• Couple’s Big Risk for Oscar Film

    We all have our picks for best picture, best actor and actress, best screenplay, and best documentary. But there should be no argument about best real life story at the Oscars this weekend.

    That goes to a young couple that had to decide between their dream apartment and their Hollywood dream. Fortunately for them and for us, they chose the latter.

    The characters in this love story are Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey, who were married three years ago and debated over whether to use their savings for a place in the big city or something else.

    [ Photos: Infamous Oscar fashions ]

    New York City beckoned, but Causey wasn't sold.

    "I kind of said, 'This isn't going to work,'" she told CBS. "'If we buy an apartment, this is what we're doing for the rest of our lives, for the next decade,' and so I said, 'Why don't we make a movie instead?'

    "So we did."

    That movie is "Time Freak," about a time machine that causes unintended havoc for its off-beat inventor. The couple spent $25,000 -- pretty much

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  • Oscar Central: The Best Way to Watch

    Billy's back as host! Meryl's a front-runner! Brad and George are nominated for the same award! Yep, the stars are aligning for Hollywood's biggest night, and Yahoo! Movies will be there every step of the way: down the red carpet, up the podium, backstage, and on to all the wild parties.

    Consider this site Oscar central. We'll be keeping you current with live blogging, live tweeting (follow us at @YahooMovies), and all the fabulous photos. Red carpet arrivals start at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, and then we'll be moving inside for the big show at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. So grab your popcorn, download the Oscar app, and join us for an enchanted evening.

    To participate in real-time polling with other Yahoo! users, get IntoNow for your smart phone or tablet. For more on what Time Magazine called the best iPhone app of 2011, click here.

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  • "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) and "Social Network" (2010) had it, then lost it, respectively, to "Gandhi" and "King's Speech." "Platoon" -- a film rejected by every major studio -- overwhelmed the Academy because of it, and consequently snagged best picture in 1987. Award shows like Golden Globes help build it. Oscar himself has been accused of losing it, time and time again.

    "It" is momentum, an elusive formula that can depend on the interplay of a movie's release date, a studio's budget, award show wins, and even a star's campaign. (According to a Variety editor on NPR, Julia Roberts's superPAC determination to build buzz for friend Javier Bardem by hosting a private screening of "Biutiful" led to the Academy's new no-endorsement rule.) Even Canada has a say in this complicated algorithm determining the best in American film. And momentum can work for and against not only potential nominees, but also the Academy itself.

    The rubber-stamp awards?: the influence of Golden Globes

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  • Billy Crystal’s Odd Oscar Charm

    Billy Crystal will return to host the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, and he'll bring his usual Oscar charm with him. That doesn't just mean jokes, Crystal actually keeps a toothbrush in his pocket when he hosts.

    The toothbrush isn't to brighten his smile during the commercials. It is actually part of his tradition (perhaps superstition?) because as a child he'd use his toothbrush in lieu of a microphone for his impromptu Oscar speeches for his family.

    [Related: See more of Billy Crystal's greatest Oscar moments]

    The academy is also going back to tradition by bringing Crystal in to host once again. After last year's forgettable show, the academy needed to go with someone tried and true, to restore the necessary grandeur the evening deserves. Only Bob Hope has hosted more times than Crystal, and he was already booked.

    Don't expect Crystal to pull any Ricky Gervais stunts with the audience. "That whole concept of 'I want to really go after people' -- I don't understand that. Is

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  • Sacha Baron Cohen’s Oscar Ban Explained

    Rumors are swirling around whether or not star Sacha Baron Cohen will be in attendance at Sunday night's Oscar ceremony, after the comedian courted controversy earlier this week. Cohen, who stars in the Best Picture nominee, "Hugo," reportedly planned to walk the red carpet as his current alter-ego, the character from his upcoming film "The Dictator."

    While a spokesperson for the Academy Awards denied that Cohen has been uninvited from Sunday's event, the representative made it clear that they are "waiting to hear what he's going to do." The Academy won't allow him to attend the show if he dresses as the dictator character, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "We don't think it's appropriate."

    The Academy is concerned and resistant to promote studio-specific films during the telecast, choosing to keep the focus on the movies being celebrated at the ceremony. Their worries are not unwarranted, as the comedian has been known to use red carpets to promote his films. Cohen hit two different

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  • The mystery of Sacha Baron Cohen's plans for the Oscars has deepened, with the Academy going on the record to deny an online report that the comic actor has had his tickets for Hollywood's biggest event yanked.

