While the stars may be flocking to Los Angeles for the red carpet rendezvous and glamorous afterparties of award season, we regular old movie lovers should make haste to places inspired by the movies we loved most in 2019. Don’t worry, even if your favorite Oscar picks were snubbed—we’ve got you covered.
A city with many identities, Lille wasn’t a French city until Louis XIV sieged it from the Spanish Netherlands in 1667. France’s third-largest city has Flemish roots, French and Spanish influences, and, of course, was occupied by the German Empire from 1871 until the end of WWI. It’s the kind of city that’s deeply felt the push-pull of history, including the time specific to Sam Mendes’s Oscar-nominated film.
Martin Scorcese’s epically long, two-part crime drama is Philadelphia to the core, particularly South Philly, an area now known for vibrant street art and locally-owned restaurants, but in the Irishman era, it was a neighborhood occupied by people who “paint houses.” Welcome the change by taking a stroll through the neighborhood’s Magic Gardens and join the masses waiting for a perfect taco at South Philly Barbacoa.
The book on which this Taika Waititi-directed movie is based is set in WWII-era Austria, and lovers of the satirical black comedy involving a jokey Hitler-as-imaginary-BFF will also be drawn to the country’s capital, which is a hotbed of performance art and over-caffeination.
Borderland State Park, Massachusetts
The home used for filming Rian Johnson’s popular comedy-thriller is known as the Ames Mansion located on the grounds of Massachusetts’s Borderland State Park. The park features mansion tours, pond fishing, canoeing, disc golf, and ice skating and sledding in the winter months. Providence, Rhode Island, is only a 35-minute drive away, and you should stay at The Dean Hotel for hip accommodations.
One of America’s most important literary towns was the home of Louisa May Alcott (and many famous Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson). Several historical sights commemorating the “American Bloomsbury” era still stand in all their quaint New England glory. Take a dip in Walden Pond and soak in all the Jo March energy you can.
If Marriage Story is your favorite Oscar-nominated movie, you may be inspired to find common ground in Nebraska, the central-most state between New York and Los Angeles. Bolster your inter-relational communication skills by attempting to decipher ancient Indian petroglyphs at the Indian Cave State Park, or seek solace at Scotts Bluff National Monument, where covered wagons remind of simpler times, when your biggest relationship issue was trying to not die of cholera, as opposed to balancing your husband’s burgeoning Broadway career in New York while pursuing a promising pilot role out in Los Angeles.
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Nothing epitomizes the rugged glitz and glamour of Quentin Tarrentino’s hotly contested 2019 film like Downtown LA. A neighborhood still in transition, there’s debate about whether it’s on the cusp of LA greatness or still reeking of it’s seedy past. The only way to find out is to see for yourself—stay at The Firehouse while you’re at it and get a helping of cutting-edge contemporary art at Hauser & Wirth.
Seoul, South Korea
One of the most compelling aspects of this Korean thriller’s production is that it was built in a house designed specifically for filming this movie. And while Seoul doesn’t serve as much of a backdrop for this horror flick, which is making a name for itself as South Korea’s first ever Oscar nomination, it’s a great place to explore the country’s influential design scene and other cultural exports like K-pop.
New York, New York
We wouldn’t say Uncut Gems is a love letter to New York City, per se—it doesn’t show off many places you’d actually want to go (the Diamond District? MSG?)—but it does exude a kind of frenetic energy you can only find in NYC. Perhaps a day exploring hidden treasures on the Upper East Side is in order.
Island of Malta
Wondering what happened to Jennifer Lopez’s recognition for her epic supporting role in Hustlers? What about a directorial nod for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women? Also, dónde está Booksmart? We recommend deleting all social media apps and jetting off to Malta, our favorite underdog Mediterranean island, until award season is over. Enjoy crisp blue waters, elegant architecture, and some of the best food in Europe.