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<p>Maribel Verdu in Alfonso Cuaron&#39;s &quot;Y tu Mama Tambien.&quot;</p>

Maribel Verdu in Alfonso Cuaron's "Y tu Mama Tambien."

Credit: IFC Films

Roundup: Finding the Cuarón connection

Also: Could an American have made '12 Years a Slave?'

When Alfonso Cuarón presumably lifts the Best Director Oscar on Sunday, it'll be a deserved individual win, but it'll also be past-due recognition for one of the most versatile and adventurous stylists of the modern cinema. Beyond his name, what connects "A Little Princess" to "Y tu Mama Tambien" to "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" to "Gravity?" In a lovely essay, Michael Joseph Gross has a go at explaining: "All of Cuarón’s films are road movies, to greater and lesser extents. On the road, travelers are challenged to become themselves by transcending themselves, to restructure their perspective by empathizing with the people they encounter; and this act, by its nature, constantly creates new narrative understandings." [Vanity Fair]

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"Scandal"

"Scandal"

Credit: ABC

'Scandal' recap: Sally makes a big move, but has she lost her mind?

Plus Eli isn't going gently into retirement, either

So, before the midseason break, I thought Sally had been taken down like a tranquilized zoo rhino. After you've asked the boss' henchman to help you cover up the fact you murdered your husband, most people might think the best option would be laying low. Shaking hands, kissing babies, maybe praying a lot, that sort of thing. I mean, there was no way Sally would do something to actively antagonize not only her boss but his Chief of Staff, right? The Chief of Staff that helped her cover up the murder, natch. That would be insane, right? Oh yeah, I forgot. This is "Scandal," the world that logical behavior forgot.

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<p>Jill Scott performs &quot;Happy&quot; at the first Oscars concert Thurday night at UCLA.</p>

Jill Scott performs "Happy" at the first Oscars concert Thurday night at UCLA.

Credit: Phil Gallo, Twitter, Billboard

Jill Scott's 'Happy,' 'Let it Go,' 'Gravity' blow the roof off first Oscars concert

John Williams is the star of the night

The Academy held its first Oscars concert on Thursday night at Royce Hall at UCLA.  It better not be the last.

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Jimmy Kimmel gets 'Scandal' stars to make 'Escandalo'

Jimmy Kimmel gets “Scandal” stars to make “Escandalo”
Kerry Washington helped introduce the “Spanish-language version” of “Scandal.” PLUS: Bellamy Young on Thursday’s “game-changer."


A U.S. senator is urging Esquire Network to yank “Friday Night Tykes”
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, sent a letter to the cable network’s president saying “Friday Night Tykes” "exploits these children for purely entertainment purposes. For the sake of America’s youth athletes, I call on you to immediately end this shameful, dangerous display on your network.”


Jimmy Fallon’s Week 3 guests announced: He’ll reunite with Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Lindsay Lohan
Next week’s guests also include Chelsea Handler and Annette Benning. PLUS: Fallon & LeBron James film an old-school rap video.


Why Arthur Chu is ruining “Jeopardy!”
The game-theory player is taking the “romance” out of the game.


“Veep” takes a selfie with Bill Clinton
Julia Louis-Dreyfus spent Thursday hanging with President Clinton.


D.A. says OK to Andi Dorfman’s “Bachelorette” leave
While not specifically mentioning the ABC reality show, the Fulton County D.A. granted the “highly unusual” request and wrote: “I wish you the best of luck while you participate in this program.”


Sarah Drew talks about her “Grey’s Anatomy” decision
"Like most decisions that April makes, she is full of confusion and lots of emotion,” she says.


Sarah Michelle Gellar tackles Reddit questions, picking her fave “Buffy” episodes — and Angel
The former “Buffy” star was asked, “Spike or Angel?"


Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis are engaged
“That ‘70s Show’s” Jackie and Kelso are getting married in real life.


Joe Pantoliano joins CBS’ Alyson Hannigan-Tom Papa comedy pilot
“The Sopranos” alum will play Papa’s dad in “More Time With Family.”


