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The Simplicity City Holiday Watch List

Nicole Rice, curator of the Instagram account @simplicitycity, shares 10 stylish, pre-digital films to cozy up with.

by Eleonore Condo

Gwyneth Paltrow in 'A Perfect Murder.' Courtesy of Getty Images.

Avid followers of Simplicity City, the brilliantly curated Instagram account beloved by the fashion world, know that tucked amongst the vintage J.Crew catalog scans and iconic paparazzi shots of Carolyn Bessete-Kennedy are evocative film stills from the pre-digital age. Nicole Rice, the creator of @simplicitycity (and @thesimplicityman), has a keen eye for films that exhibit the same sophisticated calm style as the rest of her grid. “When I look for films to post, I look for ones that possess great style and visuals, and that contain an element of nostalgia, comfort, and simplicity,” she says. “Common themes are New York City and easy, natural style and beauty.” Hopefully, with the holidays comes some well-deserved downtime, perfect for cozying up on the couch with a great movie. To give you some stylish inspiration, we reached out to Nicole and asked her for her top 10 films:

Metropolitan (1990) and The Last Days of Disco (1998) directed by Whit Stillman

“Every year during the holidays, I watch and post stills from Metropolitan. Whit Stillman’s films really speak to me—I wish there were more of them, but the fact that there are only a few makes them more special. This one in particular is my favorite Christmas movie, and, despite focusing on a crowd that calls itself the "urban haute bourgeoisie," the conversations are relatable and endearing and the NYC locations like JG Melon are fun to spot. Another Stillman film that has to be on my list is The Last Days of Disco. It reminds me of being young and living in Manhattan and it has great music, dialogue and style.”

La Collectionneuse (1967), Claire’s Knee (1970) and Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (1987) all directed by Éric Rohmer

“I could fill up my list with 10 Éric Rohmer films because they are all my absolute favorites! His entire collection would be my desert island pick, but these are my top three. He found beauty in the mundanity of everyday life, which is something I’m drawn to in the images I post. His stories are no-frills, heartwarming, relatable and the characters possess a simple, natural, and lovely style.”

Peppermint Soda (1977) directed by Diane Kurys

“A recurring film on Simplicitycity is Peppermint Soda. It’s another coming-of-age film from 1977 and it’s adorable, charming and stylish. The story of adolescence and sisterhood and never feels dated.”

Love Story (1970) directed by Arthur Hiller

“I recently rewatched Love Story and was reminded of one of the first muses of my Instagram, Ali McGraw. Her style is iconic and timeless and the story is sweet and heartbreaking. It is a perfect cozy season film and McGraw’s Jennifer always inspires me with her simple, preppy ’70s looks.”

Sliding Doors (1998) directed by Peter Howitt and A Perfect Murder (1998) directed by Andrew Davis

“It doesn’t get much better than Gwyneth Paltrow's style in the 90s. Two films that I always enjoy revisiting for her aesthetic are Sliding Doors and A Perfect Murder. Growing up in the 90s makes this era very nostalgic for me, it’s one that I like to revisit often.”

The Joy Luck Club (1993) directed by Wayne Wang

“Next up in my queue is The Joy Luck Club. I haven’t seen it since high school, but a follower recently recommended it. I love getting suggestions that people DM me. It is amazing how many films I still haven’t seen and I love hearing what the community cherishes and feels would be a good fit.”

Beautiful/Honorable Mentions:

La Belle Noiseuse (1991) directed by Jacques Rivette, La Petite Bande (1983) directed by Michel Deville, Purple Noon (1960) directed by René Clément and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) directed by Anthony Minghella, An Unmarried Woman (1978) directed by Paul Mazursky, When Harry Met Sally (1989) directed by Rob Reiner and Masquerade (1988) directed by Bob Swaim.

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