<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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<p>Matthew McConaughey at the 71st annual&nbsp;Golden&nbsp;Globe Awards</p>

Matthew McConaughey at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Off the Carpet: Final thoughts on Oscar season's competitive first phase

Nominations will be announced on Thursday

We're in the home stretch with votes being tallied and the line-up of nominees for the 86th annual Academy Awards being readied. We'll know what's what on Thursday, bright and early, as will those who find themselves in this very competitive race.

Guy Lodge, Greg Ellwood and I will have a sweeping list of our predictions for you later today and you can parse them at your leisure. (I'm pretty much decided.) But as we gear up for the big reveal, as ever, I have some thoughts…

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<p>&quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;</p>

"12 Years a Slave"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'12 Years a Slave' dominates North Carolina critics' awards

'Monsters University' chalks up a win

"12 Years a Slave" may have barely scraped by at the Golden Globes last night, but if it's any consolation, it was a more decisive winner with the North Carolina Film Critics' Association. Steve McQueen's film took six awards, including Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay and three acting wins. Cate Blanchett notched up yet another Best Actress win, "Inside Llewyn Davis" took the other writing award and "Monsters University" got one of its few animated wins of the season. Full list of winners after the jump; catch up with all the awards so far at The Circuit.

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<p>Adele Exarchopoulos in &quot;Blue is the Warmest Color.&quot;</p>

Adele Exarchopoulos in "Blue is the Warmest Color."

Credit: Sundance Selects

'Blue is the Warmest Color,' '12 Years a Slave,' 'Her' lead International Cinephile Society nods

Nominee list has a more global flavor than most

Made up of a globasl array of film journalists and academics, the International Cinephile Society tends to live up to its name with its awards -- and this year, tyheir nominations are typically big on foreign and art house fare, mixed in with the more expected Oscar contenders. So it is that "12 Years a Slave," "Her" and "Blue is the Warmest Color" lead the way with seven nominations apiece, while unusual individual nominations include Juliette Binoche for "Camille Claudel 1915" and Kristin Scott Thomas for "Only God Forgives." Full list after the jump; check out everything else at The Circuit.

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<p>George Clooney in &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

George Clooney in "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'Gravity' wins top honors at AACTA International Awards

Awards represent the international half of Australia's Oscars
Here's a newish award on the circuit I haven't really been following. The AACTA Awards are effectively the Oscars of the Australian film industry, and "The Great Gatsby" led the nominations for them -- but this is the third year they've held a separate ceremony for international film. The resulting honorees don't differ greatly from the other pre-Oscar lists we've seen thus far, though there's a slight Down Under accent to the nominees, with names like Joel Edgerton and Geoffrey Rush showing up alongside the usual. Anyway, "Gravity" came out on top, taking Best Picture and Director, with "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" also going home with multiple awards. Full list after the jump; catch up with everything else at The Circuit.
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<p>Chris Hemsworth</p>

Chris Hemsworth

Credit: AP Photo/Brian Ach

Roundup: Chris Hemsworth to deliver the Oscar news on Thursday

Also: Oscar contenders triumph in Palm Springs

There's been such a flurry of awards-related news over the past few days that I somehow completely missed the announcement over the weekend that Chris Hemsworth has been selected to announce the Academy Award nominations on Thursday with new AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. There was a time when this task routinely fell to a former Oscar winner or nominee -- which, in case you need reminding, Hemsworth is not. But they've been mixing it up of late -- Emma Stone did the honors last year. Will it fall to Hemsworth to announce a Best Supporting Actor nod for his "Rush" co-star Daniel Brühl? [AMPAS]

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<p>Word was Channing Tatum and wife Jenna Dewan christened the dance floor at this year's Warner Bros./In Style Golden Globes party.</p>

Word was Channing Tatum and wife Jenna Dewan christened the dance floor at this year's Warner Bros./In Style Golden Globes party.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

'12 Years' celebrates as Benedict Cumberbatch dances from one Globes party to another

The stars celebrate after the big show

BEVERLY HILLS - There was a roar of cheers when Steve McQueen entered the FOX/Fox Searchlight Golden Globes party Sunday night. I know because I was standing right behind McQueen and his cast as they tried to walk into the packed Globes after party. The "12 Years a Slave" win for Best Picture - Drama and the surprising wins for FOX's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" Andy Samberg in the TV Series - Comedy or Musical categories made it (initially) the place to be.

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