From New York to New Delhi, a movie’s location is as important as its leading man or woman — and this season’s Oscar-bait settings will take moviegoers on a worldwide journey. Here are five pretty-as-a-(motion)-picture destinations that are ready for their close-ups.
As seen in: Diana
The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Diana, in which Naomi Watts — as the original People’s Princess — embarks on a clandestine affair. Pond-hoppers looking to dig up royal secrets can visit Di’s former home, the recently renovated Kensington Palace, dip their feet in the Diana Memorial Fountain and perhaps catch a glimpse of a would-be king.
NEW YORK CITY
As seen in: Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coen brothers’ latest musical ode follows a singer’s (Oscar Isaac) journey through the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961, the same year Bob Dylan arrived. Among the must-see stops are the now-legendary Cafe Wha?, where Dylan sang Woody Guthrie covers to a near-empty room, and picturesque Washington Square Park just around the corner, where musicians gathered on Sunday afternoons to network and jam.
As seen in: Grace of Monaco
Nicole Kidman’s turn as actress-turned-princess was probably one of her easier gigs to research, as Grace Kelly’s presence is still vibrant in one of the world’s most densely populated nations. The changing of the guards at the Prince’s Palace of Monaco and the 1875-built Cathédrale de Monaco, which houses the graves of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III, are among the country’s busiest attractions.
As seen in: Oldboy
The plot of Spike Lee’s new film, in which a man (Josh Brolin) seeks answers for his kidnapping, doesn’t sound like the making of a dream vacation. But the film’s unnerving vibe complements The Big Easy’s celebratory philosophy on life — and the afterlife. Take a stroll through the French Quarter and witness the crowds outside Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo (www.voodooneworleans.com), then stop by the Voodoo Museum (www.voodoomuseum.com), which hosts a cemetery walking tour to visit Laveau’s tomb.
As seen in: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
In this film about an office drone given to flights of fancy, Reykjavík provides an appropriate backdrop for Ben Stiller’s latest directorial/acting effort. The city’s most iconic landmark — the Hallgrímskirkja church — is a feat of the imagination that recently underwent a massive restoration. Before you book, know that summer brings 20 hours of daylight and winter the same amount of darkness.