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Oscars 2014: Nominees an eclectic assortment of old favorites and rising stars

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This year's Academy Awards nominees have proven to be an eclectic mix of talent. From old staples to new faces, this Oscar campaign season has been one of the most heated in recent memories. With few exceptions, every one of this year's categories is up for grabs.

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Will Lupita Nyong'o take home the prize for Best Supporting Actressm or will Academy darling Jennifer Lawrence take home the prize? Does Alfonso Cuaron have what it takes to nab science fiction's first Academy Awards (that's not Visual Effects, of course)? Can Cate Blanchett snatch victory from Meryl Streep? And what in the heck is going on in the highly contested Best Actor category?

Over the next few days, you'll see countless predictions pieces from people who have been following the individual campaigns and speculating on the results. While it most likely won't move the needle in Vegas, speculation on the outcome of this year's Oscar ceremony is still a big deal among couch potatoes and movie nerds the world over (both groups to which this writer gleefully belongs).

For those of you who haven't devoted hours and hours of your life to viewing, researching and reading about each film, all the hubbub can get pretty confusing. With all the names and titled being bandied about, casual movie fans need a roadmap just to tell what's going on.

And, as luck would have it … here's a handy little primer of each nominee in every one of the major categories (because who cares about Best Documentary Short except the people who were actually nominated, right?).

Catch all the drama as it unfolds this Sunday, March 2nd at 8:30 Eastern, on ABC.

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