Movieline Predicts Sunday's Winners with Our Complete Oscar Ballot

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As a faithful Movieline reader, we want you to win your Oscar pool this year. Still, let's be realistic: This goal is going to take determination, focus, drive, and a lot of cribbing from Movieline's fully completed Oscar predictions ballot. Read on for our informed guesses, and good luck!

- Kyle and Seth

BEST PICTURE

Avatar

The Blind Side

District 9

An Education

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds

Precious

A Serious Man

Up

Up in the Air

Will Win: It's the $500 Million Wonder vs. the Movie That Wants to Be Comfortable If It Dies. Technology vs artistry. Character design vs. character development. Ex against ex. We hand it to The Hurt Locker.

Dark Horse: Harvey doesn't like to lose: Inglourious Basterds. -SA

BEST DIRECTOR

Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

James Cameron, Avatar

Lee Daniels, Precious

Jason Reitman, Up in the Air

Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Will Win: Whether Hurt Locker sweeps the night or comes up short, Kathryn Bigelow is a lock to win here.

Dark Horse: Neither Jason Reitman or Lee Daniels is a threat here, and Quentin Tarantino's best shot is going to come in the Original Screenplay category. As much as James Cameron has said he doesn't want to win this particular Oscar, he's the best dark horse it's got. -KB

BEST ACTRESS

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Helen Mirren, The Last Station

Carey Mulligan, An Education

Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Will Win: This has been a winning year for Sandra Bullock, her Razzie-caliber work and blowdryer mishaps notwithstanding. With a SAG Award and Golden Globe already in the bag, Sandy's just a few days away from her Oscar moment.

Dark Horse: There's few who have seen Gabourey Sidibe's performance who would soon forget it. If Keisha Castle-Hughes can win for Whale Rider, the girl who so devastatingly filled Precious's skin is at least as deserving. -SA

BEST ACTOR

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

George Clooney, Up in the Air

Colin Firth, A Single Man

Morgan Freeman, Invictus

Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Will Win: Jeff Bridges just took part in one of the most comprehensive Oscar wooings ever conducted, but managed it with good humor and a touch of class. It's his to lose.

Dark Horse: At one point, it seemed like Jeremy Renner was a dark horse to even get nominated. Now that he's made the category, however, he has two things going for him: the momentum behind The Hurt Locker, and his position as a refreshing alternative. If the stars align, he could be this year's Adrien Brody. -KB

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Penelope Cruz, Nine

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart

Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air

Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air

Mo'nique, Precious

Will Win: Mo'nique, Mo'nique, Mo'nique.

Dark Horse: Mo'nique. Oh, OK, fine -- Maggie Gyllenhaal, for her sexy, slightly brittle portrayal of a single mom who finds herself falling for the wrong guy. There was no virtually campaign for her, and yet here she is. Could another surprise be in store? -SA

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Matt Damon, Invictus

Woody Harrelson, The Messenger

Christopher Plummer, The Last Station

Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones

Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Will Win: It's in the way he stirs his coffee. Or glides between languages with the grace of a speed skater. It's in his daffiness, his brutality, his piercing intellect. Tarantino was right that he couldn't have made his film without finding Christoph Waltz, but find him he did.

Dark Horse: Woody Harrelson's Captain Tony Stone is a superb character study of a loner trying to make peace with the worst job conceivable -- yet one he can't walk away from. It's some of the best work of his career. -SA

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Neil Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, District 9

Nick Hornby, An Education

Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell and Armando Iannucci, In the Loop

Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious

Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air

Will Win: The Up in the Air team's behind-the-podium differences seemingly behind them, it will fall to Turner to squeeze in a thumb-up and "Hi, Mom!" before the orchestra starts playing out Reitman's long list of thank-yous to himself.

Dark Horse: The emotional favorite (around here at least) goes to In the Loop, and not just because it sounds like what happens when David Mamet kicks Al Swearengen's cat. -SA

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, A Serious Man

Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, Up

Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, The Messenger

Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Will Win: This could go either to reporter and screenwriter Mark Boal's fact-based (and fact-challenged) work in The Hurt Locker, or to QT's lovable WWII revenge fantasy. But with Locker looking strong in both Picture and Director categories, this is probably where the Academy will show Quentin some love with an award for Inglourious Basterds.

Dark Horse: Don't count the Coens out. A Serious Man has serious fans. -SA

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Ajami (Israel)

A Prophet (France)

The Milk of Sorrow (Peru)

The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina)

The White Ribbon (Germany)

Will Win: The White Ribbon is this year's anointed foreign language juggernaut...

Dark Horse: ...yet several Oscar pundits think the more straightforward The Secret in Their Eyes will play better to the voters. Whatever the case, blood-spurting crime drama A Prophet will come up lacking. -KB

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