5 Spectacular Oscar-nominated locations

BY Richard Mellor

1st Jan 2015 Travel

5 Spectacular Oscar-nominated locations

From icy Canadian wildernesses to the crimson-coloured Jordanian desert, the memorable locations for these Oscar-nominated films deserve their own award categories

The Revenant

The Revenant
Image via Wired

The movie for which Leonardo Di Caprio might finally win a statuette, Best Film favourite The Revenant is a gruelling survival epic.

Shooting was no less epic than the film itself. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu and team covered three countries in a bid for adequate snowy wildernesses.

Most scenes were shot in Kananaskis Country, a wild area of parks and reserves in the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary.

British Columbia’s Squamish Valley was used to film the sequence of the bear attack, while Montana’s Kootenai Falls—formerly glimpsed in 1994’s The River Wild, with Meryl Streep—feature in a dramatic river sequence.

The picture wrapped in southern Argentina’s glacier-ridden Tierra del Fuego region.


Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road
Image via Arts.Mic

The relocation of Mad Max: Fury Road—recipient of 10 nods—from an unseasonably rainy Australia to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast was unplanned.

Bordered by the Namib Desert, this desolate tract of rocky canyons, vast dunes, dried-out riverbeds and infinite scrubland is perfect for Max’s bleak, dystopian world.

Production was based in and around the adventure sports hub of Swakopmund, and cameras rolled on saltpans near Walvis Bay, a harbour town where vast pink flamingo armies gather.

Opening shots use the Spitzkoppe, a granite massif sometimes called the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’.


The Martian

The Martian
Image via Wired

Rather than taking his entire team to outer space, Ridley Scott instead located Best Film candidate The Martian in southern Jordan’s Wadi Rum.

Known as the ‘Valley of the Moon’, its dried-up, rouged riverbeds and surrounding sandstone mountains offer a truly otherworldly feel, perfect for documenting Matt Damon’s struggles to survive.

The desert, which contains ancient wonder Petra, has previously stood in for Mars in Red Planet and Scott’s own Prometheus.

Tours of The Martian locations are readily available, and go on to take in Wadi Rum’s ancient rock art, Nabatean temples, natural arches and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation.



Despite the name, much of Brooklyn was shot in Ireland, before four final days in the Big Apple.

The shoot kicked off in castle town Enniscorthy, where the novel’s author Colm Tóibín grew up. Set along the River Slaney, with a market square and restored merchant houses, it’s the sort of place where everyone knows everyone.

Enniscorthy’s cathedral was used for a period-costumed wedding, while the closed Athenaeum theatre temporarily re-opened to provide Brooklyn’s dance-hall scene.


Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies
Image via Teaser Trailer

Steven Spielberg’s tense Cold War thriller followed its plotlines from New York to central Europe.

Filming in Berlin began at the former Tempelhof Airport—now an emergency refugee camp.

The so-called ‘Bridge of Spies’ itself was the city’s Glienicke Bridge, and Spielberg’s multi-nominated movie remained faithful to history, recreating its own prisoner exchange on the same Havel River road crossing. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was apparently watching on.

Some later photography also took place in Poland’s second city of Wroclaw, one of Europe’s two Capitals of Culture for 2016.

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