Visiting Oscar-Nominated English Film Locations

By Clark Norton
February 13, 2015

British films were nominated 21 times in several Academy Award categories this year, including two for Best Picture, two for Best Actor, one for Best Actress, one for Best Director, and two for Best Supporting Actress.

If you’re headed to England this year, you can visit a number of location settings for these films. Here’s where:

 

The Imitation Game

The life story of brilliant mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing is the focal point of this historical drama set in the Victorian estate of Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, used as headquarters for the British Government Code and Cypher School during World War II. It’s a Best Picture nominee.

Turing – played by Best Actor nominee Benedict Cumberbatch – broke the supposedly impenetrable German Enigma Code, hastening an end to the war. The once top-secret facility is now a tourist attraction, thanks in part to the hit movie. Keira Knightley, a Best Supporting Actress nominee, co-stars. An “Imitation Game” exhibition, featuring film costumes and props, will be playing there until mid-November, 2015.  Bletchley Park is less than an hour’s train ride from London.

 

The Theory of Everything

Cambridge, England, is the backdrop for this film about the younger days of physicist Stephen Hawking, before he developed a paralyzing neurological disorder. Eddie Redmayne, who starts as Hawking, was nominated for Best Actor, and Felicity Jones, who plays Hawking’s first wife, Jane Wilde, picked up a Best Actress nomination. The Theory of Everything also got a nod as Best Picture.

St. John’s College at Cambridge University was used for filming. Couples can kiss on the same bridge near St. John’s where Stephen and Jane did. Or you can visit art museums, take a boat out on the river, and tour Cambridge’s other picturesque colleges. The city is just an hour from London by train.

 

Other Nominated Films

Mr. Turner, which won four nominations, tells the story of renowned 19th-century English landscape painter JMW Turner. Fans of the movie (and/or of Turner) can visit Petworth House, an estate where the artist lived and worked; many of his landscapes were based on the local countryside. Petworth House is in the town of Petworth in West Sussex, England.

Maleficent, a tale about an evil fairy starring Angelina Jolie that received a nomination for costume design, also uses the land around Petworth House for some of its location shots. Ashridge, a stately home in Hertfordshire, England, was used for location scenes as well.

You can go into the woods where the film Into the Woods was shot at Windsor Great Park, a 5,000-acre haven filled with woodlands, gardens, and trails to hike or bike. Meryl Streep received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in the movie that weaves together tales of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood. It also received two nominations in  design categories.

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