<p>&quot;American&nbsp;Hustle&quot;</p>

"American Hustle"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Makeup and Hairstylists Guild nominates 'Lone Ranger,' 'American Hustle,' 'Bad Grandpa'

First time since 2004 the awards have been presented

The Makeup and Hairstylists Guild has not presented awards in nearly a decade. This year, however, IATSE Local 706 is dusting off the trophies and jumping back into the kudos circuit.

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<p>&quot;Gravity's&quot;&nbsp;Dr.&nbsp;Ryan Stone was even nominated for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture!</p>

"Gravity's" Dr. Ryan Stone was even nominated for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture!

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Gravity' (what else?) leads the way with eight Visual Effects Society nominations

'Pacific Rim,' 'The Hobbit' and 'Iron Man 3' not far behind

Speaking of visual effects, after the "World War Z" went over really well and newly designed tech for "Oblivion" was a major talking point at the Academy's visual effects bake-off presentation last weekend, I had been betting on each to slide into the final five Thursday morning. But then, neither landed a single nomination for the Visual Effects Society today, so maybe that'll call for some last-minute tinkering on my predictions.

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<p>Sarah Polley (right) on the set of &quot;Stories We Tell.&quot;</p>

Sarah Polley (right) on the set of "Stories We Tell."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Sarah Polley, Joshua Oppenheimer among DGA doc nominees

Female directors dominate the list

Best Documentary Feature remains one of this year's most excitingly competitive Oscar races. While some titles -- notably two critics' favorites, Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing" and Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell" -- have emerged repeatedly in the precursor awards, you'd be hard pressed to name a clear frontrunner, while no inclusions or omissions from the Academy's 15-film shortlist would be truly shocking when the nominations are announced on Thursday. 

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<p>Jean Dujardin and a green screen in &quot;The Wolf of&nbsp;Wall&nbsp;Street&quot;</p>

Jean Dujardin and a green screen in "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Check out a visual effects reel for 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Lift the veil on how seemingly mundane environments were achieved

It's amazing, really, how seemingly mundane realities are so elaborately manifested in cinema. So much of what you see on screen, you'd never know, is a digital effect. This is the magic making business and these guys below the line who craft this stuff for us remain largely unsung, and particularly when their work is so invisible (as, often, it should be).

With that in mind, take a gander at the visual effects reel for "The Wolf of Wall Street" below. It takes things up a whole new level where lifting the veil on how things were accomplished is concerned. It's one of the better presentations of such a thing I've seen, and hopefully — whether you're a fan of the film or not — it will give you a whole new appreciation for how it was made.

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<p>Greta Gerwig at last year's Berlin Film Festival.</p>

Greta Gerwig at last year's Berlin Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Roundup: Gerwig, Waltz, Schamus tapped for Berlinale jury

Also: On White's eviction from the NYFCC, and Cannes' new president

Funny that Cannes named Jane Campion their jury president last week, while the Berlin Film Festival -- which is only three weeks away -- is only announcing their now. Anyway, former Focus Features chief James Schamus is an inspired and discerning pick for the role. The same, in fact, goes for the jury supporting him, an eclectic, international bunch that includes recent Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig, two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, Michel Gondry (whose fascinating 2013 film "Mood Indigo" has finally been picked up by Drafthouse Films), Tony Leung and James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli. Can't wait to see what they pick between them. [Berlinale]

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<p>Forest&nbsp;Whitaker speaks at a UNESCO&nbsp;event in Paris last year.</p>

Forest Whitaker speaks at a UNESCO event in Paris last year.

Credit: AP Photo

Forest Whitaker and 'Before Midnight' team to receive honors at Critics' Choice Movie Awards

The 19th annual celebration happens Thursday night

The Broadcast Film Critics Association has announced recipients of honorary awards for the upcoming Critics' Choice Movie Awards being held on Thursday, Jan. 16.

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<p>Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and&nbsp;Neil Meron with host Ellen&nbsp;DeGeneres</p>

Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron with host Ellen DeGeneres

Credit: ABC/Andrew Eccles

86th Oscars to be a celebration of movie heroes

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron unveil a theme for the upcoming show

The Academy has announced that the 86th annual Academy Awards will focus on a celebration of movie heroes. The show will honor big-screen real-life heroes, super heroes, popular heroes and animated heroes, both past and present.

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<p>&quot;Iron&nbsp;Man 3&quot;</p>

"Iron Man 3"

Credit: Marvel Studios

'Captain Phillips,' 'Iron Man 3' and 'Lone Survivor' pick up Cinema Audio Society nominations

'All is Lost' and 'Rush' fail to make the cut

Nominees have been announced for the 50th annual Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Awards. A sometimes barometer of the Academy's Best Sound Mixing category. But the two awards don't always correspond. In recent years films like "Hanna" and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" have managed to get in with the Society but failed to be recognized by the sound branch.

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Final 2014 Oscar nominee predictions

Final 2014 Oscar nominee predictions

What is Team HitFix thinking across the board?

Alright, it's time to just take the dive. Ballots have long been in and nothing as of late can influence the Academy's nominations, so what will be on Thursday, in so many words, will be. What is Team HitFix thinking in the way of final predictions?

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<p>Amy&nbsp;Adams and David O.&nbsp;Russell at the 71st annual&nbsp;Golden&nbsp;Globe Awards</p>

Amy Adams and David O. Russell at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Golden Globe predictions scorecard

How did Team HitFix do?

The Globes are over and done with (and perhaps best left that way), but let's take a look at how Team HitFix did with our predictions in any case.

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