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Oscar darlings ... ELLE Canada picks the best

Author: Elle Canada

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Oscar darlings ... ELLE Canada picks the best

Best film:
Shoo-in: Atonement
A deceptively complex tale of doomed lovers set against the backdrop of the Second World War, Joe Wright's film pulls at the heartstrings and stimulates the brain -- a winning combination.
Odds: 5 to 2

Dark horse: There Will Be Blood
Critics have gone gaga over Paul Thomas Anderson's turn-of-the-century drama, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a blustery, indomitable oilman. Believe the hype! It's a remarkable piece of film-making.
Odds: 6 to 1

Sentimental fave: Once
A shaggy boy and a shy girl literally make beautiful music together in this micro-budget Sundance fave. Not many people saw Once, but everyone who did loved it, which is why it might be this year's Little Movie That Could.
Odds: 10 to 1

Best actress:
Shoo-in: Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)

Oscar voters love impersonations of historical figures (i.e., last year's winner in this category, HRH Helen Mirren), and Cotillard's turn as the legendary French chanteuse Édith Piaf is note-perfect.
Odds: 5 to 1

Dark horse: Ellen Page (Juno)
The diminutive Canadian spitfire gives her cockiest and most-assured performance to date in Jason Reitman's hipster-approved comedy about an unexpectedly preggers teen.
Odds: 7 to 1

Sentimental fave: Julie Christie (Away From Her)
The darling of '60s cinema shows us why, in her 60s, she's still one of the most impressive actresses on the planet, striking a gorgeous series of grace notes as a woman battling Alzheimer's in Sarah Polley's affecting feature debut.
Odds: 4 to 1

Best supporting actress
Shoo-in: Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)

Inspired casting yields an inspired performance, with the Great Cate emerging as the most authentic of the six Bob Dylans featured in Todd Haynes' artsy anti-biopic.
Odds: 4 to 1

Dark horse: Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Ryan's bold, unsympathetic performance as a monstrously negligent mother is easily the best thing about this moody but overrated crime drama.
Odds: 5 to 1

Sentimental fave: Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement)
Redgrave doesn't turn up until the end of Atonement, but her one extended scene -- which reveals the film's rather unique and brilliant twist -- is a doozy. Ironically, she could face competition in this category from her co-star Saoirse Ronan -- who, at 13, is 58 years her junior.
Odds: 12 to 1

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Oscar darlings ... ELLE Canada picks the best