This year’s Oscar nominees are a talented group indeed, displaying a wide range of writing, directing, and acting styles and techniques. Those elements synthesized into award-worthy cinema. As for us, we’re always keeping an eye on the real estate within these cinematic worlds—we find the homes featured in the films every bit as fascinating.
Where characters live, choices in decor, and even the architecture of their homes, all allow viewers to fill in the blanks about their backstory and allow a film to dispense with dialogue.
So grab your popcorn as we take a peek at the domiciles of a few of this year’s Oscar-nominated movies.
Nominated for best screenplay, “Knives Out” gets our award for best real estate.
In the twisty murder mystery starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, and Don Johnson as members of the Thrombey family, foul play is suspected after wealthy patriarch Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) dies in his family estate.
As private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is called in to investigate, the oversize mansion with some wild decoration (chair of knives, anyone?) takes on an outsize role in the movie.
And for that, a real-life place called the Ames mansion fits the bill. Located in Easton, MA, on the 1,200-acre Borderland State Park, the 1910 mansion constructed by Blanche Ames served as the backdrop for some of the interior shots, such as when the Thrombey family members are being questioned amid the intricate and ornate decor.
Along with all those knives, the home also has a balcony, bookshelves, artwork, curios, and a fireplace.
“When you walked in, it had character because no one had wiped it clean and modernized it,” production designer David Crank told Variety. “This house had been with the same family for a few generations. You walked in, and its style lent itself to what we were looking for.”
And this wasn’t the home’s only starring role—the 20-room residence can also be seen in the 2010 Scorsese flick “Shutter Island.”
And for the full-on Gothic look, Hill Hurst, a brick mansion from the 1880s located in the Hunnewell Estates Historic District, also outside of Boston, stood in for outside shots.
Noah Baumbach’s intense drama about the end of a marriage stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as uncoupling pair Nicole and Charlie. But the movie also stars real estate on both coasts to enhance the characters’ journeys.
First, a relatively roomy Brooklyn apartment near Prospect Park, stuffed with the couple’s art and books and the toys of their son. The cluttered and cozy prewar-style apartment looks very much lived in. The space features built-ins, crown molding, and hardwood floors.
The neighborhood is also showcased prominently at the start of the film. The New York Daily News pointed out local spots such as “Prospect Park Tennis Center, and Park Slope staples such as Pino’s La Forchetta Pizza, and the Park Slope Barber.”
There’s a reason for that. “They serve the specificity of the story but have meaning to me that might resonate beyond that,” Baumbach, who grew up in the neighborhood, told the News.
And the couple are artists—and rather successful ones, which helps explain the pricey pad in Brooklyn. Charlie, who runs a theater company, and Nicole, a starring member of the troupe (and former movie star), manage to live quite well in the now-coveted borough.
While we don’t know exactly which apartment was used for filming, if you want to try living the theater lifestyle, we hope you have some savings for a down payment. A two-bedroom Park Slope apartment is going for $825,000.
However, that idyllic life soon ends, as Nicole leaves for the West Coast with her son to pursue a TV career, and moves in to the home of her actress mother (Julie Hagerty). The West Hollywood home, an upscale, two-story traditional, features plenty of room to take in Nicole and her son. This place has a homey, warm vibe filled with California sunshine.
It’s a stark contrast from the bare walls and scant furnishings of the apartment Charlie rents as the divorce proceedings progress in L.A.
“We wanted something bland and immediately sad when you saw it,” production designer Jade Healy told the Hollywood Reporter.
But all is not lost. Charlie eventually adds his son’s artwork to the walls, and other items from his New York life begin to migrate to his L.A. pad as he transitions to his divorced life. The well-received film is up for six Oscars.
Korean director Bong Joon Ho’s masterpiece has garnered six Oscar nods, and largely takes place inside the home of the Parks, a wealthy family whose lives intersect with those of the much-poorer Kim family.
When Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), or Kevin, shows up at the jaw-dropping space to take over as the English tutor, he’s told it was built by “famed Korean architect Namgoong Hyunja.” Fooled? We were, too. Bong made it up.
While the exquisite and modern home seems completely real, it’s actually a set built by genius production designer Lee Ha Jun.
“It’s like its own universe inside this film,” Bong told IndieWire. “Each character and each team has spaces that they take over, that they can infiltrate, and also secret spaces that they don’t know. So the dynamic between these three teams and the dynamic of space, they were very much intertwined, and I think that combination really created an interesting element to this film.”
However, the furnishings in the Park home were very real, and very pricey.
“The production designer was having a nervous breakdown every day,” Bong told Vulture. “The props, furniture, and paintings were really expensive, so they would always tell the cast and crew, ‘Be careful!’ But me and the crew members don’t know why it’s so expensive.’”
He added cheekily, “Maybe some rich audience members can recognize it. Maybe uptown New Yorkers at the New York Film Festival.”
The Parks’ luxurious digs are in stark contrast to the partly underground apartment of the Kim family. It’s tiny and bug-infested—and it’s also a set. Bong told Vulture he drew from the memories of his college basement apartment, and built the space out of reclaimed and found materials for an authentic layer of grime.
The result couldn’t be more Dickensian with both the worst of times and best of times depicted in the two neighborhoods and family homes.
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When the housekeeper Mun-Kwang (Lee Jeong-eun) first welcomes the family’s new tutor, Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) a.k.a. Kevin, into the pin-perfect glass home, she tells him it was built by the famed Korean architect Namgoong Hyunja, who — lofty, four-character name and all — is just another construct of Bong’s imagination. #parasite #parasitemovie #southkorea #korea #korean #travel #movies #film #oscars #bongjoonho #art #artist #artistoninstagram #author #desire #image #love #photographer #photograph #photoshoot #photooftheday #photo #time #writers #writing #writersofinstagram #koreancinema #asiancinema #academy #academyawards
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