Grammys 2014: 'Maleficent,' Julia Roberts offer surprise film moments

The Grammy Awards are first and foremost a celebration of pop music, but Sunday night's ceremony also had copious connections to the world of movies. Here's a look at some of the subtle and shameless film hyping, trailer dropping and Oscar campaigning.

The evening's first two presenters were a past and a present Oscar nominee: Anna Kendrick, nominated for her supporting role in "Up in the Air" in 2010, and Pharrell Williams, nominated this year for the original song "Happy," from "Despicable Me 2." When the behatted Williams asked Kendrick whether she had any Oscar  advice for him, she replied, "Don't lose." (She did.)

A bit later in the show, actor Steve Coogan was trotted out and touted as "the Oscar-nominated writer-producer of 'Philomena,' " the Weinstein Co. drama about an Irish mother trying to reunite with the son she was forced by the Catholic Church to give up for adoption. The film has no particular connection to the world of music, though Coogan did portray Manchester music impresario Tony Wilson in "24 Hour Party People" in 2002.

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Coogan began his spiel, "I'm not here to plug the multi-Oscar-nominated 'Philomena,' which I star in with Dame Judi Dench; that would be tacky." (If you say so.) He went on to introduce a performance by rapper Juicy J, an Academy Award winner in 2006 for the "Hustle and Flow" song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," and pop princess Katy Perry.

Coogan's appearance wasn't the only one from the star of an Oscar-contending Weinstein film. Later in the show, "August: Osage County" star Julia Roberts was called upon to flog an upcoming CBS TV special commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' U.S. debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show." She then introduced a performance by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

As with Coogan's, Roberts' appearance felt like another obligatory stop on the Oscar campaign trail (she's up for supporting actress). So did "American Hustle" star Jeremy Renner's; he introduced a performance by Willie Nelson, Blake Shelton, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson.

"Dallas Buyers Club" star Jared Leto, an Oscar nominee for supporting actor this year, was arguably a more logical Grammy presenter, as his day job has him as a rock musician in the band 30 Seconds to Mars. A fixture on the awards show circuit this season for his performance as the transgender AIDS patient Rayon, Leto came onstage to pay tribute to the late Lou Reed.

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In what may have been a subtle nod to Rayon, Leto quoted the first few lines of Reed's most famous song, "Walk on the Wild Side": "Holly came from Miami, F-L-A / Hitchhiked her way across the USA / Plucked her eyebrows on the way / Shaved her legs and then he was a she / She said, Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side."

Also scoring points for subtlety was Kevin Hart, of all people, who presented the award for rock song with Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band. "I am proud to be riding along on the Grammy stage with this man of music," Hart said, alluding to his new comedy "Ride Along," which topped the box office for the second weekend in a row.

The telecast's splashiest movie moment was the unveiling of a new trailer for "Maleficent," Disney's live-action retelling of 1959's "Sleeping Beauty" from the villain's perspective that is set to come out May 30, is directed by visual effects whiz Robert Stromberg and stars Angelina Jolie in the title role.

When it wasn't showing Jolie looking malevolent, the new 90-second spot (you can watch it below) featured two-time Grammy nominee Lana Del Rey singing a haunting cover of the classic "Sleeping Beauty" track "Once Upon a Dream," inverting the song's cheeriness with effective results. At least that Grammys movie moment featured an acclaimed musician — and was for a film that's yet to come out.


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