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Associated Press
John Cusack stars in "Grace Is Gone," an Iraq war drama that won two awards last year at Sundance.

If you're a frequent, diligent moviegoer, you may have already seen the Best Picture Academy Award nominees: "Atonement," "Juno," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood."

But even I haven't seen any of the Oscar-nominated, foreign-language films ("12," "Beaufort," "Die Falscher," "Katyn" and "Mongol") ... and one of the nominated documentary features ... and all of the nominated animated, documentary and live-action shorts.

That's one of the big frustrations with the Oscars. No one outside of the voters, and possibly New York and Los Angeles audiences, have seen them.

Local art-house theaters do what they can to showcase awards-worthy fare, but Salt Lake City is now "down one" since the Regency Theatres chain closed its Trolley Square location last weekend.

According to Regency officials, the closure was related to the ongoing mall renovation. And apparently, long-range plans for Trolley do not include a movie theater.

However, the Trolley show-house closing is actually a good thing for the Salt Lake Film Society, which runs the Broadway and Tower.

Those theaters have had to compete with Trolley for independent and foreign films. And they already picked up four Oscar-nominated films in the meantime — the documentary "War Dance," the French drama "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," the animated feature "Persepolis" and the 2007 Sundance Film Festival hit "The Savages."

By the way, I have some mixed feelings about the Trolley closure. I remember seeing films at the theaters there, which also included the adjacent Flick Twin location.

The bigger loss is still across the street at Trolley Corners, though. That complex boasted one of my favorite movie theaters — the gigantic upstairs auditorium.

"GRACE" IS GONE, GONE, GONE ...

A few readers have e-mailed to inquire about the status of "Grace Is Gone," the acclaimed Iraq war drama that won two awards last year at the Sundance Film Festival. The news doesn't look good.

The Weinstein Company appears to be pulling the plug after the movie received no awards-season "love" and after its major-city opening numbers were less than impressive. Since opening in late December, the film has made less than $50,000.

But considering Weinstein spent $4 million to acquire the film's theatrical distribution rights, you'd think it would at least try to give it a chance to find an audience.

DISCERNING AUDIENCES? HARDLY.

Speaking of Sundance, I may have heard possibly the single dumbest thing I've ever heard at the festival this year.

Before a screening of the comedy "Adventures of Power," a snooty patron complained about the Tower Theatre's "small" screen and whined that he would have to sit in the lower tier, and perhaps closer than that "to see the movie."

If you're too myopic to appreciate the charms of the lone remaining, single-screen theater in the Salt Lake Valley, just stay home and watch movies on video.


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