<p>Joshua Oppenheimer after receiving the BAFTA for Best Documentary.</p>

Joshua Oppenheimer after receiving the BAFTA for Best Documentary.

Credit: AP Photo

Joshua Oppenheimer on what awards really mean for 'The Act of Killing'

We sit down with his Oscar nominee to discuss his uniquely cathartic documentary

By the time Oscar night rolls around on Sunday, it'll have been over 18 months since "The Act of Killing" -- Joshua Oppenheimer's searing, inventively constructed documentary about Indonesia's vast anti-Communist genocide of the 1960s, and its ongoing aftermath in the country today -- had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. Since then, the film (which boasts Werner Herzog and Errol Morris among its executive producers) has become one of the most celebrated non-fiction films of recent years, racking up critical plaudits and awards, topping Sight & Sound's poll of 2013's best films and, of course, scoring an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.

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13 Oscar upsets we'd love to see this year

13 Oscar upsets we'd love to see this year

Not that they will ever happen

In the world of awards season you may know who is going to win. You may actually have been told a nominee is a lock to take home Oscar gold by the media. But that doesn't mean they'd get your vote. That's one reason we love when the proverbial upset occurs during the Academy Awards telecast. Nothing beats a surprise.

Well, instead of predicting what upsets are going to happen (and let's be honest, there are usually one or two every year), the In Contention team has rounded up the upsets that we'd actually love to see.

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Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Original Song - U2 looks to upend Disney's 'Frozen'

Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Original Song - U2 looks to upend Disney's 'Frozen'

Is Pharrell a dark horse waiting to pounce?

In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool!

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Roundup: Oscar bloggers become the story
Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: Oscar bloggers become the story

Also: YouTube rescues 'The Square,' and J.Law gets dressy

I'm not sure I have anything much to say about Boris Kachka's lengthy profile of the Oscar-blogging community, but it's certainly a weird read. (In Contention largely escaped scrutiny, as Sasha Stone and Jeff Wells take the lion's share of column space.) "Today’s Oscar bloggers are writing from inside the house. You may not know their names, but most everyone in Hollywood does—loves them, hates them, courts them. At junkets they attend what one of them calls “Oscar Blogger Days.” They’re at every festival and VIP after-party, with a hand on Melissa Leo’s shoulder, a joke for Alfonso Cuarón, or a whisper into the ear of George Clooney’s publicist. When they write something negative or leave an actor out of their predictions, they hear about it, a lot." [Vulture]

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Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Sound Editing - 'Gravity' will fend off 'All is Lost' and 'Lone Survivor'

Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Sound Editing - 'Gravity' will fend off 'All is Lost' and 'Lone Survivor'

Chalk another one up for Alfonso Cuarón's craft juggernaut

In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool!

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<p>Chiwetel Ejiofor after winning the BAFTA for Best Actor.</p>

Chiwetel Ejiofor after winning the BAFTA for Best Actor.

Credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Short

Chiwetel Ejiofor on responsibility and the necessity of violence in '12 Years a Slave'

The BAFTA-winning actor is looking to spoil in the Best Actor race

Chiwetel Ejiofor's recent BAFTA win for Best Actor was a sweet victory for the 36-year-old actor, and not just because it came on home turf. Eight years previously, the Londoner scored (and lost) his first BAFTA nod in the Rising Star category. Last Sunday's win, atop a slew of recent honors for his imposing turn as freeman-turned-slave Solomon Northup in "12 Years a Slave" -- including, of course, his first Oscar nomination -- underlined the fact that his star has now risen. Long a promising standout in films as diverse as "Dirty Pretty Things," "Kinky Boots" and "Redbelt," the stage-trained star has now asserted himself as a leading man of formidable presence and intelligence.

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Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Supporting Actress - Nyong'o vs. Lawrence in a tale of two ingenues

Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Supporting Actress - Nyong'o vs. Lawrence in a tale of two ingenues

84-year-old June Squibb looks on from the sidelines

In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool!

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<p>George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuaron at the October screening of &quot;Gravity&quot;&nbsp;in New York.</p>

George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuaron at the October screening of "Gravity" in New York.

Credit: AP Photo

Alfonso Cuarón on the global 'emotional' appeal of 'Gravity' and the 'Believe' break

Plus: What's he doing after Oscar Sunday?

Alfonso Cuarón is on top of the world. Granted, he's not literally on top or above it like his characters in "Gravity," but when I spoke to him after the Oscars luncheon a little over a week ago, he was awash in the moment. In many ways, the long journey of his Oscar-nominated blockbuster is finally coming to a close, and like a marathon runner nearing the finish line, he's got his second wind.

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Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Makeup and Hairstyling - 'Dallas' squares off with 'Grandpa' and 'Ranger'

Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Makeup and Hairstyling - 'Dallas' squares off with 'Grandpa' and 'Ranger'

When it doubt, pick the one nominated for Best Picture

In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool!

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<p>Oscar Isaac in &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis.&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Credit: CBS Films

International Cinephile Society names 'Inside Llewyn Davis' the year's best

Runner-up 'Blue is the Warmest Color' nabs wins for its two stars

It may have been largely shut out of the Academy Awards, but the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" got at least one more Best Picture honor to round out its awards season, as the International Cinephile Society today named it the best of 2013. The group of over 80 film journalists, academics and industry professionals -- of which yours truly is a member -- also handed the film wins for Best Original Screenplay, Best Ensemble and Best Actor for Oscar Isaac, who tied with "The Wolf of Wall Street" star Leonardo DiCaprio.

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