Our tips to tonight's Oscars

Who will be going home with a statue? We pick the likely winners...

Best Picture: If Roman Polanski's Holocaust drama The Pianist pulls enough anti-Miramax votes, it might catch light-hearted early front-runner Chicago. But the musical looks strong enough to hold its place. Likely winner: Chicago.

Best Director: Even though Miramax's Harvey Weinstein vowed to win an Oscar for the long-denied Martin Scorsese, his campaign may have backfired; voters started talking about it instead of the director. Marshall complained that he wasn't getting the same level of attention, and then won the Oscar-predictive Directors' Guild of America award. Likely winner: Rob Marshall.

Best Actor: With the full Miramax push behind him, Gangs of New York's Daniel Day-Lewis campaigned like a pro and gained momentum from the Bafta and the Screen Actors Guild awards. Early front-runner and Golden-Globe winner Jack Nicholson played an old geezer in About Schmidt, which made many Academy voters uncomfortable. There's a remote chance that The Pianist's Adrien Brody could catch up. Likely winner: Daniel Day-Lewis.

Best Supporting Actor: Adaptation's Chris Cooper, who has never won, was the anointed winner until another beloved character actor, Catch Me If You Can's Christopher Walken, won the SAG award. But Walken has won before (1978's The Deer Hunter). Likely winner: Chris Cooper.

Best Actress: Nicole Kidman was a lock when the nominations were announced, but the Chicago juggernaut could run her over. It's a close race between Globe-winner Kidman, in a serious movie, and Screen Actors' Guild winner Zellweger, in a popular one. Likely winner: Nicole Kidman, by a nose.

Best Supporting Actress: Some Academy voters will go for Julianne Moore as Best Actress (Far From Heaven), others will go for Supporting Actress (The Hours), which effectively splits her vote. Likely winner: Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The GuardianTramp

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