    "We haven't banned him," an Academy spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We're just waiting to hear what he's going to do."

    Still, the Academy is making it clear that Cohen is not welcome to use the red carpet as a platform for a promotional stunt for his upcoming movie The Dictator, and other sources say the threat of booting him became more substantial on Wednesday.

    PHOTOS: 2012 Academy Awards Nominees

    THR first reported Tuesday that the actor, invited to attend the Oscars as a castmember of best picture nominee Hugo, was hatching a plan to arrive at the event dressed as his Dictator character, a crass totalitarian leader hellbent on keeping democracy out of his country.

    [ Watch Live This Saturday: Independent Spirit Awards red carpet ]

    THR's story prompted the Academy

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  • Oscar Statuette Modeled After Mexican Director

    The smoothly muscular, golden silhouette of an Oscar statuette wasn't just based on anyone. It was actually modeled in 1929 after the nude body of a Mexican director.

    Filmmaker, screenwriter, and actor Emilio Fernandez, nicknamed "El Indio," fled Mexico for Los Angeles in the 1920s, exiled after supporting a failed revolutionary uprising led by Adolfo de la Huerta.

    Working in Hollywood, Fernandez befriended Mexican actress Dolores del Rio, then wife of studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's art director and Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences member Cedric Gibbons. Del Rio introduced Fernandez to Gibbons, who was in charge of supervising the statuette's design.

    [ Watch: Live streaming of the Independent Spirit Awards red carpet ]

    Gibbons asked Fernandez to pose in the buff for a sketch to create the basis for the 8.5-pound trophy. Reluctantly, Fernandez did, and the design became the foundation for artist George Stanley's famous sculpture of the statuette, given out at the very first

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  • Secrets From Red-Carpet Reporters

    At its mythical best, entertainment reporting involves dressing up for parties, receiving messengered envelopes with Governors Ball tickets, and schmoozing celebs over a glass of champagne. While red-carpet reporting has its perks, it does not always live up to that fantasy.

    "While some reporters get the same luxuries as stars, like extravagant gift bags and tickets to sit inside the Oscars, that is more the exception than the rule," says celebrity-media expert Vanessa Diaz, who interviewed more than 50 entertainment journalists for her anthropology research at the University of Michigan. "The reality is we're talking about a job where you stand outside for hours, often in the cold since most events are at night, hoping that at least one A-list celebrity actually shows up and then talks to you."

    Beyond the spray tans and teeth whitening, real-life Hollywood reporters reveal what work is really like when your office is an Oscar afterparty.

    Celebrities are not always polite, and they

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  • Jennifer Aniston shone at Oscars in 2009, where she emphasized her sun-kissed beauty with hair and makeup, and won rave reviews for the playful braid that framed her face. Aniston's stylist shares her tips on how she created the star's famous Oscar look.

    "It is just beautiful and effortless, maintaining a youthfully sunny feeling," makeup artist Angela Levin told Yahoo!.

    1. Levin evened out Aniston's skin tone with moisturizer and Chanel Lift Lumiere foundation in Beige that she blended well. "If you blend the makeup well and keep the makeup light, it lasts longer," says Levin.

    2. The real secret to Aniston's look comes with the cheeks. Instead of blush, she used lipstick to create a natural glow to resemble a day spent in the sun. She blended Coco Red lipstick and Chanel Sheer Brilliance in Sunkissed lipstick, and then added a powder bronzer. "I didn't use a lot of product," says Levin.

    3. "Use gray and blue eyeshadow on your eyes, and two coats of mascara," says Levin. "Keep it

    Read More »from Oscar Flashback: Jennifer Aniston’s Standout Oscar Style
  • Photo by Fox Searchlight/Dreamworks/Paramount Pictures

    Lately, saying "The Artist" will win best picture is like predicting that Obama will be the Democratic presidential nominee. A safe bet. But is there upset potential? We gathered our expert crew to chime in. For our final Yahoo! Roundtable of the 2012 Oscar season, I welcome my colleagues Jonathan Crow, Matthew Whitfield, as well as actress-director Jordan Bayne, THR film reporter Tim Appelo, critic Caryn James, and Oscar guru Nathaniel Rogers.

    Read More »from Yahoo! Best-Picture Roundtable: Is “The Artist” a slam dunk — or can “The Descendants,” “Hugo,” or “The Help” defy the odds?

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