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Neil Patrick Harris to host the Academy Awards

Neil Patrick Harris is not just one of those multi-hyphenate performers who could conceivably win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony — he could also be the first to possibly score an EGOT through hosting.

The actor has signed on to emcee the upcoming Academy Awards, following his lively stints as host of two Emmy broadcasts and four Tonys, producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan confirmed to EW.
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Record 83 countries to compete for Foreign Language Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday the final submissions for the Foreign Language Film category for the 87th annual Academy Awards. A record 83 countries have entered a film for consideration, including Kosovo, Malta, Mauritania, and Panama for the first time. Notable selections include Xavier Dolan’s Canadian drama Mommy, a favorite at this year’s Cannes, Sweden’s Force Majeure, and the Russian retelling of the Book of Job, Leviathan, winner of the Best Screenplay award at Cannes.

Nominations will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 15, ahead of the live telecast on ABC Sunday, Feb. 22, from Hollywood. Last year’s award was won by the Italian film The Great Beauty.

Read the complete list of submissions below:

Afghanistan, “A Few Cubic Meters of Love,” Jamshid Mahmoudi, director;
Argentina, “Wild Tales,” Damián Szifrón, director;
Australia, “Charlie’s Country,” Rolf de Heer, director;
Austria, “The Dark Valley,” Andreas Prochaska, director;
Azerbaijan, “Nabat,” Elchin Musaoglu, director;
Bangladesh, “Glow of the Firefly,” Khalid Mahmood Mithu, director;
Belgium, “Two Days, One Night,” Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, directors;
Bolivia, “Forgotten,” Carlos Bolado, director;
Bosnia and Herzegovina, “With Mom,” Faruk Lončarevič, director;
Brazil, “The Way He Looks,” Daniel Ribeiro, director;
Bulgaria, “Bulgarian Rhapsody,” Ivan Nitchev, director;
Canada, “Mommy,” Xavier Dolan, director;
Chile, “To Kill a Man,” Alejandro Fernández Almendras, director;
China, “The Nightingale,” Philippe Muyl, director;
Colombia, “Mateo,” María Gamboa, director;
Costa Rica, “Red Princesses,” Laura Astorga Carrera, director;
Croatia, “Cowboys,” Tomislav Mršić, director;
Cuba, “Conducta,” Ernesto Daranas Serrano, director;
Czech Republic, “Fair Play,” Andrea Sedláčková, director;
Denmark, “Sorrow and Joy,” Nils Malmros, director;
Dominican Republic, “Cristo Rey,” Leticia Tonos, director;
Ecuador, “Silence in Dreamland,” Tito Molina, director;
Egypt, “Factory Girl,” Mohamed Khan, director;
Estonia, “Tangerines,” Zaza Urushadze, director;
Ethiopia, “Difret,” Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, director;
Finland, “Concrete Night,” Pirjo Honkasalo, director;
France, “Saint Laurent,” Bertrand Bonello, director;
Georgia, “Corn Island,” George Ovashvili, director;
Germany, “Beloved Sisters,” Dominik Graf, director;
Greece, “Little England,” Pantelis Voulgaris, director;
Hong Kong, “The Golden Era,” Ann Hui, director;
Hungary, “White God,” Kornél Mundruczó, director;
Iceland, “Life in a Fishbowl,” Baldvin Zophoníasson, director;
India, “Liar’s Dice,” Geetu Mohandas, director;
Indonesia, “Soekarno,” Hanung Bramantyo, director;
Iran, “Today,” Reza Mirkarimi, director;
Iraq, “Mardan,” Batin Ghobadi, director;
Ireland, “The Gift,” Tom Collins, director;
Israel, “Gett, the Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz, directors;
Italy, “Human Capital,” Paolo Virzì, director;
Japan, “The Light Shines Only There,” Mipo O, director;
Kosovo, “Three Windows and a Hanging,” Isa Qosja, director;
Kyrgyzstan, “Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains,” Sadyk Sher-Niyaz, director;
Latvia, “Rocks in My Pockets,” Signe Baumane, director;
Lebanon, “Ghadi,” Amin Dora, director;
Lithuania, “The Gambler,” Ignas Jonynas, director;
Luxembourg, “Never Die Young,” Pol Cruchten, director;
Macedonia, “To the Hilt,” Stole Popov, director;
Malta, “Simshar,” Rebecca Cremona, director;
Mauritania, “Timbuktu,” Abderrahmane Sissako, director;
Mexico, “Cantinflas,” Sebastián del Amo, director;
Moldova, “The Unsaved,” Igor Cobileanski, director;
Montenegro, “The Kids from the Marx and Engels Street,” Nikola Vukčević, director;
Morocco, “The Red Moon,” Hassan Benjelloun, director;
Nepal, “Jhola,” Yadav Kumar Bhattarai, director;
Netherlands, “Accused,” Paula van der Oest, director;
New Zealand, “The Dead Lands,” Toa Fraser, director;
Norway, “1001 Grams,” Bent Hamer, director;
Pakistan, “Dukhtar,” Afia Nathaniel, director;
Palestine, “Eyes of a Thief,” Najwa Najjar, director;
Panama, “Invasion,” Abner Benaim, director;
Peru, “The Gospel of the Flesh,” Eduardo Mendoza, director;
Philippines, “Norte, the End of History,” Lav Diaz, director;
Poland, “Ida,” Paweł Pawlikowski, director;
Portugal, “What Now? Remind Me,” Joaquim Pinto, director;
Romania, “The Japanese Dog,” Tudor Cristian Jurgiu, director;
Russia, “Leviathan,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, director;
Serbia, “See You in Montevideo,” Dragan Bjelogrlić, director;
Singapore, “Sayang Disayang,” Sanif Olek, director;
Slovakia, “A Step into the Dark,” Miloslav Luther, director;
Slovenia, “Seduce Me,” Marko Šantić, director;
South Africa, “Elelwani,” Ntshavheni Wa Luruli, director;
South Korea, “Haemoo,” Shim Sung-bo, director;
Spain, “Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed,” David Trueba, director;
Sweden, “Force Majeure,” Ruben Östlund, director;
Switzerland, “The Circle,” Stefan Haupt, director;
Taiwan, “Ice Poison,” Midi Z, director;
Thailand, “The Teacher’s Diary,” Nithiwat Tharathorn, director;
Turkey, “Winter Sleep,” Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director;
Ukraine, “The Guide,” Oles Sanin, director;
United Kingdom, “Little Happiness,” Nihat Seven, director;
Uruguay, “Mr. Kaplan,” Álvaro Brechner, director;
Venezuela, “The Liberator,” Alberto Arvelo, director.

