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Oscar Nominations 2014: Where Do Hollywood's Finest Films Inspire Us To Go?

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SHANGHAI
The skyline of Shanghai stood in for a futuristic Los Angeles in "Her" and inspires us to travel to this Eastern city to see what technological innovations await. | HAP/Quirky China News/REX USA

"And the Oscar goes to..."

You won’t hear those words until March 2, 2014, when the official ceremony for the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s show of teary speeches and awkward moments, begins. Until then, odds makers will be betting on those most likely to take home one of the coveted statuettes.

Picking the winner in the Best Picture category is going to be very tough, in a year where Hollywood upped its game and produced some stellar movies. Instead, shift your thinking to the tremendous trips and travels that each of them inspires in the hearts of moviegoers.

From the beautiful flatlands of "Nebraska" to the sky-high buildings of Shanghai in "Her", this year's picks are a moving bunch -- not just in the emotional sense -- but in the way that gets you off your couch and onto a plane.

So pick your own favourite -- the one where you never looked at your watch ever once and encouraged your friends to see -- for this year’s Best Picture, then pack your bags and head to destinations that you’ll love, based on these nominees.

  • If you loved the retro ’70s vibe of "American Hustle"..
    Flickr: Mr. Littlehand
    Fans who loved this film about greed and being on the right or wrong side of the law may want to head to Massachusetts where much of it was filmed. Boston doubled as Philadelphia and the shores of New Jersey were recreated here. Worcester and Salem, Mass., were used in the street scenes and you’ll recognize the Essex Superior Courthouse, too.

    If it’s the '70s décor of the film you dig, visit Elvis Presley’s house (pictured) in Memphis or Ol Pejeta House in Kenya, where arms dealer Adan Khashoggi hosted legendary parties.

    Photo Credit: Mr. Littlehand
  • If you were moved to tears by "12 Years A Slave"..
    Flickr: cwwycoff1
    Head to Louisiana where some of the film was shot, including the St. Joseph Plantation and Madam John’s Legacy in New Orleans’ French Quarter. You may gravitate towards places like the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee (pictured). The site where Martin Luther King was assassinated in a well preserved, extremely moving time capsule.

    Visiting a place like the John Freeman Walls site in Puce, Ontario, brings the story home as the film alludes to Canada played a major rule in saving slaves through the Underground Railroad.

    Photo Credit: Carl Wycoff
  • If "Her" fanned the flames of passion for modern technology..
    Flickr: Wesley Fryer
    A lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) finds new love with his new computer operating system -- one that caters to his every need. If that’s a concept that appeals to you, it’s time to head to Asia where the service standards at hotels are second to none.

    Try the Four Seasons Hong Kong where staff caters to your every desire even before you think of it. Shanghai is a good option for fans of contemporary architecture. Its skyscraper-laden skyline got a supporting role in Her, standing in for a tidy, pristine Los Angeles of the future.

    Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer
  • If you were attracted by the Texan swagger of Matthew McConaughey in "Dallas Buyers Club"..
    Flickr: Roy.Luck
    Ron Woodroof was a real-life, HIV-positive, homophobic electrician and cowboy, the focus of this movie, set in 1985. Let’s focus on the cowboy part of that equation. Tap into your wild-west side at the George Ranch in Richmond, Texas (also McConaughey’s home state).

    If reality creeps into your vacation plans inspired by "Dallas Buyers Club", you’ll have to head to New Orleans, where the film was shot in its entirely in just 28 days. Film setting or not here, Dallas is worth a visit for its exemplary arts scene and BBQ joints.

    Photo Credit: Roy Luck
  • If you were drawn to the flat-out beauty of "Nebraska"..
    Flickr: mitgas
    This film channels the fun and frailties of a family road trip, with Bruce Dern travelling from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska with his son (Will Forte) in hopes of claiming a juicy lottery prize.

    Check out the real shooting locations for yourself, which also include small towns across Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota. Your own road trip won’t be as tense hopefully and you’ll be able to soak up the stark beauty of the mid-western plains where very little gets in your way of the horizon.

    Photo Credit: Mike Tigas
  • If Judi Dench took you on a sentimental journey during "Philomena"..
    Flickr: hisgett
    Like "Nebraska", this film is about an unlikely, awkward trip with Judi Dench playing a woman who wants to go to America to find the son she was forced to give up.

    If you wanted to replicate the journey, you’d have to start out in Ireland. (Killyleagh and Rostrevor in Northern Ireland were used in filming.) Make your way to Maryland and the Washington Memorial in Washington, D.C. Time in the capital and witnessing U.S. political antics at close hand should supply the same kind of wry laughs witnessed in the film.

    Photo Credit: Tony Hsgett
  • If Tom Hanks and "Captain Phillips" left you squeamish about cruises..
    Flickr: Paul Stephenson
    Fortunately to channel the maritime vibe of this somewhat true story of a boat captain (Tom Hanks) who tries to keep himself and his crew alive after Somalian pirates hijacked their boat, you won’t have to go to Somalia on your next vacation.

    Try Malta, the pretty island in the Mediterranean where much of the filming for Captain Phillips took place instead. It offers much better hospitality to foreigners than seen in the film. It was a major setting for filming Captain Phillips. For travellers, dramatic cliffs, seafood dinners and impossibly blue waters make it a welcoming place.

    Photo Credit: Paul Stephenson
  • If "Gravity" left you feeling spaced out..
    Flickr: Fristle
    Neither Sandra Bullock nor George Clooney were really launched into space for their roles as doomed astronauts in this stellar drama, but you can tap into real space technology yourself.

    The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.(pictured), hold artifacts from the first successful moon landing, Apollo 11, plus 22 other exhibition galleries.

    For something a little more hands-on, feel what it’s like to be shot into space at Walt Disney World’s Mission: Space attraction in Orlando. The centrifugal motion stimulator gives you a taste of gravity forces of 2.5G, something that has made some riders feel a bit green.

    Photo Credit: Mike Myers
  • If The "Wolf of Wall Street" inspired you to say “Greed is good”..
    Flickr: Goosefriend
    Based on the true story of swindler Jordan Belfort, this tale is centred on the greed of Wall Street and New York City naturally shined in the spotlight during filming. You can soak up a bit of the greed vibe yourself with supper at the Shalimar Diner in Rego Park, New York, used in the filming. Alternatively, lean more about the origins of the U.S. banking system with a visit to the Museum of American Finance, located on Wall Street, of course.

    The spoiler to Belfort’s high life and crooked ways was the FBI. Learn more about them and their crime-fighting prowess in Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of Crime & Punishment. There, you'll learn about forensics and see serial killer’s Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen Bug.

    Photo Credit: Goosefriend
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