The nation is gearing up for this year’s Bafta awards (to take place at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday 16 February). Despite this being the British Academy Awards, there seem to be a fair few entries from across the pond, which take place in some intriguing Stateside locations…
12 Years a Slave – New Orleans
Tipped to be one of the big winners, nominated for 10 awards, 12 Years a Slave is filled with rich historic locations, many of which are open to the public. The movie is the story of a free man, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the plantations of New Orleans. Visitors to New Orleans can tour its historic plantations, including the St Joseph’s Plantation used in filming. A beautifully restored example of an 18th-century Creole house, Madame John’s Legacy, is another filming location that welcomes visitors.
The Wolf of Wall Street – New York
Martin Scorsese’s latest offering has scooped three nominations including best director and best actor for star, Leonardo DiCaprio. Set in the heady world of Wall Street in the late 80s, the movie features locations from New York’s financial district. Visitors can experience the hustle and bustle of the city, while exploring the Federal Reserve and the Museum of American Finance. Fans of the movie may also wish to eat at the renowned Rao’s Italian restaurant in Harlem, which was used in filming and where Former New York City Police detective Bo Dietl actually took Jordan Belfort in the ’90s. “I took him to Rao’s and he was so stoned he fell asleep in his f**ing macaroni,” Dietl has previously said in an interview.
Saving Mr Banks – Los Angeles
Nominated for five awards, Saving Mr Banks was mainly shot in and around LA. The film tells the story of Walt Disney’s struggle to win the rights to ‘Mary Poppins’ from author PL Travers. Unlike Travers, movie fans will be won over by the film’s star-studded locations. Filming locations include the Disneyland Resort, Graumans Chinese Theatre and Universal Studios, all of which can be visited on a trip to Tinseltown. Meanwhile, the Pacific Southwest Railway museum was also used in the movie, and makes for an interesting day learning about American history.
American Hustle – Boston
Another contender to clean up at the Baftas, American Hustle explores the world of con artists and gangsters in New Jersey in the 1970s. Although it was set in New Jersey, the movie was mainly shot in Boston. Fans wishing to soak up some of the glitzy atmosphere of the film could try their luck in Atlantic City. New Jersey’s answer to Las Vegas, it features a scenic promenade and even has its own Caesar’s Palace.
Blue Jasmine – San Francisco
The latest flick from Woody Allen is up for three Baftas, including a Best Actress nomination for Cate Blanchett. The film tells the emotional tale of the downfall of a New York socialite, and is set in San Francisco – a location used in movies including Mrs Doubtfire and Milk. Blue Jasmine features the beautiful sandy Ocean Beach, and the iconic district of Pacific Heights, to name but a few. Visitors to the city can also take in the Golden Gate Bridge, ride the city’s famous trams and explore Alcatraz.
Behind the Candelabra – Las Vegas
This glossy Liberace biopic celebrates the glamour and opulence of Las Vegas, but many of its scenes were shot in a studio replica of Liberace’s home in Bel Air. The outside shots of the mansion were filmed on location in LA at Zsa Zsa Gabor’s house. Visitors to Las Vegas can tour famous neighbourhoods and see this home, as well as those of stars such as Celine Dion and Nicholas Cage. Afterwards, why not take a walk down the larger-than-life Vegas Strip?
The Butler – Washington DC
Oprah Winfrey is nominated for best supporting actress in this tale of a domestic servant who works his way onto the staff of the White House. Set and shot in Washington DC, the film captures American’s heritage against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Places of note include the White House, of course, and the Lincoln Memorial, but given the tone of the film, a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial might also be in order.