Discovery Channel renews “Dude, You’re Screwed”
The survival reality show will be back for a 2nd season.


TruTV orders “Motor City Masters” starring Brooke Burns
She’ll host the car designer realty competition.


Lena Dunham: When I was 14, I tried to get a fake ID so I could watch “SNL” in person
The “Girls” star says she was so obsessed with “Saturday Night Live” she would watch the show while taking notes.

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Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Animated Feature - 'Frozen' has the heat

Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Animated Feature - 'Frozen' has the heat

Two critically acclaimed foreign titles are no match for the Disney phenomenon

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>Is this the next big thing in family films?</p>

Is this the next big thing in family films?

Credit: Mojang

Could 'Minecraft' be the new 'Lego Movie' for Warner Bros?

That's certainly what the studio's got to be hoping right now

It's pretty easy to guess what the big conversation in development offices all over town has been for the last few weeks, since the moment "The LEGO Movie" hit theaters with nuclear force.

Right now, executives at every studio are asking their kids, "What do you like to play with?" And I am willing to bet that they are all hearing the exact same word in response.

"Minecraft."

At this point in the life of my own kids, computer games are not an option, especially if there is any part of those games that can be used to communicate with them from other people. Even so, thanks to their friends, they are just as "Minecraft" crazy as the kids who are actually playing it.

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"The Vampire Diaries"

"The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Will Katherine seduce Stefan?

Damon's vampire bloodlust creates new complications

While it wasn't pretty, kudos to Damon and Enzo for working out a system with which to handle Damon's desire for vampire blood. It took a little scheduling, sure, but turning a human so you have something to eat in eight hours is sort of like thawing out some frozen chicken breasts so you can make dinner. But that was clearly too tidy for "The Vampire Diaries," so Wes and his Happy Traveler Back-up Band had to show up to ruin everything.

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<p>&quot;The Great Gatsby&quot; looks poised to win two Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design...or does it?</p>

"The Great Gatsby" looks poised to win two Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design...or does it?

Credit: Warner Bros.

Tech Support: Is 'Gravity' set to dominate the Academy's crafts categories?

Can any of the other strong Best Picture hopefuls find room throughout?

Here we are. After months of seeing the films and seeing them campaigned, we’re 72 hours away from the winners being revealed.

In the crafts categories, we’ve already had a race for the ages, where highlights have included some legendary accomplishments ("Gravity's" visual effects anyone?), the makeup artists and hairstylists continuing to prove their eclecticism and the division between the costume designers and the production designers proving uneventful, with each branch pretty much behaving in the same manner as before. This isn’t touching the most bizarre element of this year’s race – the controversy in Best Original Song.

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<p>On &quot;Parks and Recreation,&quot;&nbsp;Jerry (Jim O'Heir)&nbsp;gets to tag along with Ben (Adam Scott)&nbsp;for an anniversary celebration.</p>

On "Parks and Recreation," Jerry (Jim O'Heir) gets to tag along with Ben (Adam Scott) for an anniversary celebration.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Anniversaries'

Leslie and Ben compete over presents, and Ron and April each write blog reviews

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I want a banana made of spiders...

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10 things you need to know about the 2014 Oscars

10 things you need to know about the 2014 Oscars

Just in case you've missed the past six months of coverage

We're less than three days away from the 86th Academy Awards. If you've followed HitFix and In Contention over the past few months you may think we've told you everyting about this year's Oscars race. But, have we really?

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<p>On &quot;Community,&quot;&nbsp;Britta (Gillian Jacobs)&nbsp;gets applauded.</p>

On "Community," Britta (Gillian Jacobs) gets applauded.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Community' - 'Introduction to Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality'

Duncan chases Britta, Buzz punishes Abed and Chang sees dead people

A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I know that the Prime Minister went to Oxford, not Cambridge...

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Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Animated Short - Does the Disney double start here?

Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Animated Short - Does the Disney double start here?

Rule changes favor the most-viewed nominee

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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