Sophie Lee's Staycation

actress, author and mother of three, sophie lee, is home for the holidays with a to-do list that's blissfully low key (and almost wi-fi free). Here, she shares her family's culture compendium, INCLUDING top reads and FAVOURITE FILMS FOR THE KIDS.


  2. Check mate: main picture top, the author at home with her son, Tom. Below, Lee's on-staycation edit. β€‹β€‹


  4. Her holiday soundtrack: I like to expose my children to as many different sounds as possible and nothing is off limits – we listen to everything from Mozart to early hip-hop from Brooklyn, circa 1990. I find car journeys lend themselves to music that tells a story and evokes a mood. Our current obsession is Pink Floyd masterpiece, The Wall, we love its esoteric lyrics, soaring guitar solos and haunting harmonies. We're also sampling and squabbling over Arcade Fire’s latest album, Reflektor, and Lou Doillon's Places, for little bits of whimsy from the sultry songstress and style icon.

    Her Wi-Fi-free sessions: We've discovered Uno. It’s a game that youngest-through-oldest can enjoy together. My boys beat me consistently at chess, we love it but it's not very good for my ego. Also, Lego – we are throwing the instructions away this Easter and building whatever our imagination dictates, as inspired by Cloud Cuckoo Land in the dazzlingly hilarious The Lego Movie. I would sit through it again if I had a rainy day opportunity. Bring on the custom-built pirate-robots, three-wheeler buggy submarines and zombie playgrounds. 

  1. On her must-watch list: A long weekend in our house can often lead to a marathon of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones for the grown ups, so why not let the kids binge on something culturally enriching, too? The exquisite films of Hayao Miyazaki are just the thing: Spirited AwayHowl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo are among our favourites, along with Mamoru Hosoda’s Wolf Children. These works of cinematic art never fail to enchant and inspire, even on repeat.

    Her late-night viewing: I’m currently immersed in The Returned, a chilling French series centred around the horror that arises when the dead reappear, apparently normal yet frightfully hungry, in a picturesque French mountain town.


    On her bedside table: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I swear this magnificent doorstopper of a novel casts a spell over me every time I dip into its pages. I find myself utterly transported into Theo Decker’s world of pain and loss, furniture restoration and stolen artwork. Donna Tartt writes with a piercingly authentic teenage voice which always leaves me longing for more. Thankfully it is just shy of 800 pages so I have plenty of time to indulge my addiction to her masterful prose.

​​On her bookmark bar: Entertainment Weekly, ( Subscribe to this digital magazine and you, too, can become a film buff nerd like me. It satisfies my every craving for up-to-the-minute industry news and is, mercifully, gossip free.

What she’ll be wearing: I have a profound love for Dries Van Noten V-neck sweaters and I’m also a little obsessed with ankle-length jeans from one of my favourite Sydney boutiques, The Standard Store. If it’s still warm enough I'll continue to wear my Céline slides till they fall apart and for long walks, a flash pair of Nikes.

"Why not let the kids binge on something culturally enriching? The exquisite films of Hayao Miyazaki are just the thing." 

– lee on familiarising young children with artful world movies