Oscar-worthy movie locations – global settings for this year’s best movies

Sunrise over Bellagio, Lake Como
Engel Ching/Getty

Despite the ongoing pandemic, this year the show did keep on going. Film crews navigated COVID-19 protocols in locations around the world, from the Jordanian desert (Dune) in the New Zealand mountains (The power of the dog) to the cityscape of Hiroshima (Driving my car). Tune in March 27 (ABC) to see which of the following nominations take the top spots at the 94th Academy Awards, hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes.

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Voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, Mirabel is determined to prove that she belongs to this extraordinary family.


Nominated for Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score and Best Song, Encanto tells the story of a family living in the Colombian mountains. Protagonist Mirabel takes viewers on a journey filled with magical realism and rich Colombian culture. The film was inspired by the city of Barichara.

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Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston, Massachusetts
John Coletti/Getty

Don’t look up

This star-studded film has made waves for its dark humor and all-too-real allegories about climate change. Rather than hitting theaters, the film was released on the small screen on Netflix. Now it’s four-time Oscar nominees for Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

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Judi Dench as ‘Granny’, Jude Hill as ‘Buddy’ and Ciarán Hinds as ‘Pop’ in director Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, a Focus Features release.
Features of Rob Youngson/Focus

Northern Ireland, England

This coming-of-age film written and directed by Kenneth Branagh details The Troubles from the perspective of 9-year-old Buddy, the son of a working-class Ulster Protestant family. Filmed in Northern Ireland where the conflict took place in real life, Belfast earned seven nominations this year, including the coveted Best Picture.

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Penélope Cruz as Janis in Parallel Mothers.
Iglesias Plus/Sony Pictures Classics

Parallel mothers

Leading actress Penélope Cruz could make history by becoming the first Spanish woman to receive the Best Actress Oscar, if she wins the award for her role as Janis (her second Best Actress nomination). The film, which is set in a hospital in Madrid, is also up for Best Original Score for music by composer Alberto Iglesias.

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Adam Driver plays Maurizio Gucci, Jared Leto plays Paolo Gucci and Lady Gaga plays Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci
Fabio Lovino/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Gucci House

This Lady Gaga-starring film is up for just one Oscar – Best Makeup and Hairstyling – much to the chagrin of Gaga fans who thought she would earn a nomination for her portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani. Set entirely in Italy, the crime drama’s settings include the streets of Milan, a Lake Como villa, and the Alps.

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Panos Koronis as Vasili, Dagmara Dominczyk as Rosaria in The Lost Daughter.
Yannis Drakoulidis/Netflix

The lost girl
Spetses, Greece

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s feature debut, adapted from a novel by Elena Ferrante, picked up three nominations this year: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for the performance of Olivia Colman and Best Supporting Actress, Wink. look at Jessie Buckley who plays the younger version of Colman’s character.

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Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica and Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune.
Chia Bella James/Warner Bros. entertainment inc.

Jordan, Israel, Abu Dhabi and Norway

Fan favorites Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet star side by side in the sci-fi flick directed by Denis Villeneuve. While filmed in locations around the world, including Jordan, Israel, Abu Dhabi and Norway, the windswept deserts of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates stand in for the planet Arrakis. dune is in the running for 10 awards including Best Picture.

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Guangzhou, China.


Filmed in 51 locations across the country, Ascent paints a picture of modern China and growing class divisions, while exploring global capitalism. Directed and produced by Jessica Kingdon, the film is in the running for Best Documentary Feature, a title it previously won at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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Hiroshima Castle.
Edgar Moskopp/Getty

drive my car

Based on the short story of the same name by Haruki Murakami, drive my car premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival to quick critical acclaim. While originally scheduled to take place in Busan, South Korea, the venue was changed to Hiroshima due to the pandemic. The film, nominated for four awards, is the first Japanese film to be nominated for Best Picture.

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South Island, New Zealand.

The power of the dog
New Zealand

A western psychological thriller based on the novel by Thomas Savage, the story follows two brothers on a ranch in Montana. The film, however, was mostly shot on the South Island – landscapes also used in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. The power of the dog received 12 Oscar nominations, the most of any film in 2022.


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