The Oscars 2016: Best Picture film locations
The 88th Academy Awards will take place on February 28th, and this year the nominees for Best Picture take in an impressively diverse set of locales, from New Orleans to Berlin and as far afield as Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. Here’s the lowdown on the locations of 2016’s potential Oscar winners.
New Orleans, USA
And the award goes to...The Big Short
Adam McKay’s comedy-drama, based on Michael Lewis’s book, dissects the 2008 financial crisis and puts it back together with a series of celebrity cameos and comedy sketches. The Big Short is set partly (filming also took place in New York) in the jazz capital of New Orleans, famous for fun and food, including its delicious sugary beignets – square-shaped pieces of fried dough that are heaped with powdered sugar. Grab a few at the famous Café Du Monde in the French Quarter. If this whets your appetite for music, the lifeblood of ‘The Big Easy’, then head to the Spotted Cat music club in the Faubourg Marigny neighbourhood. There’s no cover charge, but if you want to hang around for the music, there’s a ‘one drink minimum’ rule per set – which could mount up somewhat if you get there when it opens at 2pm. Best time of year to visit? It's got to either February for the world famous Mardi Gras celebrations, or April when the Jazz Festival's town - it's just one of our top picks for where to go in April.
And the award goes to...Bridge of Spies
Stephen Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies takes the audience on a tour of Berlin’s Cold War history, served up with a large slice of American apple pie. The bridge in the title is in fact the Glienicke Bridge, connecting Potsdam and Berlin. To get into the spirit, visit Checkpoint Charlie, the famous border crossing between East and West Berlin. Only a small border-post reconstruction remains (complete with soldiers in period costume), but the neighbouring museum (open daily 9am-10pm, entry €12.50) tells the story of the Berlin Wall and the people who risked their lives to cross it. If the tales of hardship all get a bit too much, you could always drown your sorrows in a thirteenth century beer hall - Zur Gerichtslaube offers “genuine old Berlin ambience” underneath vaulted brick ceilings and can trace its history all the way back to 1270. Take a look at our local's guide to Berlin for more on what to do in the German capital. Other locations where Bridge of Spies was filmed include New York and Wroclaw, Poland.
And the award goes to...Brooklyn
Eilis Lacey, the young heroine of Brooklyn, based on the novel by Colm Tóibín, blazes a difficult and romance-filled trail from County Wexford in Ireland to Brooklyn, America. If you’d like to follow in young Eilis’s footsteps, visit Enniscorthy via a flight to Waterford and retrace her steps before she makes her life-changing journey across the Atlantic. On your way from the airport stop for a tour of the Waterford Crystal factory (tickets cost €12.15 in advance; opening hours Monday to Friday 9.30am-3.15pm); locals have been making beautiful crystal here since the eighteenth century. Once in Enniscorthy, head to the famous thirteenth century Enniscorthy Castle (Monday to Friday 9.30am-5pm, weekends 12pm-5pm; entry €4). Down the years, it’s been home to Norman knights, English armies, Irish rebels and prisoners - and even a famous furniture designer, Eileen Gray. An armchair created by Gray and owned by Yves Saint Laurent sold at auction in 2009 for an astonishing €22 million. If all this has inspired you to visit Ireland's west coast, check out these 10 secret islands in Ireland.
And the award goes to...Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller’s dystopian thrill ride was filmed partly in Namibia - some scenes were also shot in Australia. The country is home to one of Africa’s most beautiful national parks, Etosha (park fees are NAD 80 per adult per day). There you can view a salt pan so large it can be seen from space, as well as a variety of animals including zebras, elephants (some of the largest in Africa), black rhinos and even leopards. But for something a bit different, take a tour along the inhospitable Skeleton Coast, known as ‘The Gates of Hell’ by medieval Portuguese sailors. It's home to mysterious mist-enshrouded beaches and countless shipwrecks – the never-ceasing surf dragged many unlucky boats to shore, leaving shipwrecked sailors with no choice but to brave the desert. Skeleton Coast Safaris can take you through this inhospitable landscape – prices start at $7,290 per person. To see more of the world's most famous skipwrecks, have a look at our guide.
