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5 Films Where Architecture Plays a Supporting Role

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And the Oscar goes to architecture!

It's Friday, which means it's movie night! In honor of today's release of High-Rise, a film adaptation of J.G. Ballard's dystopian novel of the same name, we bring you five movies in which architecture plays a supporting (if not starring) role. And no, not all buildings are evil.

Don’t Look Now by Nicolas Roeg (1973)

In this unsettling thriller, Donald Sutherland plays an architect who takes a job restoring an old church in Venice. Julie Christie plays his grief-stricken wife. As they attempt to mourn the tragic death of their young daughter, a supernatural presence seems to thwart them at every turn. The film, which contains one of cinema's most graphic sex scenes, highlights just how sinister and spiritual (not to mention sexy) an ancient city and all its darkened corners can be.

The Lake House by Alejandro Agresti (2006)

This drama combines many of Hollywood’s favorite plot points: hot architects, re-booted couples, and time travel. Keanu Reeves plays a frustrated architect and Sandra Bullock a lonely doctor who fall in love by sending letters back and forth from a beautiful glass lake house on stilts (made for the movie and then dismantled) they both once inhabited—but at separate times. It sounds cheesy and implausible, but trust us: it's romantic as all get out.

Last Year at Marienbad by Alain Resnais (1961)

Follow a Chanel-clad Delphine Seyrig through an opulent European hotel and its eerie topiary gardens as she struggles to make sense of her memories, her unknown desires and the grounds' impossibly confusing layout.

North by Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock (1959)

This spy caper has it all: Mount Rushmore, the Plaza Hotel, the United Nations Building—and a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired house (the architect was too expensive for the movie’s budget). Oh, yeah, and Cary Grant.

Playtime by Jacques Tati (1967)

Take a stroll through a fictionalized Paris with the bungling—and infinitely entertaining—Monsieur Hulot (played by the director himself) and a group of American tourists. Here, the city's beautiful architecture is eclipsed by modern glass-encased structures, and nothing is quite as it seems.