In the beginning of 2021, many countries are facing prolonged lockdowns due to COVID-19. So snuggle up on your sofa and see some snow on the screen. Here are 5 suggestions for films and series set in a snowy winter wonderland destination…
1. Eddie the Eagle (2015)
Filmed in Bavaria, Germany
I recently re-watched the incredible true story of Eddie Edwards – nickname Eddie the Eagle - who was the only ski jumper from England.
In 1988, Eddie (Taron Egerton) managed to take part in the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada even though he had hardly any experience and only started to ski jump at the age of 22.
The Film Locations
According to Imdb, the ski jumping scenes were filmed at the real-life ski jumping hills in Garmish-Patenkirchen and Oberstdorf in Bavaria, Southern Germany.
Scene from "Eddie the Eagle". Photo: Larry Horricks – © TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
There are some nice shots of the surrounding nature of the ski jumping hill in Garmish-Patenkirchen, Bavaria. For example, when Eddie is driving there to learn how to ski jump.
I personally have not yet been to the ski jumping hills in Garmisch or Oberstdorf, but I have been to the ski jumping hill "Holmenkollen" in Oslo, Norway, which is equally stunning.
2. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Filmed in Fernie, Canada
In the year 2010, Adam (John Cusack) and Nick (Craig Robinson) try to cheer up their friend Lou (Rob Corddry) after he attempted a suicide. For old times sake, they undertake a weekend trip to the nearby ski resort. They also take along Adam's 24-year-old nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), who happens to live with Adam.
After some wild partying in the hot tub machine of their resort, the four dudes travel back in time to the year 1986. This was a time when Michael Jackson was still black, Nick, Adam and Lou were carefree teenagers and Jacob wasn't even born!
The Film Locations
Hot Tub Time Machine was mainly filmed around Vancouver, Canada and at the real-life ski resort Fernie Alpine Resort, which in the film stands in as the fictional "Kodiak Valley Ski Resort".
Scene from "Hot Tub Time Machine": After time travelling in a hot tub to 1986, the dudes see the younger versions of themselves in the mirror (well, except for Jacob who wasn't born yet…) Photo: © 20th Century Fox
Yes, Hot Tub Time Machine is a pretty silly movie… But every now and then I like a good trashy comedy! It's just so good to laugh out loud and not go about life too seriously.
Oh, by the way, in 2015, a sequel called Hot Tub Time Machine 2 was released. This film sees the dudes travelling ten years to the near future, which in their case happens to be the year 2025.
And honestly, I think self-driving cars everywhere are quite a realistic scenario. However, I do think that this will take a bit longer to develop than the next 4 years.
3. Netflix series Spinning out (2020)
Filmed near Toronto, Canada
Ice skater Kat (Kaya Scodelario) hopes to take part in the Olympics and trains endlessly to reach her big goal. But is it really her own goal or in fact that of her mother Carol (January Jones), who gave up all of her dreams when she became a young mom with Kat?
On top of dealing with all the ice skating stress, Kat also has some boy drama going on when her training partner and notorious womanizer Justin (Evan Roderick) starts to flirt with her…
The Film Locations
The backdrop to this series was really pretty as it often features the mountain range of Ontario in East Canada.
The filming took place around the city of Toronto and in smaller surrounding towns such as Orangeville and Mississauga.
Many scenes were filmed in and around the Blue Mountain ski resort area in Ontario, Canada.
I am pretty sure that Jozo's Bar in the Blue Mountain resort was used as the bar where many scenes in this series take place.
Scene from "Spinning Out". © Netflix
This original Netflix series was released at the beginning of 2020, which is when I started to watch it. Unfortunately, the series was ceased after just one season.
I personally saw a lot of parallels to New-York-City-set drama Back Swan with Natalie Portman and I really liked it.
And if the little sis of Kat seemed familiar… yes, actress Willow Shields also played Katniss Everdeen's little sister Primrose Everdeen in The Hunger Games (2013–2015).
4. The Revenant (2015)
Filmed in Kananaskis Country, Canada
On a fur trading expedition in 1820s Montana, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is dangerously injured after being mauled by a bear.
Left for dead by members of his own hunting team, he decides to fight for survival and gets back to his old strength against all odds. Now all he wants is revenge…
The Film Locations
The story is set in the modern-day US states of Montana and South Dakota. However, most of the real-life filming locations for The Revenant are situated in West Canada, more precisely Kananaskis Country near Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Furthermore, after the snow started to melt in Canada, the film crew moved to the southern tip or Argentina to continue filming some of the harsh winter scenes there.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in "The Revenant". © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
After I've finished watching The Revenant, I felt really relieved that I only travelled to these harsh times through a movie and not for real.
However, the realistic time travel experience in the movie certainly was an inspiration for me to explore the filming locations in Canada myself, which I eventually did in May 2017.
5. Home for Christmas (2019-)
Filmed in Røros, Norway
Christmas may be over, but this series set in this cute, snow-covered Norwegian town can still be watched in January. Here is why…
Johanne (Ida Elise Broch) is a bubbly Norwegian girl. She lives in a flatshare with a female friend in Røros and works as a nurse at the local hospital.
But: Johanne is 30 and… still single. All too often she is reminded of the fact that this is not a good thing at her age… especially during the Christmas season every December.
So, Johanne does the only reasonable thing. She starts a hunt to find herself a new boyfriend in the 24 day leading up to Christmas… and goes on many, many bad dates…
The Film Locations
Røros is a former mining town full of wooden, coloured houses that are covered in snow from about October to April every winter.
In the second season, Johanne has a date with whom she goes on a weekend trip to the surroundings of Røros. The two undertake a carriage ride in what appears to be a truly stunning winter wonderland.
That could have been so romantic.… expect it wasn't romantic at all! But see for yourself! 😀
Scene from "Home for Christmas". Photo: © Netflix
So far there have been two seasons released on Netflix (one in December 2019 and seasons 2 in December 2020).
I am hoping there is more to come because I really started to like Johanne. I even would like to call her the Norwegian Bridget Jones! 😉
With the episodes being really short and only about six episodes in every season, it's easy to binge-watch the whole season.
As of January 2021, all of these movies and series are available on Netflix Germany. Local in-country availability may vary.
Do you know of any other winter movies that you have enjoyed watching and that maybe inspired you to take a trip to the film location? If so, let me know in the comments below!
And for planning your own Post Covid winter wonderland trip, you might like to check out my post Lapland Bucket List: My Top 10 Things to Do for inspiration!