London in films – why don’t they get it right?

I went to see the new Clint Eastwood movie ‘Hereafter’ at the weekend. I knew nothing about the film before seeing it, I was just in one of those ‘why not catch a movie’ moods and was passing the cinema… I saw that Clint had directed it, so that was enough.

And it was OK, quite an enjoyable film. Matt Damon is getting better as he gets older and Clint is having something of a renaissance in his twilight years. Of course, being about the afterlife you need to suspend disbelief and assume that there really is a place you go when you die that is all bright lights and people floating around in eternal happiness… but apart from the ‘Ghost’-like plot devices, it all works quite well.

But, being a Londoner I was appalled by some glaring issues with the film. And this is just from sitting there watching it, not scouring the web for bloopers.

1. Since when did Virgin Atlantic fly direct from Thailand to France?

2. The London Book Fair at Alexandra Palace? It’s always been at Olympia, except for the past few years where it has been at Earl’s Court, but never at Ally Pally.

3. Liverpool Street Station is featured in the film, but re-badged as “Charing Cross Station” – why?

The last time I noticed so many misrepresentations of London in a film was in ’28 Days Later’ where the geography of London was all over the place and it’s annoying for locals when surely the filmmaker doesn’t need to do it? Or am I being naive and ignoring the need to scrape together product placement dollars wherever they can be found?
Phoenix Cinema

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