Go Inside the Homes Featured in Parasite, Joker and More 2020 Oscars Nominees

See the homes and sets where Little Women, Parasite and more 2020 Oscar nominated films took place

By Cydney Contreras Feb 04, 2020 11:00 AMTags
Watch: 2020 Oscars: By the Numbers

You know that saying, "It takes a village"? Well, the same applies to 2020 Oscar nominated films.

Often times, the directors, actors and producers of these movies are the ones whose names are plastered across headlines, and for good reason. But it would be a crime not to mention the production designers who bring to life the director or screenwriter's vision.

It's safe to say Bong Joon Ho's Parasite would not be the critically-acclaimed film it is, were it not for the artistry production designer Lee Ha Jun displayed in creating the set. The same applies to Rian Johnson's Knives Out set, which was discovered by producers and turned into the perfect murder-mystery setting by David Crank

Of course, every movie poses a challenge, whether it be historical accuracy or finding the right location, but these films proved the hard work will pay off.

To learn how these production designers created the iconic sets, check out the gallery below!

Parasite

Unfortunately, fans of the movie cannot stay in this home, because it's actually one big set. In an interview with IndieWire, director Bong Joon Ho revealed that both the poor house and rich house were built on outdoor lots, with a lot of consideration for how this would affect lighting. In doing so, the director and production designer, Lee Ha Jun, were able to create the sense of "increasing density that reflects the class difference between elevated areas and lower ones as appearances change from the rich house to the semi-basement neighborhood."

Knives Out

While some film sets require extensive renovations or changes to achieve the director's vision, the Ames Mansion featured in Rian Johnson's Knives Out was exactly what production designer David Crank was looking for. "When you walked in, it had character because no one had wiped it clean and modernized it," Crank told Variety. Although, some scenes required the use of a sound stage.

From there, Crank and his team set about filling it with the oddities one would expect to find in the Thrombey estate. From Harlan Thrombey books to the throne of knives, the production team was able to create a residence that more than suited the dark and suspenseful set for their murder mystery film. 

And it would appear Martin Scorcese agrees that the mansion is the perfect location for a thrilling movie. After all, it was the same place he filmed 2010's Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

If you've seen Quentin Tarantino's award-nominated film, then you likely recognized a lot of the Hollywood landmarks. Throughout filming, Tarantino and the cast were able to shoot on-location for many scenes, but there was one location that wasn't possible: the Tate house. The home where Sharon Tate and others were murdered in was ultimately razed in 1994 and replaced with a huge mansion. So, in it's place, Tarantino chose to use three locations: a driveway in Universal City, the actual Cielo Drive and an unknown location for the interior shots. 

Little Women

As many may know, Louisa May Alcott's own life inspired many of the events in Little Women and the author's Concord home, the Orchard House, is often the inspiration for numerous adaptations of the book. However, for Greta Gerwig it wasn't possible to shoot at the actual childhood home of Alcott, since it's a truly historic site, although they were able to use some interior. Instead, they built a temporary home in Concord. For other locations, they were fortunate enough to use the historic buildings scattered across New England. The Crane Estate, Harvard General Store, Thayer Estate and the Lyman Estate are just some of the locations they shot at. 

Jojo Rabbit

Typically, World War II era movies are filmed in dull tones and drab houses, but Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit stands out not just for its dark humor, but the bright colors it utilizes. This is seen in Jojo's home, which features a blue couch and yellow chairs, along with less obvious characteristics like the mural in Jojo's sister's room, designed by production designer Ra Vincent. As for finding unique furniture that suited the time period, that turned out to be rather easy since they were filming in Eastern Europe. Once these pieces were found, they were taken to a sound studio in Prague, where they constructed the Betzler family home. Of course, this studio didn't serve as the exterior set. They found the right facade for the home in a "tiny, little town" named Úštěk. 

Joker

When it comes to achieving the dark, sinister look of the Joker, production designer Mark Friedberg thought of every last detail, even the type of wallpaper that was used in the Joker's shabby home he shares with his mom: "It's a grid pattern, a little like the subway. It's one more thing not opened up to him," he tells Architectural Digest. All in all, the apartment style can be described as "sad glam." The furniture, exclusively bought at thrift stores, helped to highlight the fact that his residence was "not a dump, but [his mom] never made the place better." Moreover, Friedberg says he chose an old apartment building in the South Bronx that might've been beautiful at one point, but is now just a remnant of time's past. 

Marriage Story

Like it's characters, Marriage Story was a bi-coastal set. On the east coast, the production team worked with a cozy prewar apartment near Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY. For the west coast, the production designer Jade Healy went for a beige, bare-bones apartment in Los Angeles. As the film progresses, Healy says she made the conscious decision to slowly move decor and furniture from his New York home to the Los Angeles one, as a metaphor for the transition Adam Driver's character is going through. "There are elements of New York in Henry's room—the sheets, toys, sports memorabilia—to make it feel more like a home," she tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Watch E!'s red carpet coverage of the 2020 Oscars Sunday, 9th Feb starting at 10pm followed by the Red Carpet Rundown: 2020 Oscars at 12:30am! Then see the star-studded Oscars ceremony itself, over on Sky Cinema from 1am, on Sky & NOW TV.