<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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<p>Team &quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;&nbsp;backstage at the 71st annual&nbsp;Golden&nbsp;Globe Awards</p>

Team "12 Years a Slave" backstage at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Globes spread the wealth as 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity' and '12 Years a Slave' win major awards

'Captain Phillips' and 'Nebraska' shut out

Typically it's easy enough to gauge where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is going to lean. It's a small enough group and there are enough of their whisperers out there that usually long before the show, more or less, everyone has a pretty good idea. But this year things were all over the place and the younger members of the group exemplify some shifting tastes. So we ended up with a love-spreading evening that dotted all the t's and crossed all the i's.

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<p>Bono and his U2 bandmates accept the award for Best Original Song at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards.</p>

Bono and his U2 bandmates accept the award for Best Original Song at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

71st Golden Globes winners and nominees - complete list

A full rundown of this year's honorees and champs

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association handed out wins for the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday night. "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" were the big winners in the Best Picture ranks, while "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" took major prizes as well.

Check out the full list of nominees and winners below, and remember to keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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<p>Aaron Paul poses for the photographers outside this year's BAFTA&nbsp;Tea Party, the one event the HitFix team wasn't able to make today.</p>

Aaron Paul poses for the photographers outside this year's BAFTA Tea Party, the one event the HitFix team wasn't able to make today.

Credit: AP Photo/Tonya Wise

Saturday is party central for Golden Globes nominees

Spirit Awards, CBS, BAFTA and more vie for attention

The day before the Golden Globes has always been packed full of industry events and pre-show parties. 2014 was no different, especially if you were anywhere near Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood.

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<p>Jordan Belfort might not be able to sweet talk his way into the best picture race if there are only eight or nine nominees.</p>

Jordan Belfort might not be able to sweet talk his way into the best picture race if there are only eight or nine nominees.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Contender Countdown: Will there be fewer than 9 best picture nominees?

Statistics, passion and guilds all weigh in

The ballots have been cast. Voting is over (for the moment).  There is nothing any pundit, actor, director, studio head or awards season sweet talker can do to affect the nominees for the 86th Academy Awards. It's done. Now, all anyone in the game can do is wait. And maybe try to shake off their nervousness with a few drinks over this busy event weekend.

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