On the heels of the 2018 Oscar nominations, movie buffs have a whole new set of vacation destinations to pursue their love of film. This year’s Oscar-nominated films are set in and filmed all over the world, with leader-of-the-pack The Shape of Water at thirteen nominations, having filmed in our very own Toronto and Hamilton.
From California, U.S. (both filming location and story setting for Lady Bird) to Dunkirk, France (filming location and setting for, you guessed it, Dunkirk) to Crema, Italy (Call Me by Your Name’s story locale) and more, fans of the Academy’s favourite films have some globetrotting to do.
Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has gathered a list of places to go to step inside the most amazing stories that have been told over this past year. And with over a third (36%) of travellers forecasted to pick their next destination based on inspiration from films this year –these spots are sure to gain a lot of attention.
Lady Bird – Sacramento, U.S.
Lady Bird, nominated for four gold men at this year’s Oscars, was filmed in numerous spots around Sacramento, with some indoor scenes having filmed down the coast in entertainment mecca Los Angeles. Fans of the highly acclaimed coming-of-age comedy-drama have their pick of places to Instagram themselves into the movie next time they travel to the California capital. Sacramento native and director Greta Gerwig chose numerous famous landmarks of the city to feature, like the 28 McKinley Rose Garden where Lady Bird and Danny express their true feelings. The iconic Tower Bridge crossing the Sacramento River appears many times and Thrift Town, Lady Bird’s regular shopping stop. It makes appearances, most notably as the setting for the momentous mother-daughter scenes.
Darkest Hour – Manchester & London, England
Gary Oldman’s dramatic transformation for the role of Winston Churchill created a huge buzz around this film that focuses on Churchill during a pivotal moment in the war. Scenes were shot in Manchester’s Harry Potter-esque Town Hall that’s open to visitors year-round and in Leavesden studios outside London. If you’re feeling fascinated after watching this film then be sure to visit the real Churchill War Rooms, which are depicted in the film, next time you’re in London. Housed in a secret underground bunker, Churchill commanded the British army from these rooms which were persevered and turned into a dedicated museum.
Look out for Toronto and parts of Hamilton disguised as a cold war era American city in this Guillermo del Toro-directed romantic horror and receiver of an astounding thirteen Oscar nominations. Del Toro is no stranger to these Canadian cities after disguising them as gothic Victorian towns in Crimson Peak where you can spot Dundurn Castle, Casa Loma and Trinity Bellwoods Park. The Shape of Water premiered at TIFF 2017 and earned the most Golden Globe nominations of any film, taking home two. Toronto locations you can spot in the film include University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus, Elgin Theatre -which is also where the film had its world premiere during TIFF, Massey Hall, Lakeview Restaurant, the Port Lands’ Keating Channel, and more.
Dunkirk – Dunkirk, France
With minimal dialogue, high praise for its screenplay, direction, musical score, and cinematography, Dunkirk tells the dramatic and true story of the World War II evacuation of 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers from a war-torn beach in Northern France. Dunkirk itself carries a rich history and culture, with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: on Saint-Éloi church and the town hall, plus a Fine Art Museum that houses Flemish, French, Dutch and Italian painting collections. Malo-les-Bains beach, nicknamed “queen of the northern beaches”, boasts 4 kilometres of sandy relaxation. This beach was one of the sites of Operation Dynamo in 1940 – the plotline for the movie that’s now nominated for eight Oscars.
Call Me by Your Name – Crema, Italy
Italy’s Northern countryside is a dream office if you’re an actor making a soon-to-be four-time-Oscar-nominated film. Call Me by Your Name, the romantic drama about the relationship between a teenage boy and his father’s assistant is set in quaint Crema within the Lombardy region about 40 kilometres east of Milan. Narrow streets and cobble-street public squares are framed by surrounding palaces. Santa Maria della Croce, a famous work by Bramante that dates back to 1493, is a striking Lombard Renaissance style sanctuary and minor basilica about a mile and a half from the city centre. Don’t go expecting the pasta, tomatoes and olive oil so prevalent around the rest of the country – risotto, polenta, meats and some of the most incredible cheeses you’ll ever taste will star on local menus.
Would you visit one of these locations? Let us know in the comments!
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