Top Seven Oscar Long Shots: Marisa Tomei, Anna Paquin and More

In the run-up to Sunday's Oscars, nominees should remember: it ain't over till the fat lady sings.

Film critics, industry insiders and movie fans have speculated for months about who will win Hollywood's most prized trophy, and they've come up with a widely-accepted list of favorites.

But nominees who didn't make the short list shouldn't fear: the race for the statue is anybody's game.

This year, most think the best picture Oscar will come down to either "Avatar" or "The Hurt Locker."

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But "An Education" and "Inglourious Basterds," among others, have received their fair share of critical acclaim and certainly have a chance at winning the title.

While the entertainment world can't get enough of the best actress battle between Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock, the performances of Gabourey Sidibe as an abuse victim in "Precious" and Carey Mulligan as a teenager trying to find herself in "An Education" shouldn't be overlooked.

And even though Jeff Bridges won the Golden Globe for best actor for his role in "Crazy Heart," the quietly inspiring performance of George Clooney as a lost businessman in "Up in the Air" and Jeremy Renner as a member of an Army bomb squad in enemy territory in "The Hurt Locker" could give Bridges a run for his money.

There have been bigger upsets at the Academy Awards. Below is a list of seven of the most famous Oscar-winning long shots.

Geraldine Page

After losing seven previous Oscars, Geraldine Page couldn't have been very hopeful when she was nominated as best actress in 1985 for her role as Carrie Watts in "The Trip to Bountiful." The movie was about the elderly Watts' journey from Houston and her overprotective son to her small Texas birthplace.

She was up against three of the decade's biggest heavyweights: Meryl Streep for the box office smash "Out of Africa;" Whoopi Goldberg for the moving epic "The Color Purple;" and Jessica Lange in "Sweet Dreams," a biopic about America's Sweetheart Patsy Cline.

While Page may have been the long shot, the academy and audience certainly thought the award was overdue. When opening the envelope, the best actress presenter F. Murray Abraham said, "I consider this woman to be the greatest actress in the English Language," and the audience immediately erupted into a standing ovation. Page found herself a bit tongue-tied in the acceptance speech, but never put down the statue, caressing it the whole time.

Page died a year later while starring in a Broadway revival of "Blithe Spirit."

Roberto Benigni

Benigni is probably most remembered for his joyous antics -- walking on the back of the seats in the audience at the Oscars -- but Benigni was one of the academy's great long shots when he won 1998's best actor statue.

The film "Life is Beautiful," written and directed by Benigni, was widely celebrated for its story about an Italian-Jewish man who comforts his son at a Nazi concentration camp by telling him their time there is just a game that has very specific rules. Going into the 1999 ceremony, there was little doubt that the movie would win best foreign language film, but no one expected Benigni would win best leading actor.

Benigni won against stiff competition, including Tom Hanks in "Saving Private Ryan" and Edward Norton in "American History X." It was the first time an Oscar had been given to an actor in a non-English-speaking role. When he accepted he said, "This is a terrible mistake because I have used up all my English!"

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