This weekend marks the 88th Academy Awards and we can’t wait for the red carpet hits and misses, the cringe-worthy speeches and surprise wins. Here are the holiday destinations that starred in the biggest films of 2016…
It’s already swept the board at the BAFTAs, and The Revenant is looking to nab a handful of Oscars too – fingers crossed it’ll finally be Leo’s year. But it’s not just about our fave 90’s heart-throb, the stark wintry landscape that he grunts and hobbles his way across was the other star of the film. In order to get the very best landscape footage, the shoot was stretched to a gruelling 9 months, and the director even hired a dedicated meteorologist to find the right snow and predict exact cloud formations (no joke). Filming locations were scattered around Canada’s west coast which shares the same mountain space as famous skiing spot Whistler. The popular resort is just a 30-minute drive from the Squamish Valley where the infamous bear attack was filmed.
Locations: Jordan & US
With its copper-coloured sand and multi-layered rock formations, only Jordan could do the job of being Mars’ double. The mystical valleys of Wadi Rum may have been filtered and photoshopped to look more Mars-y but are still recognisable within the film, and it’s a destination that can be ticked off on a Thomson Cruise from next winter. The Martian was the first feature film where NASA was directly involved in the development to make it super realistic, and you can also visit NASA’s facilities yourself. We can’t promise a mission to Mars, but if you swing by the Kennedy Space Centre on your Florida holiday, you’ll get the chance to meet an astronaut and see an actual rocket launch.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Locations: Iceland & Abu Dhabi
If hype was taken into consideration, Star Wars would have won all the Oscars. But, our fave new Disney franchise has only managed to score a nod in the editing, sound and visual effects categories. Still, you can visit the locations that made these fabulous edits possible and re-enact your own Star Wars battle. The opening scenes on desert planet Jakku were filmed in Abu Dhabi, so you can actually sink your toes into the same sand as Rey and co. Landscape shots for the icy planet Hoth were filmed in Iceland with Eyjafjallajökull and Lake Víti making it into some scenes. If you’re visiting Rejkyavik, be sure to check out this street named after Darth Vadar in honour of the new series.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Namibia’s dessert dunes played the part of post-apocalyptic Australia in the fourth Mad Max instalment. With its burnt-orange sand and barren landscape, the natural no-filter scenery made the perfect backdrop for some epic action sequences. The desert lands of Henties Bay, dry riverbeds of the Swakop River and the famous Skeleton Coast were all used as filming locations. It’s not just the new Hollywood – Namibia has also had its fair share of celeb visitors with Brad and Ange making it their holiday destination of choice.
It wouldn’t be the Oscars without a surprise snub or two. These are the films that didn’t make the cut…
Locations: Morocco, Mexico, Italy
Even though it was a box office hit, Spectre didn’t quite enjoy the same award-success as its predecessor Skyfall. In fact, it only just managed to snag a nomination in the best song category thanks to Sam Smith’s ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’. However, location-wise, it was a hit. Starting in Mexico with some spectacular Day of the Dead festivities, 007 had a quick high-speed chase through the Austrian Alps, before swinging by the Vatican in Rome and the deserts of Morocco.
Locations: Abu Dhabi, Dom Republic, USA, Canada
Universal’s massive film franchise boasts the most sequels ever – just when you think it’s over, they bring out another film. At least the crew have had fun filming all over the world, as the series is practically a travel advert in itself. 2015’s Furious 7 ticks off 3 massive holiday hotspots, with Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the Dominican Republic‘s beaches and the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi all featuring in the fast-paced action sequences.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
Alvin and co’s Oscar snub has left film buffs across the world perplexed – perhaps it’s something to do with the lack of diversity. They tipped themselves for a nomination in the ‘best song category’ but didn’t even get a nod. In the film, you’ll see the squeaky trio travel across sunny Miami – a road ‘chip’ you can experience yourself on your Florida holiday.