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2 Best Picture Nominees With MN Connections

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(credit: Fox Searchlight)

(credit: Fox Searchlight)

Eric Henderson Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson joined the WCCO.COM web team in June 2006 and currently...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Two movies with high-profile Minnesota connections were among the best picture Oscar nominees as announced Tuesday morning.

“The Descendants” is nominated for five Oscars in total, including best picture, best director (Alexander Payne), best actor (George Clooney), best adapted screenplay and best editing.

Jim Burke, one of the co-producers of “The Descendants,” is a Minnesota native who went to the University of Minnesota.

“The Descendants” held its local premiere at the Walker Art Center with Burke in attendance. After the premiere, Burke explained the bond he shares with Payne.

“We sort of found one another 15 years ago. Alexander and I are Midwesterners. There are not that many (in Hollywood),” said Burke. “We like the same kind of movies, and Jim Taylor is the third musketeer.”

“The Tree of Life,” which was co-produced by Bill Pohlad — the son of the late Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad — was also nominated for best picture. The film, which stars Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain (herself an Oscar nominee for her performance in “The Help”), was also nominated for best director (Terrence Malick) and best cinematography.

The best picture Oscar is awarded to the producers of the winning movie.

“Hugo” and “The Artist” led the Oscar field overall, earning a respective 11 and 10 nominations each.

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