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Where Will the Oscars Take You? by Harriet Ball and Rhys Reynolds

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Destinations to watch inspired by the big screen

In case you live under a rock, the 89th Academy Awards took place last night with the film world’s glitterati turning out for the culmination of what has been one of the most exciting and surprising awards seasons yet. Although a certain ‘Best Picture’ mis-hap seems to have overshadowed the event, rather than focus on that, our travel team are more interested in taking a look at the locations that played home to this year’s Oscar nominated pictures. Has La La Land inspired a mass exodus to the city of angels? Or is Miami, location for winning film Moonlight, on the bucket list of travellers this year?

La La Land – Los Angeles, California

If the opening scene of the movie, or the now iconic shot of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone doing a ‘Fred and Ginger’ above the sparkling lights of the city, doesn’t have you running for the Hollywood Hills, then there’s a small chance you may be dead inside… From the sun-kissed trendsetters of Venice Beach to the swanky hole-in-the-wall bars in West Hollywood, LA has become a must visit spot for travellers all over the world. The Getty centre is a must-do for all wishing to visit the star-studded city. J. Paul Getty Trust is a billion-dollar trust treasuring art and artefacts from around the globe. A collection of priceless pieces to rival The Louvre, it’s easy to immerse yourself for hours. Finish the day with a picnic on the grass, a glass of vino and the ever-enchanting scenery where blockbuster dreams are made. The city of angels will leave you dazed and dazzled dreaming of your name in lights. Plus, Norwegian has just released its schedule of super cheap trans-atlantic flights to destinations including LA so now there’s no excuse for putting off the dream!

Lion – Calcutta, India

The heart-wrenching story of an adopted boy who tries to find his family will make you love, laugh and cry for sure, but it will also have you yearning for the colourful climes of India. Set between Australia and India, the film is a fusion of two rich cultures. Food, history and cultural immersion are a few of the major draw cards for travellers lucky enough to be heading there. Dev Patel’s character Saroo starts life in the slums of Kolkata, the capital of India’s West Bengal state. Today, the city is known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. There is a saying in India ‘athithi devo bhava’ which means ‘the guest is God’. To get the full experience a home-stay is well recommended, given that Indian hospitality is second to none. Whether travelling for food, soul searching or the spectacular scenery, India needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.

Moonlight – Miami, Florida

Although this masterpiece, which (eventually!) triumphed at last night’s ceremony, is shot in an impoverished area of the city, Miami still shines. The beach plays a major role in leading character Chiron’s journey from boy to manhood. Virginia Key Beach, where Chiron learns to swim, is now a state park and trust, dedicated to preserving natural wildlife and endangered species. Elsewhere, the film’s stunning visuals capture sides of the city rarely visited by tourists. With soft focus shots of housing complexes or long character scenes set against a backdrop of rolling waves, you almost feel you’re there in the warm air. Miami is trending now, not just for its beaches but as centre for art, food and culture, plus with spring break approaching, it’s on Expedia’s top ten list of destinations for March and April. What are you waiting for?

Moana – Polynesian Islands

Ok, this one didn’t actually win, but you only have to look at the poster for Disney’s latest blockbuster, which was nominated for Best Animated Picture, to understand that you want to go wherever it was set. If you’re curious, it was inspired by a number of Polynesian Islands, one of them being Tetiaroa, which looks as paradisiacal as you’d expect. If you want to go there, you’ll have to wake Marlon Brando from the grave, because he actually owns it. Only joking. He did own, it but it is now home to the inconspicuously named The Brando, a new eco-friendly, ultra-luxurious resort. As we write this, on a breezy morning whilst gazing out at Hammersmith Broadway, we wonder why anyone would ever want to go there..?

To see the full list of winners, visit: http://oscar.go.com/winners

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