True film aficionados will make it a point before early March’s 90th Academy Award ceremony and television presentation to see the movies nominated for “Best Picture.” Film lovers who have the travel bug will often make it a point to visit at least some of the locales used locations in the nominated movies. This year, a number of the nominees would mean travel to England, where “Darkest Hour,” “Phantom Thread,” and parts of “Dunkirk” were filmed. 300,000 allied troops were evacuated from Dunkirk, France, and the film, along with its inadvertent companion piece, “Darkest Hour,” is provoking a renewed interest in the Second World War.
Not far from 10 Downing Street, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey lies London’s Churchill War Rooms museum, the underground complex depicted in “Darkest Hour” from which the Prime Minister administered the war. It’s haunting, during the walking tour, to hear Churchill’s voice give radio addresses and see one of the ashtrays which held his famed cigar ready in his quarters as if he may return at any moment.
Travelers interested in visiting the actual, historical conflict sites, such as Dunkirk, can access them through Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, which has provided group, private and customized tours to locations around the world since 2007.
If you liked “The Post,” you’ll love Newseum. It’s one of the most interactive museums in the world and a tribute to journalism and the free press, which were the themes of the film.
Nearby Baltimore, circa 1962, was the setting for “The Shape of Water,” though time travel will be tricky. But not as tricky as finding Ebbing, Missouri…since there is no such place. For the film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” the mountain town of Sylva, North Carolina filled in. Sylva is an hour’s drive from Asheville in Western North Carolina, and the town of 2,644 people is expecting and ready for a tourism influx. Tripping.com is already helping by touting a full-log, four bedroom loft home for rent on 11 wooded acres at the top of Bench Mountain. At 2,875 feet elevation the secluded home offers up to 18 a view of the valley and Great Smoky Mountains for only $250 per-night.
“Locations often times play a supporting role in a movie and tourism to that destination increases anywhere from 25-300 percent as a result, said Jeff Manheimer, co-founder & CEO of Tripping.com (often referred to as the “Kayak of vacation rentals.”) “One of the most famous examples is “The Lord of the Rings” franchise which is said to have increased tourism to New Zealand as much as 50 percent. The New Zealand Custom Service even created a passport stamp which read, ‘Welcome to Middle Earth.’ Most recently, “La La Land” drove an increase in visitors to key locations from the movie such as Griffith Observatory and the Lighthouse Café.”
It’s some Hollywood misdirection, too, for the location of “Get Out,” since the movie was set in upstate New York but filmed in Fairhope and Mobile, Alabama.
“Lady Bird” lead character Christina McPherson pines to leave Sacramento, but the director’s depiction of California’s capital will surely drive people into town instead.
It will be like a treasure hunt for those who search out the 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy, used in “Call Me By Your Name.
Though “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” was a commercial smash hit, the adventure film was not nominated for Best Picture, but that won’t stop people from going to Honolulu and the Big Island of Hawai’i!