The 85th Academy Awards ceremony, aka The Oscars, will take place on Sunday 24 February Sunday 2013 in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Hosted by Seth MacFarlane, the winners across the 24 categories will be revealed for another year.
The historical film Lincoln directed by legend Steven Spielberg took twelve years of in-depth research. It was filmed primarily in Petersburg, Virginia – a state rich in culture and American history, as the film is testament to. Located on the Appomattox River, Petersburg lies about 23 miles south of the state capital Richmond.
The city’s location caused Petersburg to be a strategic location throughout the Civil War. It was a crucial site of transportation and commercial activity, as well as the site of Fort Henry. The Petersburg National Battlefield preserves a number of battlefield sites where tourists can visit the place where the Battle of Five Forks was fought.
Synopsis of Lincoln – Starring Daniel Day Lewis in the lead role, Lincoln tells the story of 16th USA President. Abraham Lincoln in 1865 as he deals with various issues including the end of the Civil War, slavery and political issues. Directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg, the stellar cast also includes Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, James Spader and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Oscar Nominations for Lincoln – Leading the way with 12 Oscar nominations for 2013, Lincoln is a serious contender for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Daniel Day Lewis, who has already won 2 Academy Awards for My Left Foot in 1989 and There Will Be Blood in 2007.
Life of Pi
Filmed mostly in India, Life of Pi has been lauded as a digital masterpiece of its time. Scenes were also filmed in Canada and Taiwan. Kerala in India boasts lush, exotic scenery that makes it a popular vacation destination in Asia. The scenery includes long stretches of beach shorelines, emerald waters, breathtaking waterfalls, striking wildlife, and sprawling plantations.
As the most advanced city of India, Kerala has the highest life expectancy in the country, 100% literacy, and world-class healthcare. Tourists can enjoy a range of entertainment in this diverse city, from culture laden festivals to tranquil Ayurvedic health treatments.
Another film location for the movie, Pondicherry, India, is full of impressive monuments. Tourists will enjoy photographing the ornate cathedrals, Aayi Mandapam, and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
Synopsis of Life of Pi – The story of young man’s battle for survival at sea onboard a small boat with only a fearsome Bengal tiger for company! Taken from the 2001 novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi won the Booker Prize in 2002. The film stars Suraj Sharma in the lead role of Pi Patel and the lavish 3D masterpiece is directed by Ang Lee.
Oscar Nominations for Life of Pi – With 11 nominations in the Oscars 2013 in total, Life of Pi will compete to win Best Picture, Best Director and Best Visual Effects, amongst others.
Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook was shot in Bradley Cooper’s home state of Pennsylvania. The actor grew up just northeast of Philadelphia, where setting in which the movie takes place. The city is full of activities for visitors of all ages. Families can visit the Philadelphia Zoo and education center.
History buffs will find no shortage of significant sites like the Benjamin Franklin Life & Legacy Museums and Liberty Bell. The Philadelphia International Festival of Arts is a cultural event that features more than 50 impressive events from music to theatre. Exhibits like The Rise and Fall of the Prohibition and the Secret World of Espionage are always available for an afternoon of viewing.
Synopsis of Silver Linings Playbook – Bradley Cooper takes on a serious role as he plays a man just released from a mental institution. Trying to piece his life back together and get back with his ex-wife, the film also stars Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.
Oscar Nominations for Silver Linings Playbook – 8 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director (David O. Russell) and Best Actor.
Les Miserables was shot in France and parts of England. France has a lot to offer with well-known monuments like the Eiffel Tower. Tourists might like a tour of the tower before enjoying dinner on its first floor restaurant. A cruise down the Seine River is another option which includes a 3-course dinner on the Marina de Paris.
In Buckinghamshire visitors may stroll pristine gardens, explore the haunted halls of castles, or swing through the course at Go Ape Tree Top Adventure. If visiting at the right time of year, tourists can catch the Marlow Town Regatta and Festival or the Bucks Open Studios largest visual arts event in the area.
Synopsis of Les Miserables – Based on the hugely successful and long running musical, Les Mis is essentially a love story set in 19th century France between Jean and Cosette. Based on the 1862 novel, Les Miserables first opened in theatre in 1980 in Paris. It is the sixth longest-running show of all time in London’s West End (started 1985) and New York’s Broadway (1987) as well as the rest of the world. In fact in London alone there have been over 11,000 performances since 1985. The film lineup is huge with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter all starring.
Oscar Nominations for Les Miserables – Also received 8 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor for Hugh Jackman and Best Costume Design.
Families can have all kinds of thrilling adventures at the site where Django Unchained was filmed. Santa Clarita, California boasts theme parks like Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Magic Mountain. With abundant sunshine and beautiful weather, tourists can go fishing at Castaic Lake, hike a number of trails, or explore the wildlife and mountainous regions of Placerita Canyon.
Synopsis of Django Unchained – Set in the USA’s Antebellum Era (1781–1860), Django Unchained tells the story of a former slave turned bounty hunter who tries to rescue his wife from a Mississippi plantation. Legendary Director Quentin Tarantino has cast Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson in lead roles.
Oscar Nominations for Django Unchained – 5 nominations including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz and Best Original Screenplay.
While most of the scenes for Skyfall were shot in London, England, the film includes filming from Istanbul, Turkey and Shanghai, China.
Istanbul made National Geographic’s list of 30 best places for family vacations. The Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace are beautiful structures to photograph and explore. Families can also shop among 5,000 vendors that crowd the streets.
In Shanghai, a major metropolis of Asia, tourists can delight in a spread of authentic Asian cuisine and fine shopping on the Nanjing Road, Huahihai Road, or North Sichuan Road before taking a night cruise on Huangpu River. In fact, Shanghai is commonly referred to as “Oriental Paris” for its high fashion. Art enthusiasts should not miss the Grand Theatre and Oriental Center.
Synopsis of Skyfall – Daniel Craig stars once more as legendary British spy, James Bond, where MI6 comes under attack. This Bond epic is directed by Sam Mendes and also stars Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris in addition to the usual Bond cast.
Oscar Nominations for Skyfall – 2013 is the 60th anniversary of James Bond and although the film franchise has never done well at the Academy Awards in the past, 2013 was expected to be different. But Skyfall has just 5 minor nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Music (Original Score), Best Music (Original Song), Best Music (Original Song) and Best Sound Mixing. Singer Adele will perform the ‘Skyfall’ lead song at this year’s Academy Awards.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The stunning New Zealand landscapes come to life in the first in the new Hobbit trilogy – An Unexpected Journey. Movie goers are already familiar with the beautiful settings following the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Movie set tours are hot stuff right now in New Zealand with travellers clamouring to explore ‘Hobbiton’ which was set in Matamata on New Zealand’s North Island. The legendary lands of Mordor were filmed in the Tongariro National Park and the Isengard Fortress is actually set in Queenstown.
Synopsis of The Hobbit – A prequel to Lord of the Rings, follows hobbit, Bilbo Baggins on his ‘unexpected journey’ with a band of dwarves to reclaim a stolen mountain. Again the cast is strong with Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Richard Armitage as Thorin.
Oscar Nominations for The Hobbit – Rather surprisingly only Oscar 3 nominations for Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Production Design.
Check back later for an update on the winners and losers…