These days, an Academy Award winning movie’s location can be as big a star as the actor in the leading role. So if you’ve been inspired, why not plan a trip to see the setting? JAMES ELLIS checks out a few of the contenders…
UP IN THE AIR - LAS VEGAS
GEORGE CLOONEY plays a corporate hatchet man who travels the US, ending up in Vegas. You can try to win big at the dozens of casinos on The Strip. Not a gambler? The shopping is amazing, the nightlife top-drawer.
Five nights’ room-only at the 5* Hotel At Mandalay Bay costs from £849. Call 0844 573 2460 or see vhiphotels.co.uk.
Four nights room-only at the 4* Planet Hollywood are from £629 with Gatwick flights before May 5. Call 0871 664 0273, see thomsontailormade.com.
UP - VENEZUELA
YOU don’t have to tie balloons to your house to get to South America’s Paradise Falls – the ones in this film were based on Venezuela’s stupendous Angel Falls. The falls, in the Canaima National Park, are the highest in the world and a Unesco World Heritage site.
Sixteen nights in Venezuela including visits to Caracas, the Orinoco River, Indian settlements and Angel Falls costs from £2,349 including flights and some meals. Call 0845 863 9600 or see exodus.co.uk.
DISTRICT 9 - SOUTH AFRICA
A SPACESHIP hovers above Johannesburg, the inhabitants are forced to Earth and confined to the District 9 ghetto – a reminder of the apartheid era. In real life, the shopping is amazing and there is a buzz around townships like Soweto and Alexandra. The Cradle Of Humankind is an amazing World Heritage site.
Seven nights’ B&B in Johannesburg at the 4* Protea Hotel cost from £1,140 including flights from Heathrow. Call 0844 557 3859 or see virginholidays.co.uk.
THE HURT LOCKER - JORDAN
THIS Kathryn Bigelow film about a US Army bomb disposal unit in Iraq was filmed in Amman, capital of Jordan. The most westernised city in the Middle East, it is a hotbed of culture and arts with fabulous restaurants and nightlife. Take a trip to the old city, home to souks selling everything from traditional carpets to smoky spices.
Four nights’ B&B, taking in Petra, Wadi Rum and nights under the stars with Bedouins, costs £938 including Heathrow flights. Call 0844 499 0901 or see explore.co.uk.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS - GERMANY
THE dramatic scenes from Quentin Tarantino’s World War Two tour de force where Brad Pitt’s motley crew hunt Nazi patrols were filmed in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The area straddles Germany’s Saxony and Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Hikers will love the climbing routes (there are more than 14,000) while the less active can chill in the spa town Bad Schandau.
Cities Direct have two nights’ B&B at 3* Air hotel from £199. See citiesdirect. co.uk or call 01242 536900.
AN EDUCATION - OXFORD
JOURNALIST Lynn Barber’s autobiographical tale of a young woman who falls for an older man was shot partly in London and around the dreaming spires of Oxford. Visit the Modern Art museum in Oxford, stroll the botanical gardens or head to Blenheim Palace in nearby Woodstock.
Nights at the Barcelo Oxford are from £141 per double including breakfast and one dinner. Call 0871 222 3055 or see superbreak. com.
THE BLIND SIDE - ATLANTA, GEORGIA
THIS true story of American football star Michael Jerome Oher could help us Brits warm to the game, especially given Sandra Bullock’s recent Golden Globe for her performance as his adoptive mother. Scenes were shot in Atlanta where the Martin Luther King Historic Site and World Of Coca-Cola are tourist attractions.
Four nights’ roomonly at the 3* La Quinta Inn cost from £381 including flights from Heathrow on March 9. See ebookers.com.
A SERIOUS MAN - AMERICAN MID-WEST
THE Coen brothers filmed in Minneapolis and St Paul – the coolest part of the US Midwest. It has more than 10,000 lakes and the nightlife is great. Nearby Bloomington is a shopper’s paradise thanks to the world famous Mall Of America, a shopping complex that even has a theme park.
Five nights at the 3* Radisson Hotel Bloomington is from £675 per person for bookings made by March 25. Includes flights from Heathrow. Call 0800 316 0194 or see bon-voyage.co.uk/spotlight.
PRECIOUS - NEW YORK
THIS harrowing tale of an obese girl raped by her father is set in late 1980s Harlem – a time when the New York neighbourhood was fraught with drugs, guns and petty crime. Today, it is much more vibrant with top shopping centres, cool restaurants and funky bars.
Three nights’ room-only at the 3.5* Affinia are from £481 per person in March with flights from Heathrow. Call 0844 493 0758 or see ba.com/newyork.
AVATAR - NEW ZEALAND
YOU won’t find the blueskinned Na’vi of James Cameron’s sci-fi epic running round in New Zealand, where much of Avatar was filmed. The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and King Kong were also filmed in the country – directors love the fact the landscape bears hardly any sign of mankind in the form of telegraph poles or pylons. The cafes and bars of Wellington – home to Kiwi director Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop – are where movie stars hang out.
Fourteen nights in New Zealand (three nights at the 4* Rydges in Auckland, a nine-day selfdrive tour and two nights in Wellington at the 3* Mercure) cost from £1,629 per person including flights for departures from May 15. Call 0800 8407 802 or see travelmood.com.