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Friday Fun: Oscars-Nominated Films Featuring Place in a Starring Role

Many of the movies nominated for Oscars this year gain a great deal of thematic and storytelling meaning from their locations.
February 22, 2019, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The red carpet at the Oscars
Alan Light

"Over the past five years, roughly three-quarters of movies nominated for best picture or screenplay have been place-centered," according to Jenny Schuetz.

The story is no different this year, with place-centered nominees like "If Beale Street Could Talk" (New York City in the 1970s), "The Favourite" (18th century England), and "Black Panther" (set in what Schuetz describes as "the meticulously created fictional country of Wakanda").

Urban location also factor heavily among the place-centered movies in 2019. "Among the 2019 nominees, primarily urban movies are 'BlacKkKlansman' (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 'If Beale Street Could Talk,' and 'Roma' (Mexico City)."

"Non-urban movies include the 'Ballad of Buster Scruggs' (American West), 'The Favourite,' and 'First Reformed' (small town in upstate New York)," adds Schuetz.

Maps and further analysis of the themes place can conjure for a film are also included. Schuetz also offers a pick for the clear 2019 winner of "Best Picture in an Urban Setting" (click through to find out what it is).

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Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 in Brookings
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