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What's Avatar? Our defiant Oscar picks 

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Our two film columnists, Morgan P. Salvo and Holly Grigg-Spall, spent the year liking and hating films, and thinking others were merely OK. Here's who they think should win Oscars this weekend, even when they know their pick won't necessarily take home a little golden man - because James Cameron probably already has it down his pants.

Best Picture

Holly Grigg-Spall: An Education. For this weekend it almost seems easier to say which films I absolutely don't want to win - Avatar, Up In The Air, District 9 - and it's definitely easier to say which film I think is the best of the lot: An Education.

Morgan P. Salvo: A Serious Man. No way in hell it will win but it was the best movie I had the pleasure to view all year. Hurt Locker and District 9 were my runner-ups.

Best Actor

Holly Grigg-Spall: Colin Firth, A Single Man. He'd give the most entertaining speech, but again, this is the populist Oscar night and he'd be winning it for playing a gay man in an uber-arty film made by a fashion designer, not for his turn as Mr. Darcy.

Morgan P. Salvo: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart. If it weren't for Jeff Bridges' excellent performance in Crazy Heart and deserving it for so many roles and years, I'd like to see Jeremy Renner take the Oscar for his amazing command of the screen in Hurt Locker.

Best Actress

Holly Grigg Spall: Carey Mulligan, An Education. I'm going with Carey Mulligan for playing the enchanted school girl in An Education, but here's the thing about Blind Side star Sandra Bullock: We can assume now that she is not a bad actress, she has just always chosen not to act. And the Academy loves it when stars suddenly act their hearts out after years of dormancy.

Morgan P. Salvo: Gabuorey Sidibe, Precious. I know that Sandra Bullock will walk away with this, but my vote goes to the newcomer and star of Precious.

Best Director

Holly Grigg Spall: James Cameron, Avatar. Oh they might be trying to make us think that James Cameron's ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) has a chance - but Cameron is set for this win. He took 3D technology and created an entire world. Before him it had all been about actors throwing Yo-Yos in the audience's face.

Morgan P. Salvo: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker. Forget her alien-loving ex-husband... for the movies nominated, Bigelow wins over Quentin Tarantino.

Best Original Screenplay

Holly Grigg Spall: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds. I liked Inglourious Basterds and enjoyed seeing Hitler and the Nazis die so theatrically, but it's the only Quentin Tarantino film I can stomach. This one could work out being Kathryn Bigelow's consolation prize.

Morgan P. Salvo: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man. I'll go out on a limb here and say that the Coen Bros cannot write a bad movie, well, unless they wanted to.


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