It’s often said that movies transport you to another world, but it’s even better if that world is an inspiring travel destination in its own right. Well, that can certainly be said of this year’s Oscar nominees and winners. And as the 89th Academy Award finish wrapping up (though the Moonlight/ La La Land saga remains imprinted on our brains), we thought it was high time to look at the movies that have really fuelled our wanderlust of late. Obviously, the dream situation is to actually book a trip to the filming locations around the world, but until that happens, this list of Oscar-inspired destinations should suffice.
Inspired by: Lion
There are numerous reasons you’d want to visit India’s capital of culture, Kolkata. Not only does it possess all the bustle you’d expect from the third largest city in the country, but it also boasts an arts scene full of Bengali theatre and art, plus some inspired colonial architecture. Until you make the wise decision to book a trip there, check out Lion for a taster. The many nominations it received didn’t lead to an Oscar, but it’s well worth a watch – a true story about a young Indian boy, Saroo, who gets separated from his family, and later adopted by an Australian couple. Yes, the flick provides two for one when it comes to travel destinations; Tasmania’s Hobart and Victoria’s Melbourne are given their fair share of screen time, but both rural and urban India are depicted too. And there’s a multitude of filming spots based around Kolkata itself to check out, from Howrah Bridge to Shalimar Station. So, give it a watch for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman’s acting, but also to get planning a trip that India you’ve always wanted.
Los Angeles, United States
Inspired by: La La Land
It’s fair to say that La La Land has pretty much attracted as much limelight as the celeb-filled City of Angels itself. The movie Emma Stone won ‘Best Actress’ for has received accolades aplenty (plus some awkward award confusion); and yes, the Hollywood musicals of the ’40s and ’50s it pays homage to mostly explain why, but its extensive showcase of LA is more than worth a mention. The movie was filmed at 40 different locations around the city, ranging from the Griffith Observatory, which overlooks the city, to the Lighthouse Café, a legendary jazz club just outside of it. And the old-fashioned Hollywood glamor it portrays really speaks for itself. For a taste of it when there, be sure to check out stylish eateries like Formosa Cafe and Musso and Franks, and the iconic Million Dollar Theatre . You’ll feel so swept up in the allure, you could well be part of the jazz pianist falling for an aspiring actress saga…
New South Wales, Australia
Inspired by: Hacksaw Ridge
Academy Award winner for ‘Best Sound Mixing’ and ‘Best Film Editing’, Hacksaw Ridge tells the story of a Seventh-day Adventist who saved dozens of lives during his work as an unarmed medic in World War II. As you might expect, the Mel Gibson-directed movie is pretty intense. Something less intense? The fact the battlefields were recreated in the scenic Australian state of New South Wales. The small city of Goulburn was home to the production team, but is also home to craft markets, small music festivals, and the official title of Australia’s first inland city to be settled. If that’s not for you, the historical war movie was also shot in Bringelly and Richmond – i.e. the outskirts of Sydney. We’re sure we don’t have to explain why Sydney might be an appealing destination to visit, but to whet your appetite we’ll just say a few teasing words: Opera House, Bondi Beach, and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Miami, United States
Inspired by: Moonlight
Miami isn’t all beaches and parties – as exemplified by ‘Best Picture’ award-winner Moonlight, which follows a young man growing up in a troubled neighborhood there. The drama not only tells an emotive tale of self-discovery, but it really takes viewers on a journey through the city, thanks to Director Barry Jenkins and his emphasis on keeping the look of the film authentically Miami. If you’re a fan and want to visit the locales it was shot in, visit Virginia Key Beach, a historic hidden gem, and Jimmy’s Eastside Diner, a comfort food spot where the movie’s reunion scene was shot. Of course, Miami has a lot more to offer than that: check out the murals in Wynwood Arts District, and the endless shopping and dining options at Lincoln Road, for starters.
Image credits: Intrepid Travel (first), iStock (others)
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