- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Show Bits brings you the 86th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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PARTY KEEPS OSCAR NIGHT GOING

After a hard night’s work at the Oscars, stars are ready to party. In a parking lot converted temporarily by Vanity Fair magazine into a swank and invitation- only West Hollywood club, celebrities mostly skipped the In N Out burgers and booze to schmooze.

Ellen DeGeneres, looking as relaxed as she did hosting, chatted intently with Sacha Baron Cohen. Her wife, Portia Di Rossi, was by her side, talking to Ryan Seacrest. Spike Lee and Edward Norton attempted to catch up, shouting at each other over music that included the appropriate “Celebration.”

In one corner, three veteran stars created a memorable photo op that had several partygoers pulling out their cameras. Nominee Bruce Dern (“Nebraska”) was joined by Mickey Rooney on one side and 1995 Oscar winner Martin Landau (“Ed Wood”) on the other.

Jared Leto, who passed his supporting actor Oscar among reporters earlier Sunday, was as generous at the party. The “Dallas Buyers Club” star invited two statuesque blondes to appreciate the trophy’s heft, and they appeared duly impressed - with one inviting her boyfriend over to share the experience.

Pink’s performance of “Over the Rainbow” during a 75th anniversary salute to “The Wizard of Oz” drew compliments. “It was an honor,” she replied to one well-wisher.

In the crowd of some 1,000 partygoers, one nominee who didn’t claim a trophy still looked like a winner: “American Hustle” star Jennifer Lawrence, who lost in the supporting actress category to Lupita Nyong'o of “Twelve Years a Slave.”

Lawrence had changed from the elegant red Dior dress she wore for the ceremony into a sexy sheath that sparkled with what appeared to be tiny mirrors. She couldn’t be overlooked, trophy or not.

- Lynn Elber - www.twitter.com/lynnelber .

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BLANCHETT: IT’S NOT EASY BEING FRONT-RUNNER

Winning acting honors at other major awards shows didn’t make the Oscars ceremony any easier for Cate Blanchett.

The night figured to be a coronation for the actress, who’d won best actress honors at the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe Awards and other shows for her role in “Blue Jasmine.” Instead, the prospect of waiting until nearly the end of Sunday’s ceremony proved stressful for the two-time Oscar winner.

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