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Neil Patrick Harris To Host Oscars For First Time: VIDEO

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Neil Patrick Harris will host this year's Academy Awards ceremony on February 22nd. Though Harris has become a master of ceremonies extraordinaire in recent years, this will be his first stint helming the Oscars. Variety reports:

Harris has performed on the Academy Awards show, but this will be his first time as host. Harris has hosted the Tony Awards last year and Emmy in 2013 and 2009, so with Oscar, he is apparently going for the EGOT sweep of hosts. (All that remains is Grammy.) He is appearing in Fox’s B.O. hit “Gone Girl.” He has won four Emmys and this year took home a Tony for the lead role in the musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Watch a video of Harris sharing his announcement and crossing one more item off his bucket list, AFTER THE JUMP...

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A Closer, Gayer Look at Oscar's Foreign Film Race

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French stars Louis Garrell and Gaspard Ulliel have a dangerous liaison in "Saint Laurent"  

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

As you may have heard last night AMPAS (The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) announced that a record 83 films will compete for favor in this year's BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM showdown. This Oscar category has long been a specialty of mine and a couple of years back I even had the opportunity to speak about it on CNNi. The number of competing films and the media interest seem to grow each year. A dozen or so years ago when Oscar blogging first began to flourish, I was the only writer giving it a lot of attention and now virtually every movie outlet covers it, at least in list or press release format. The growing interest is somewhat odd since it becomes harder and harder for subtitled pictures to find audiences or get decent theatrical releases in the States. 

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 6.14.05 PMSome movies with early heat in this category include Poland's Ida, an amazing black and white drama about a nun discovering her family history is a must see (it's available on DVD), Argentina's Wild Tales, a raucuous crowd-pleasing collection of outre comedic stories that's produced (but not directed) by Pedro Almodovar which is due in US theaters early next year, Belgium's Two Days One Night, a socioeconomic drama starring Marion Cotillard in yet another incredible performance which opens on December 24th. And.... No, no. We're getting sidetracked. Let's stop there.

There are so many movies worth loving.

For now let's look at movies (and their trailers) with something specific for LGBT audiences 
AFTER THE JUMP...

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Xavier Dolan, the Queer Canadian prodigy, at Cannes with "Mommy" 

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Gay Films, Star Power, and Oscar Buzz: a Report from the Toronto International Film Festival

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Eddie Redmayne got a huge thumbs up in Toronto. Oscar-bound?

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Hello all. Just back from Canada from the Toronto International Film Festival, aka the best film festival in the world, which wrapped up on Sunday. My fellow Oscar bloggers like to shill for Telluride these days but I’m convinced it’s simply Stockholm Syndrome since Telluride actually makes the press pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a pass for the privilege of giving them free publicity. In Toronto, if you’re lucky enough to write about the movies for a living, you get your press pass for free and your only expense, other than travel and lodging (which can add up) is your time. But what person who loves movies, wouldn’t want to spend that gorging on selections from all over the world, the best of Cannes and Sundance and a ton of new ones, some of them courting Oscar gold, too.

I was so giddy all week that even when I failed to spot Reese Witherspoon at her own party for WILD (she’s short, y’all and thus hides easily in a crowd even in a sparkly dress) I remained elated to chat with Laura Dern (one of the greats who needs big roles again!) and wonder what possessed Chris Evans to what looked like gloriously form-fitting white longjohn shirt to a party where everyone else was in suits. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. I was so thrilled that even the sight of Eddie Redmayne’s back in his daring aquamarine suit and Andrew Garfield’s giant beard at THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING party was as good as actually talking to them, but I made do with talking to Oscar-buzzing Felicity Jones who, like Redmayne, gives her best screen performance yet in that new Stephen Hawking biopic.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP..

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Clip Reveals Frenzied Behind-the-Scenes Direction of a Legendary Oscar Moment: VIDEO

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Here's a Friday flashback for you.

Ever wondered what the director of the Academy Awards does to make a (usually) technically flawless show run smoothly? Apparently it takes quite a bit of energy, shouting, and snapping to do the trick.

A clip uploaded by YouTube user Tashy Siny and reported by Business Insider highlights behind-the-scenes work at the 1996 Oscars when Cuba Gooding, Jr. (above) won Best Supporting Actor for "Jerry Maguire." The speech has gone down in history as one of the show's most vivacious, and director Louis J. Horvitz (below, center) had energy to match.

Stick with it for the last line; priceless.

Check out the exciting clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ellen Takes us Behind the Scenes at the Oscars: VIDEO

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On today's show, Ellen takes us behind the scenes of her Oscar hosting gig, revealing the moment she planned the Twitter-destroying group selfie and the immediate reaction backstage after she pulled it off, along with backstage encounters with Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Benedict Cumberbatch, and rehearsal moments.

Enjoy the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ellen Catches Up with Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o, and the Pizza Guy in Post-Oscars Show: VIDEO

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A day after her hosting gig at the Oscars, Ellen DeGeneres welcomed winners Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o to her show to rehash last night's pizza-eating, selfie-taking telecast, which drew 43 million viewers, and was the most-watched in the last 10 years.

Leto says he still hasn't watched Dallas Buyers Club and doesn't have plans to.

Ellen also welcomed Edgar the pizza guy and gave him a big tip for delivering all those slices.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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