It's that time again, when critics put down their bets on which contenders will go home with Oscars tonight. Here are Margaret A. McGurk's calls:
Best Picture: Will win - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Should win - The Lord of the Rings. The Academy can recognize the astonishing accomplishments of the trilogy, and the final chapter was the best.
Best Director: Will win - Peter Jackson. Should win - Peter Jackson. For managing the small army that made The Rings.
Actress: Will win - Charlize Theron. Should win - Charlize Theron. It took much more than ugly makeup to create the mad killer of Monster; it took more talent than people credited to Theron.
Actor: Will win - Johnny Depp (left). Should win - Bill Murray. This looks like a very close three-way race, including Sean Penn for Mystic River. Murray was brilliant in Lost in Translation, but in a subtle way. Depp was flashier in Pirates of the Caribbean, and it's about time a comic role won.
Supporting Actor: Will win - Tim Robbins. Should win - Tim Robbins. In an excellent competition, Robbins stands out with the best performance of his career, in Mystic River.
Supporting Actress: Will win - Renee Zellweger. Should win - Shohreh Aghdashloo. Aghdashloo's work in House of Sand and Fog was a marvel of complexity. But Zellweger, nominated for Cold Mountain, is well-liked, and she has lost out in previous Oscar contests.
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