Hollywood execs know movie locations can make or break a project. It’s their ultimate goal to provide a setting that allows the moviegoer to escape their present environment, emotionally connect with the character and live in the moment. The setting conveys more to the audience than even the best writer can pen in a script.

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Here are three movies that have received a host of nominations for the 85th Oscar Academy Awards which airs Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.

Beasts of the Southern Wild, starring breakout stars Dwight Henry (as Hushpuppy) and Quvenzhané Wallis (as Wink), is nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Benh Zeitlin), Best Adapted Screenplay (Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin) and Best Actress (Quvenzhané Wallis, youngest ever nominee in this category).

It was filmed in Terrebonne Parish, La. town Montegut. Louisiana has a rich history and historical places great for exploration, from the remains of native American settlements, homes of our founding fathers, to sites of the civil war.

Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx (as Django), Kerry Washington (as Broomhilda) and Leonardo DiCaprio (as Calvin Candie), is a Spaghetti western nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Waltz) and Best Original Screenplay (Tarantino).

It was partly filmed in Jackson Hole, Wy., at the Bar BC Ranch with the Tetons mountains in the background, in an area commonly referred to as Rocky Mountain West.

The 2012 British musical drama, Les Misérables, premiered on Christmas Day and stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. It’s been nominated for for eight Academy Award nominations that include Best Picture, Best Actor (Jackman), and Best Supporting Actress (Hathaway).

It was partly filmed in Gourdon, which is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. It has a rich concentration of prehistoric sites.