And the award goes to...The Martian
In Ridley Scott’s sci-fi adventure, Matt Damon’s plays a botanist astronaut who is stranded on Mars by his unsuspecting colleagues. If you want to make like Damon and explore an other-worldly landscape, head to Jordan, where the movie was partly filmed - some scenes were also shot in Budapest. The ancient city of Petra, hewn from rose-red rock, might well bring to mind a long-lost ancient civilisation hailing from the red planet. This UNESCO World Heritage site was carved into the sheer rock face 2,000 years ago, but remained unknown to the western world until explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt reported his discovery in 1812. The city is entered through a narrow gorge called the Siq, and your first sight is Al Khazneh, a massive first century tomb standing at around 40 metres high. You might recognise Al Khazneh as the last resting place of the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Entrance prices to Petra vary depending on how long you plan to visit these ancient sites - best check Jordan Tourism Board's website for a full breakdown.
And the award goes to...The Revenant
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s savage revenge drama is set in nineteenth century Montana and South Dakota, but it was filmed mostly in Alberta and British Columbia in Canada, as well as the wild landscapes of southern Argentina. If you’re looking for an adventure as well as some famous film location spotting, head down to Argentina's Tierra del Fuego, the ‘Land of Fire’. After a stop in Ushuaia, the southern-most city in the world, explore this windswept archipelago with a trip along the 240 kilometre Beagle Channel, named after Charles Darwin’s ship, the HMS Beagle. Patagonia Explorer offers yacht tours (each four hour trip departs at 9:30am and 3pm daily), allowing you to sail past colonies of sea lions, penguins and cormorants in comfort. Not quite survivalist drama, but there’s enough brutal thrills to be had from simply drifting through this chilly, inhospitable landscape. See what we mean with these stunning pictures of South America.
And the award goes to...Room
Lenny Abrahamson’s harrowing drama, based on Emma Donoghue’s book, is a touching ode to motherly love. Brie Larson plays Ma, a young woman who will stop at nothing to give her son a normal life in anything but normal circumstances. The story was shot in Toronto, a dynamic city that sprawls along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. Make a beeline for the old St. Lawrence Market (open Tuesday to Thursday 8am-6pm, Friday 8am-7pm and Saturday 5am-5pm), home to a variety of vendors selling various foods, flowers and specialty items in the grandiose confines of a 1850s meeting hall. Particular recommendations include the peameal bacon in a bun at the Carousel Bakery (peameal bacon being wet-cured bacon rolled in cornmeal, a Toronto speciality), as well as the Montreal-style bagels at St. Urbain. Read about more to see and do in Toronto, from the CN Tower to the Hockey Hall of Fame to a shoe museum...
And the award goes to...Spotlight
Tom McCarthy’s film follows in the grand tradition of investigative journalism dramas such as All the President’s Men, The Pelican Brief and State of Play (starring Rachel McAdams, who also happens to star in Spotlight). In McCarthy’s drama, a team of Boston-Globe journalists break a story that shakes the city, from the Back Bay to Southie, from Brookline to Jamaica Plain. If you’d like to investigate the wonders of Boston, must-sees include Fenway Park for a Red Sox game and a stroll along the historical Freedom Trail. This four kilometre, red-lined route leads you straight through sites significant to the American Revolution, including the house of Paul Revere who rode through the night to warn of the arrival of the British army. These days Bostonians prefer coffee beans to tea bags: dubbed 'Beantown' you won't be short of coffee spots to stop at and refuel before embarking on more sight-seeing. Equal Exhange Café (226 Causeway St) in the city's North End delivers feel good factor with their caffeine - they only use fair trade beans and all their food is locally sourced. Now shake on over to our Boston guide, filled with beers, Cheers and lashings of clam chowder.
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