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Oscars ‘14: A few Utah connections

First Published      Last Updated Mar 03 2014 02:00 pm

So, yes, there were some Utah connections to Oscar weekend — and not just Ellen DeGeneres' trivia drop that Bruce Dern's grandfather was governor of the Beehive State.

• The documentary-feature winner, "20 Years From Stardom," made its world premiere on the opening night of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Several of the film's subjects — backup singers who finally got the spotlight — appeared on the Eccles Theatre stage. However, Darlene Love (who belted out a song from the Oscar stage last night) was a late arrival to Park City and missed the opening-night screening.

• "Gravity" led all films with seven statuettes — including for director Alfonso Cuarón, composer Steven Price and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. The movie was mostly shot in a studio, implementing high-tech filmmaking techniques. But (SPOILER ALERT!) there was one location shot, and that location was Utah's Lake Powell. (Warner Bros.' self-congratulatory tweet shows a picture of that final scene.)

• Meanwhile, over at the Razzies on Saturday night, Utah was very well represented, with two movies partly filmed in southern Utah winning awards for bad filmmaking. "The Lone Ranger" was given the honor of worst sequel, remake and ripoff." And "After Earth" scored multiple dishonors: Worst actor to Jaden Smith, worst supporting actor to his dad Will Smith, and worst onscreen duo to the pair of them.