The red carpet is unfurled and the spotlights are on. However, instead of wearing fancy dresses and incredible hairstyles, let’s pack our suitcases and open our maps in order to get to know the cities that serve as the stage for the eight films that were nominated for Best Picture in this latest edition of the most famous movie awards in the world.
- Spotlight: Boston…or Toronto?
This edition’s winning movie addresses a story that shocked the citizens of Boston: a scandal of child abuse perpetrated by local priests and covered up by the Church for years. However , the gray and evocative photography that characterizes the film is not the stately city of Boston, but another North American location: most of the exterior takes -such as buildings and streets- were filmed in the Financial District of Toronto, a neighborhood that resembles a lot many American neighborhoods due to its tall skyscrapers and wide avenues.
- The Big Short: New York and New Orleans
A black comedy that reflects on the collapse of the US housing sector that caused the global economic crisis in 2008, a walk on the dark side of capitalism. The movie was primarily shot in the legendary city of Louisiana, New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The state is one of the great cultural centers in the US and, here it was where the singer Selena Gomez recorded her album. Part of the shooting took place in Mercer, in the heart of Manhattan. And, in order to recreate the offices of Lehman Brothers (axis of the plot) the team used the lobby of the Financial Services Department of New York.
We stay in New York so that we can get to know one of its most legendary neighborhoods. The Brooklyn Bridge is, without any doubts, an American icon present in countless cinema productions. Although the film, set in the 50s, stars a young Irish woman (Saoirse Ronan, nominated for Best Actress) who moves to Brooklyn, most scenes were shot over three weeks in various Irish locations, including Enniscorthy, Wexfordand and Dublin, the capital city. After that, the production team moved to Montreal, Canada, in order to shoot various scenes and recreate that United States in the 50s.
- The Revenant: Alaska, Canada and Ushuaia
The odyssey for the survival of Hugh Glass, a trapper and explorer in the nineteenth century that has made Leonardo Di Caprio finally win his first golden statuette, has another great protagonist: the landscape of desolate and epic Alaska during Glass’ voyage to nowhere. Although some images were literally shot in the End of the World (the team traveled to Ushuaia, Argentina, to capture the snowy beauty of the land), most of The Revenant was filmed in Kananaskis region, an area of national parks in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, west of Calgary. One of the most complex shooting sequences was filmed against the backdrop of Kootenai Falls, the same location as the 1994 film The River Wild, starring Meryl Streep.
- Bridge of Spies: Germany and Poland
The film that has reunited Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks after ten years of not working together was filmed in New York, Germany and Poland, featuring many of the places where the events of the real story took place. The film deals with the tensions of a Cold War in full swing. The European production started in the city of Berlin. In order to shoot the part taking place in the Berlin Wall, the team traveled to Wroclaw, Poland, since this city looks more like East Berlin in the 60s that the actual city of Berlin. In Manhattan, the production team was able to recreate most different architectural styles of the city and its surrounding neighborhoods. The shooting took place in numerous areas of Wall Street and its surroundings, including Foley Square and Broad Street subway station. Besides, a public school in Astoria Park, Queens, and Ditmas Park, a residential area of Brooklyn full of picturesque houses in quiet streets and surrounded by trees, are already part of the movie’s setting.
- Room: Toronto
Yes. Once again, the Canadian city serves as shooting setting for a Oscar-nominated movie. However, Room could have been shot anywhere in the world, as it develops in a small claustrophobic room that we can see through Jack’s eyes, a curious long-haired boy who was kidnapped with his mother, played by Brie Larsson, awarded with the Oscar for Best Actress.
- Mad Max Fury Road: Namibia
This display of post apocalyptic action with Charlize Theron is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise, and it has accumulated up to six Oscar during this Awards edition. Although the shooting began in a desert area of Australia called Broken Hill, after days of heavy tropical rain, grass and vegetation started to grow, so the team had to move to the heart of Namibia’s desert, which served to perfectly portray the movie’s dusty atmosphere.
- The Martian: Budapest and Jordan
Traveling to the Red Planet is the dream of many, but still a utopia. Ridley Scott tells the survival story of the astronaut Watney, who was assumed dead after the failure of a manned mission to Mars. But Watney has survived and is trapped and alone in the hostile planet. The main shooting of The Martian took place in Budapest. The splendid central European capital has become famous for hosting a long list of big-budget films Hollywood because of its beautiful scenery and experienced local teams. But what really attracted the movie producers was soundproof Korda recording studios, an ideal location for building a Martian landscape for the cockpit scenes and the aircraft’s departure. The stage was mainly used for shooting dialogue scenes, spaceship interiors and the sequence with the giant sandstorm. The panoramic landscape scenes were filmed later in Jordan.