The Oscars: Who Will Win vs. Who Should Win

So maybe you, like much of the country, didn't see many of the films up for Oscars this Sunday.

But that doesn't mean you're not itching to know who's going to win, right?

With the writers' strike a mere memory and preparations for the Academy Awards zooming full speed ahead, speculation about who will take home the coveted golden statuettes is running rampant. And this year many of the most-deserving candidates are also the most likely to take home the awards.

Check out what critics had to say about who will win versus who should win in each of the six major categories.

Best Picture

Nominees: "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men," "There Will Be Blood," "Atonement," "Juno"

Who will win: "No Country for Old Men"

Who should win: "No Country for Old Men"

"No Country for Old Men," the Coen brothers' epic about a drug deal gone wrong in the badlands of Texas, is virtually a lock for the biggest award of the year.

Nominated for eight Oscars, the film already scored two Golden Globes and recognition from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review and the Toronto Film Critics Association. The only film that may have a chance of ousting "No Country" is "Atonement," the kind of quintessential British period drama known for making Academy voters swoon.

"It seems like a lot of people are on the same page for 'No Country for Old Men,'" said Nicole Vecchiarelli, entertainment director of Details magazine. "I've been surprised about the momentum that the film has gotten because it's an edgier choice. But I don't think anyone would deny that it's deserved."

Best Actor

Nominees: George Clooney ("Michael Clayton"), Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood"), Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"), Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah"), Viggo Mortensen ("Eastern Promises")

Who will win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Who should win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Another category with little disagreement: best actor. Daniel Day-Lewis is favored to pick up the statue for his portrayal of a turn-of-the-20th-century oil magnate in "There Will Be Blood." Day-Lewis, who won a best actor Oscar for 1989's "My Left Foot," has won BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards for "There Will Be Blood."

"He is an actor's actor -- a true professional who's not a celebrity," Vecchiarelli said. "I would be shocked if he didn't win."

Best Actress

Nominees: Julie Christie ("Away from Her"), Cate Blanchett ("Elizabeth: The Golden Age"), Marion Cotillard ("La Vie En Rose"), Laura Linney ("The Savages"), Ellen Page ("Juno")

Who will win: Julie Christie

Who should win: Marion Cotillard

Veterans and newcomers crowd the best actress field, and the vote for who will win versus who should win is split between the two. Julie Christie, 66, holds Hollywood's respect for her roles in classics like 1965's "Doctor Zhivago" and 1963's "Darling," for which she won a best actress Oscar. Her performance in "Away From You" may sway the Academy to give her another.

"People in the industry think it's a terrific role, a terrific performance," said Gregg Goldstein, film reporter for The Hollywood Reporter. "They feel like she deserves it because of her career."

But French newcomer Marion Cotillard, 32, wowed critics with her poignant portrayal of Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose" and in January scored the best actress Golden Globe for the role.

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