directed with bold creativity and a slight edge of surrealism by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the film is funny, feel-good and has a fantastic score by Yann Tiersen. And if you've ever wanted to know how many Parisian couples are having an orgasm at any one time, this is the movie for you...

4) Brief Encounter (1945)

Not strictly a 'lesser-known' film, but an oldie nonetheless, Brief Encounter is a classic of British cinema. When housewife Laura (Celia Johnson) meets a Dr Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard) at a railway station, the two fall in love, despite knowing that they can never be together. What makes this such a strong and affecting film is the forbidden love and passion which simmers under the surface of the characters' reserved and controlled exteriors. Celia Johnson's performance is superb and together with Trevor Howard, they make the perfect couple that never was. All aboard!

5) Love Story (1970)

Most people cry on Valentine's Day because they find themselves alone, eating a microwave meal and watching Bridget Jones. However, if you sit down to watch Love Story with your other half, you might just start crying too. Harvard law student Oliver and music student Jennifer come from very different backgrounds but end up falling for one another, much to the resentment of Oliver's father. Forbidden love grows but when life-changing news hits the couple, their love is tested to the extreme. It may be a little dated, but Love Story still has the power to pack a punch and the film's final message may just leave you in floods: “Love means never having to say you're sorry”.




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