Hollywood North is Ready for its Close-Up

Feb 26, 2016
So you didn't score an invite to the Oscars. No big deal. The next best thing to rubbing shoulders with Tinseltown's talent is travelling to the set, or rather, the setting for their movies. This year's red carpet shines bright north of the border too: four Best Picture nominees boast a Canadian connection.

"The Revenant"

Forget the green-screen. Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu opted to shoot in natural light and he chose Alberta to stand in for the American wilderness of the 1800s. Uncooperative weather near Calgary, like a lack of snow, forced the crew to brave harsh wintry conditions and temperatures up to minus 40 degrees Celsius, deep within Kananaskis Country. Leading man Leonardo DiCaprio described his experience as "the most difficult film, I think, that any of us have ever done.”

See it for yourself: Rocky Mountain views await brave souls willing to stay at this 4-star hotel in Canmore.


What do Montreal and New York City have in common besides a love of bagels? Everything, it seems, according to Hollywood. Montreal stands in for New York in this film and homegrown actress Jessica Pare has a key supporting role.

Irelands' Saoirse Ronan -- up for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role -- had this to say about the city: “There’s such a small little familial feeling there, and a real community. We shot in McGill, which was gorgeous, and Mile End. It was great. I had a really nice time there.

See it for yourself: For $99 per night, including weekends, stay just a 15-20-minute walk from the aforementioned McGill University campus. 

Photo from Flickr by Alain Rouiller

"Spotlight" and "Room"

Toronto stood in for Boston as the setting for the biographical crime drama "Spotlight," with sights such as St. Basil's Church featured prominently. However, that's not the only Canadian connection. Resident Torontonian Rachel McAdams co-stars in the film and has received nominations for the SAG Award, Critics' Choice Award, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Rounding out our list is "Room" which was also filmed in Toronto.  The domestic ties go even deeper here. Best Actress nominee Brie Larson, who just won a Golden Globe for her role, also has Canadian roots -- her father hails from Winnipeg. Not to be outdone, her nine-year-old co-star Jacob Tremblay has been the talk of the town and he is a Vancouver native.

See it for yourself: There's no shortage of things to do and places to see in Toronto

Photo from Flickr by West Annex News


Popular Pages