Oscars: 5 movies filmed in Columbus to watch before the Academy Awards on Sunday

Volatile cowboy Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch, right) shows young Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) the ropes in Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog."
Volatile cowboy Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch, right) shows young Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) the ropes in Jane Campion's "The Power of the Dog."

Anyone up for a psychological Western that stars a cruel yet compassionate Benedict Cumberbatch?

"The Power of the Dog," Jane Campion's first film in more than a decade, is one of the movies up for best picture this year at the Oscars, scheduled to air 8 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

Other movies contending for the top prize include "Belfast," "CODA," "Don't Look Up," "Drive My Car," "Dune," "King Richard," "Licorice Pizza," "Nightmare Alley" and "West Side Story."

Sadly, not one of them was filmed in Greater Columbus.

A handful of movies in the past have been filmed here, though, and even won top honors. Among the films featuring Columbus scenes include "Liberal Arts" (2012), "Air Force One" (1997) and "Little Man Tate" (1991).

And while not filmed here, Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" (2018) is set in Columbus in 2045.

Here are five more flicks that featured the Arch City in the past and one that's coming soon.

'Traffic'

Real-life journalists Eric Collins, left, and Lorene Wagner go before the cameras as movie extras to interview actor Michael Douglas during filming of "Traffic" on the Statehouse grounds in 2000.
Real-life journalists Eric Collins, left, and Lorene Wagner go before the cameras as movie extras to interview actor Michael Douglas during filming of "Traffic" on the Statehouse grounds in 2000.

"Traffic," starring Michael Douglas, was filmed partly in Columbus in 2000 and won four Oscars, including best director for Steven Soderbergh and best supporting actor for Benicio del Toro.

At the time, real-life journalists Eric Collins of WBNS-TV (Channel 10) and Lorene Wagner of WSYX (Channel 6) were among the movie extras. During filming on the Statehouse grounds, the TV reporters interviewed Douglas, who plays an Ohio Supreme Court justice in the film.

Fans gathered outside the Rhodes Tower during the shooting to cheer for Douglas after he finished each take.

'Teachers'

"Teachers" was filmed largely at the old Central High School building (now COSI Columbus) in 1984. The comedy-drama features the likes of Nick Nolte, Ralph Macchio, and Judd Hirsch.

'I Am Wrath'

Actor John Travolta talks with fans outside the Old Familiar Barber Shop on Parsons Avenue during the filming of "I Am Wrath." The film also stars Christopher Meloni.
Actor John Travolta talks with fans outside the Old Familiar Barber Shop on Parsons Avenue during the filming of "I Am Wrath." The film also stars Christopher Meloni.

"I Am Wrath" (2016) is a revenge flick that went straight to video starring John Travolta. The actor plays Stanley Hill, a former special operations soldier whose wife is killed in front of him in a parking garage. He seeks revenge after his wife's killers escape justice.

Filming locations that made the final cut in "I Am Wrath" include Capitol Square, Old Familiar Barbershop, Buckeye Donuts and Jack's Diner, a Lynn Street institution that served its last meal in 2019.

People camped out for hours at locations around town during filming, and both Travolta and actor Christopher Meloni, a former lead detective on NBC's "Law & Order: SVU," stopped to take photos and speak with fans.

'Aftermath'

Another straight-to-video film that featured Columbus is "Aftermath" (2017) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The revenge film is based on events surrounding a 2002 mid-air collision of a passenger airline with a cargo jet.

'They/Them/Us'

"They/Them/Us" was filmed in Columbus and features the city in a prominent manner. Favorite locales, such as Buckeye Donuts, the Drexel Theatre, German Village and the Rich Street Bridge, can be seen throughout the movie that was written by local couple Jon Sherman and Melissa Vogley Wood.
"They/Them/Us" was filmed in Columbus and features the city in a prominent manner. Favorite locales, such as Buckeye Donuts, the Drexel Theatre, German Village and the Rich Street Bridge, can be seen throughout the movie that was written by local couple Jon Sherman and Melissa Vogley Wood.

'They/Them/Us' is an indie romantic comedy released earlier this year that was shot entirely in Columbus, mostly in German Village, the Brewery District, Victorian Village and Downtown.

The movie was written by local couple Jon Sherman and Melissa Vogley Wood.

“It’s very loosely autobiographical,” said Sherman, an associate professor of film at Kenyon College and director of the movie. “The characters meet on a dating site in their 40s. They both have two teenagers and move in together. One of the teenagers is nonbinary and goes by they/them pronouns.”

Hence, the title of the movie.

Coming soon: 'Bones and All'

A 1980s-style Greyhound bus sat outside Spoonful Records on Rich Street this past summer. The bus was used for the upcoming horror-romance movie "Bones and All."
A 1980s-style Greyhound bus sat outside Spoonful Records on Rich Street this past summer. The bus was used for the upcoming horror-romance movie "Bones and All."

Perhaps the most recent major motion picture to film here is the upcoming "Bones and All," starring heartthrob Timothee Chalamet and described as a romance-horror film. Last summer, scenes were shot at the Greyhound bus terminal on Town Street and on a highway, something Columbus has plenty of. The production also filmed in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Also in the middle of the action was Spoonful Records, which is near the Greyhound station. Co-owner Amy Kesting said some of the lighting and sound crew came by the store during their break, and there were 1980s-style Greyhound buses and cabs parked outside.

"Bones and All" reunites Chalamet with director Luca Guadagnino. The pair worked together on "Call Me By Your Name," a coming-of-age romance that received four Oscar nominations and won best adapted screenplay in 2018.

Timothee Chalamet, in a scene from "Call Me By Your Name," is starring in the upcoming movie "Bones and All." Some filming for the movie was done in Columbus.
Timothee Chalamet, in a scene from "Call Me By Your Name," is starring in the upcoming movie "Bones and All." Some filming for the movie was done in Columbus.

Joe Blundo and Ken Gordon contributed to this report.

mtrombly@dispatch.com

@monroetrombly

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Before the Oscars, here are some movies made in Columbus to watch