Joelle Mentis, Writer
It’s Oscars season, when the genetically gifted and exceptionally talented descend upon Hollywood to celebrate all the good things about film. Movies may just be the universal language. They’re a pastime — and a passion — beloved by billions. But making movies is hard work. You know, memorizing all those lines. Six a.m. call times. Easy-on-the-eyes co-stars. And glamorous locations. In honor of all that Hollywood does to make us laugh, cry and think about long after the popcorn is gone, here are the Oscar movie destinations of the Best-Picture-nominee films this year.
The Movie: The Power of the Dog
The Destination: Dunedin, New Zealand
Movie Summary: In 1925 rural Montana, a duo of wealthy brothers meet a soft spoken mother and son. George, the kinder of the two falls in love and marries the mother, Rose, who waits tables. Phil, the more volatile brother torments Rose and her son, as he is stuck in his cowboy past. One of the most widely nominated films of the year, The Power of the Dog is a story of love, parenthood, and the inner worlds of ranch hands.
Overview: Though the movie is set in Montana, the team actually filmed this Oscar movie destination just about as far from the state as one can get: in New Zealand. However, the region of Otago on the South Island of New Zealand was a kismet location for the director and native to the country. The southern region of Otago had just the kind of endless nature that she was looking for. If you’ve seen the film, its enough to say that it looks like a movie set. Rolling hills edge up against an endless horizon in 360 degree vision. Also, the grasslands are much brighter than the muted down versions seen in the film.
Related: Six Movies Filmed in Hotels
The Movie: Drive My Car
The Destination: Hiroshima, Japan
Movie Summary: Drive My Car is an adaptation of the short story by Haruki Murakami. Although, the film is anything by short. At 180 minutes, the run time enables a complicated, subtle and lengthy story of a widowed theater actor who makes his way to Hiroshima to direct a production of Anton Chekhov’s play, “Uncle Vanya”. The production is unique in its portrayal of actors with differing languages spoken and who play characters of ages different from their own. Overall, the film creates a world mostly understood through action and expression.
Overview: Despite being the site of a famously devastating nuclear explosion, the Oscar movie destination of Hiroshima is a bustling city on the coast of Japan. There is of course a wealth of historical landmarks that commemorate the 1945 drop of the historic atomic bomb. But, there are also beautiful islands with beaches and buddhist temples to day trip too. Hiroshima is also famous for its delicious Okonomiyaki, a yummy savory pancake stuffed with seafood and noodles.
The Movie: Belfast
The Destination: Belfast, Ireland
Movie Summary: This partial autobiography of the life of Kenneth Brannagh is an ode to a 1960’s Ireland. The movies follows a young boy’s trials and tribulations as he comes of age in a time tinged with The Troubles. Politics and turmoil fall to the wayside in this spirited portrayal of childhood. Ultimately, it is elegant and perfectly done.
Overview: Though you may only know it because of the Titanic and that season of The Game of Thrones, the Oscar movie destination of Belfast is one of the best destinations for natural beauty. Rolling green hills and lush meadows border the city that was built hundreds of years ago. There are old castles and traditional Irish pubs, as well as modern museums and unbelievable seafood restaurants.
Honorable Mention: No Time To Die
The Destination: Matera, Italy
Movie Summary: Though this Bond film was released last year, we can’t help but mentioning it for the incredible setting. Bond films are always action packed and feature beautiful people and more beautiful destinations. The latest film features a retired Bond who comes out of retirement for a special quest to rescue a kidnapped scientist.
Overview: If you take one look at Matera you will understand why it has been a movie destination for more than just the James Bond franchise. The city in the Basilicata region of Italy is entirely made of stone. Once a shameful place that represented poverty, Matera has since turned into one of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions. Over generations, people carved houses, museums and hotels into the rocky hillside like caves. The story of the town is almost as cool as the structures themselves. The dwellings date back to the Paleolithic age. Today, intricate limestone caves represent generations of detailed renovation work.
Related: On Location: Where James Bond Filmed