First Look: Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in biopic 'Miles Ahead'

Actor Don Cheadle’s obsession with Miles Davis began as a child with the jazz trumpeter’s album Porgy and Bess, a beloved staple of his family’s music collection. Now, Cheadle will make his feature film directorial debut with a crowdfunded biopic on Davis that will focus on the musician’s transition into music after a five-year hiatus—otherwise known as his “silent period”—and tumultuous relationship with first wife Frances Taylor Davis. READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2014: A Vegas oddsmaker ranks the races

Once upon a time, unsuspecting people actually filled out their office Oscar pool ballots based on their favorite movies of the year. (Those poor, uninformed souls!) But now that the Academy Awards are subject to as much speculation as a Triple Crown race, there’s hard data we can all use to our betting advantage — and nobody knows it better than professional oddsmaker R.J. Bell, founder of Pregame.com.

For the past 10 years, Bell has polled betting venues around the world to find out which nominees are favored by the people putting real money on the race. “It’s not any personal opinion on my part; it’s a quantification of the market,” Bell says. His research shows a few movies with commanding leads in their categories: READ FULL STORY

Directors Guild nominees: Martin Scorsese in, but no Spike Jonze

The Directors Guild of America announced its feature film nominees today and the list is full of fairly safe bets: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity, Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave and David O. Russell for American Hustle.

The other two contenders selected by the DGA were Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street and Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips.

The question is whether the Oscar nominations will follow suit this time, or veer into surprise territory like last year.

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Oscars announce Best Animated Short Film shortlist -- VIDEOS

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday the 10 animated short films that will continue in the voting process for this year’s Oscars. The 10 films were picked from 56 qualified shorts. Here they are in alphabetical order:
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Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, & Daniel Radcliffe appearing at Oscars

An Oscar winner and three blockbuster stars have been added to this year’s Academy Awards slate. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe will all make “special appearances” at the ceremony on Feb. 24.

Theron won a Best Actress statuette for Monster in 2004 and was nominated again for North Country in 2006. Magic Mike star Tatum, Dark Knight Rises star Gordon-Levitt, and ex-Harry Potter Radcliffe, on the other hand, will be making their first Oscar appearances.

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Mark Wahlberg and CGI costar Ted to present at the Oscars

ted-mark-wahlberg

The total Seth MacFarlanification of this year’s Academy Awards telecast is nearly complete. The Family Guy creator is hosting the ceremony Feb. 24, where Norah Jones will also perform “Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” an Oscar-nominated original song MaFarlane co-wrote for his summer comedy hit Ted.

Now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed that Ted star (and two-time Oscar nominee) Mark Wahlberg will present an award on Oscar night — alongside the animated bear who gave that film its name, who is voiced, naturally, by MacFarlane. READ FULL STORY

'Lincoln' leads BAFTA race with 10 nominations

lincoln-daniel-day-lewis-03

Lincoln led all films with 10 BAFTA nominations, but director Steven Spielberg was not among the five directors recognized by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, screenwriter Tony Kushner, and composer John Williams were among the Lincoln landslide, but the British Academy opted to reward Amour director Michael Hanake and Django Unchained auteur Quentin Tarantino, even though neither of those films were mentioned for Best Film.

Spielberg isn’t alone; Les Misérables director Tom Hooper was also overlooked. Both directors’ films  joined Oscar contenders Argo, Life of Pi, and Zero Dark Thirty in the race for Best Film. Les Misérables and Life of Pi were each nominated in nine categories, including nods for Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway; Skyfall earned eight nominations, Argo received seven nominations — including a Best Actor nod for Ben Affleck — and Anna Karenina has six. Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty were each nominated five times.

Click below for a complete list: READ FULL STORY

Anne Hathaway's cautionary Oscar advice for host Seth MacFarlane -- EXCLUSIVE

prize_fighter1_bannerAnne Hathaway has some cautionary advice for Seth MacFarlane as he preps to host the Oscars: “Have … a … plan.”

She pauses, laughs a little mordantly and adds: “Have several.”

Hathaway’s ultra-chipper co-hosting experience opposite a low-energy James Franco two years ago provoked a lot of dislike — including from her, when she finally saw a little bit of it.

This year, the Les Miserables star will likely be back at the ceremony as a supporting actress nominee, and she’s actually offering some very good, very practical advice to the Family Guy creator for when he steps out onto that stage Feb. 24.

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