The big final scene of award season is this upcoming weekend, with the 91st Academy Awards. The nominated films have broken records and boundaries, starting off with Lady Gaga being one step closer to an EGOT and Black Panther becoming the biggest superhero movie of all time.
Although the performances are something to celebrate, travel expert Heather Greenwood Davis came on the show to shine a light on the beautiful locations these Oscar nominated films were shot at. With the buzz of the films, she thinks these places will become trending, hot destinations for travelling this year.
Below are the highlights of each destination Heather wants you to know.
A STAR IS BORN – CALIFORNIA
We know the original film has been remade 3 times and now it’s up for eight Academy Awards. But an important part of each film has been the beautiful California setting. The first iconic spot is The Empire Polo Club which is currently known for hosting the Coachella Festival each year. Many of the scenes in the film were shot in real venues with unsuspecting audiences, such as The Empire Polo Club. Three other venues used were the Greek Theatre, the Regent and the Shrine Auditorium where they recreated the Grammy Awards.
You could even recreate a scene and sit in the parking lot at Super A Foods in East Hollywood or visit Bradley Cooper’s character’s house in the woods of Calabasas, north of Malibu.
Photo credit: iStock/guenterguni
BLACK PANTHER – AFRICA
Although Wakanda is not a real place, much of the film is based on the culture and traditions of Africa.
Black Panther hints at the fact that Wakanda is located at the centre of Africa, which can be related to Rwanda. This country has some of the highest numbers of women in positions of power and may have inspired the women in the film.
Some of the African references seen all over the scene of the battle for supremacy are:
- The elder in the lime-green suit with a lip plate was inspired by the Mursi tribe in Ethiopia as a tribal beauty mark statement.
- The red hair paste was inspired by Ochre paste used by the Himba tribe women in Namibia.
- The hats and colourful fabrics on Wakanda citizens were inspired by African fashions, particularly from Nigeria
- The deep throated barking and mountain living of the Jabari tribe led by M’Baku is a reference to the real mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo.
- In the opening scene, Killmonger steals a Nigerian Igbo mask
It’s a great time to visit this continent. This year is the 25th year of South African Democracy, it has been 25 years since the Rwandan genocide and it’s the “Year of the Return” which marks 400 years since the first African slave was stolen for the USA. It hopes the return of the African Diaspora to Ghana, one of the main ports for the slave trade.
Photo credit: José Luis Ruiz
ROMA – MEXICO CITY
This Oscar favourite film is based on the director, Alfonso Cuarón’s childhood and upbringing in a neighbourhood called” Colonia Roma”. Fun fact – the house exterior seen in the movie is actually across the street from the director’s childhood home. Some Roma landmarks we see are:
- Teatro Metróplitan is the theatre in the film and it’s a venue to live music.
- La Casa del Pavo is the sandwich shop Cleo and Adela visit on their day off.
- Tuxpan is the location of the climactic beach scene.
- La Marquesa is a national park where they shot the New Year’s party.
Colonia Roma is known for being a fashionable part of Mexico City which goes to show all the work done on the film to make the city look like the story took place in the 1970’s.
Photo credit: P199
GREENBOOK – CIVIL RIGHTS TRAIL
Although there are a lot of controversies around the film, Heather notes the importance of communicating what the Green Book is, to people who aren’t aware. In the film,
Mahershala Ali’s character is not allowed to stay in the same hotel as his driver due to the colour of his skin. A good opportunity to learn about this history is to visit the Civil Rights Trail. It runs across the US South and lets visitors become educated about pivotal movements and emotional moments from that area and that time. To see spots where they filmed, you should head to Louisiana, where they shot most of the film. If you’re in Louisiana, you can stay at the Houmas House Plantation in Ascension Parish. You can also stay at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York that acts as Memphis in the film!
A couple more movie secrets:
- The scene at the Copacabana Club in New York is actually the outside of the International House Hotel in New Orleans and the inside of the historic Carver Theatre.
- The hot dog eating contest took place at the Clover Grill in the French Quarter.
THE FAVOURITE – THE UK
This film is a period piece starring Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz with 10 Oscar nominations. About 85 per cent of the movie was shot at a very popular film location called Hatfield House in the UK, 20 miles north of London. Other films you could have seen this in are The Avengers, Harry Potter, Get Him to the Greek and Batman. The estate is notable for its dramatic staircases, the gold ceiling of the Long Gallery, the King James Drawing Room and the East Garden, where Stone and Weisz shot a scene.
As a tourist, you can book a stay here and reenact some of your favourite scenes! The Lawn House is a bed and breakfast that puts you in the best position to visit the Hatfield House estate and take a tour of the gardens (which open in late March/ early April).