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Culture vultures

Be inspired by the 'Best Picture' Oscar nominee film locations

The Hayes and Jarvis Blog Team February 27, 2014

Hollywood sign

This weekend, the famous stars and starlets of Hollywood will be walking the red carpet for the movie industry’s biggest night of the year, the Oscars.

Over the years, many films have inspired holiday choices from the magnificent cityscapes of India in ‘Gandhi’ to the neighbourhood streets of New York in ‘The Godfather’.
 
This year, many of the movies nominated for ‘Best Picture’ at the 86th Academy Awards have strong links to the USA. We’ve selected a few of the filming locations so you can be inspired by the big screen: 
 
The Wolf of Wall Street (New York)
 
While Leonardo DiCaprio battles life and the authorities in the corporate banking world of Wall Street, you can take a trip to see the iconic sights of the Big Apple.
 
With an overwhelming number of landmarks to take in, a holiday to New York can often be quite chaotic but if you know where to look, then you’ll soon discover 1920’s romanticism around every corner.
 
Famous for its varied, skyscraper-laden skyline, New York sparkles by day and by night. We recommend walking among the neon billboards of Times Square, scaling new heights with a trip to the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building, or simply sipping an ‘Old Fashioned’ in an authentic speakeasy.
 
Fun Fact: Wall Street’s name is a tribute to a Dutch wall that once stood in the seventeenth century that served as protection from hostile British and Native Americans. However, the Dutch fortification almost wasn’t built because of a few unruly residents - a herd of persistent pigs kept knocking it down!
 
The Dallas Buyers Club (Dallas, Texas)
 
As per the name, the city of Dallas serves as the setting for the hard-hitting biographical film, starring Matthew McConaughey. Simply put, Dallas is every bit as brash, stylish and charismatic as the film suggests. With stereotypical Texan fun provided by the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, you can enjoy some traditional Texan meat feast barbeques and watch the cowboys make their names bucking broncos and bulls. This city is certainly anything but dull.
 
We’d recommend taking a self-drive tour through the cowboy country of Texas. For instance, our ‘Lone Star Trail’ tour starts and finishes in Dallas, and also takes in stops such as Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Fort Stockton, Big Bend National Park, El Paso, Albuquerque and Amarillo.
 
Fun Fact: A cowboy’s ‘Stetson’ hat isn’t just used for shading them against the heat of the sun; they are also traditionally used as drinking bowls for their horses.
 
Her (Los Angeles)
 
Set in the Los Angeles of the future, Joaquin Phoenix stars in a touching sci-fi film with a twist that looks at modern-technology and questions the very nature of relationships. 
 
A city already penned with many preconceptions – boastful celebrities and fad diets – Los Angeles offers much more than people often except. It is in fact a highly cultural city made up of eclectic historical sites, artsy villages and not forgetting, stunning beaches – the ‘City of Angels’ is as unique as the people living there.
 
We recommend spending a day on Venice Beach, as Joaquin’s character does in the film, and watching the world go by. Alternatively, take in some of the local art galleries and wander down the boardwalk for a taste of sunshine culture.
 
Fun Fact: The architecturally stunning stainless steel building in the film is actually the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by architect, Frank Gehry. It is the most acoustically sophisticated concert hall in the world and is also the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
 
12 Years a Slave (Louisiana)
 
This film addresses hard-hitting issues of slavery and pre-civil rights America. Also a BAFTA nominee for cinematography, it’s easy to see why with its beautiful depiction of the Deep South.
Heaped in Antebellum charm, you can tour the Louisiana plantations and take a step back in time to create an impression of one of the USA’s darker historical periods. Take a guided tour of the beautifully furnished mansions with their manicured gardens. We’d also recommend a visit to the Destrehan Plantation, the oldest documented plantation home in the Lower Mississippi River Valley, famous for being the setting of another movie great, Interview with a Vampire. Or take a camera and rent an overnight cottage at Oak Alley Plantation, a picturesque Greek Revival mansion that is one of the most photographed places in Louisiana.
 
If you’d rather experience an escorted tour to discover more, then our Gone with the Wind tour encompasses Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisianan and the mighty Mississippi. All united by their past, If you love history then you’ll love the stories that each of these places, all united by their past, has to tell. Take the time to sample their lively music, delicious Deep South cooking and charming southern hospitality too.
 
Fun Fact: Hattie McDaniel, who played Mammy in Gone with the Wind was the first black person (male or female) to win an Academy Award when she won the Oscar for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in 1939 for her fantastic performance.