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All That Glitters

Award season buzz starts now

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Still reeling from a post-election high? As Al Jolson said in Hollywood's first talkie The Jazz Singer, "You ain't seen nothin' yet, folks."

The silliness that was this year's race for the White House has nothing on the cutthroat campaign for American culture's biggest prize: a 13.5-inch gold-plated statuette--the stuff that dreams are made of.

Partisanship? Oh, just you wait until we get into the year's big debate between Argo and Lincoln. Nothing spells controversy like an argument over concerns for white hostages vs. black slaves.

If you're still hungover from the electoral marathon, grab a bucket of popcorn and sit down for this one: the Oscar season is about to begin in earnest. Academy Award precursors the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Golden Globe Awards have already sparked a flame, with the Spirits unveiling its nominations Nov. 28 and the Globes set to reveal its noms Thursday, Dec. 13.

Never one to be late for a good party, here are our early predictions (and a few suggestions) for Oscar's top prizes:

Best Picture: sure bets

Argo

The Hobbit

Les Miserables

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

But how about ...

The Dark Knight Rises

Moonrise Kingdom

Skyfall

Best Actor: Sure Bets

Bradley Cooper: Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis: Lincoln

John Hawkes: The Sessions

Joaquin Phoenix: The Master

But How About ...

Christian Bale: Dark Knight Rises

Anthony Hopkins: Hitchcock

Edward Norton: Moonrise Kingdom

Denzel Washington: Flight

Best Actress: Sure Bets

Jessica Chastain: Zero Dark Thirty

Marion Cotillard: Rust and Bone

Jennifer Lawrence: Silver Linings Playbook

Quvenzhane Wallis: Beasts ofthe Southern Wild

But How About ...

Emmanuelle Riva: Amour

Kristen Stewart: On the Road

Emma Watson: The Perks of Beinga Wallflower

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