Oscar season kicks into high gear Tuesday morning when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces this year's nominees.
ABCNEWS' Good Morning America will broadcast the announcements live from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles at 8:30 a.m. ET, with entertainment editor Joel Siegel in New York providing commentary.
As the painful waiting comes to an end, you can be certain that stars all over the world are setting their alarm clocks extra early, chugging an extra cup of coffee, or taking a midday break to catch the news. Chicago stars Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger and director Rob Marshall are in Paris. Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese are in New York. Back in Los Angeles are Julianne Moore, Adrien Brody and Kathy Bates.
These stars and many others are preparing to make announcements, especially if it's time to celebrate.
Meanwhile, studio honchos prepare for the big publicity push as they try to tilt public opinion in the favor of their nominees.
Our resident film critic weighs in with his annual predictions. Siegel has an 80 percent success rate in his past Oscar nominee forecasts. Here are his picks, and don't forget to vote on your choice for Best Picture. Joel Siegel's Oscar Nomination Predictions BEST PICTURE: About Schmidt Chicago Gangs of New York The Hours The Pianist Long Shot: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Joel's comments: The theme this year is that there's more good stuff than there are nominations. There are nine excellent films that won't make the list, including 25th Hour, Antwone Fisher, Adaptation, Far From Heaven, Frida Road to Perdition, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Narc and Talk to Her. I think My Big Fat Greek Wedding has only one chance for a nomination — and that's for best screenplay.
ACTRESS: Nicole Kidman (The Hours) Diane Lane (Unfaithful) Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven) Renee Zellweger (Chicago) Meryl Streep (The Hours) Long Shot: Salma Hayek (Frida) Joel's comments: If Meryl Streep is nominated, she'll set a new Academy Awards record. In 1999, Streep tied Katharine Hepburn's record of 12 Oscar nominations, the most for any actor. My long-shot pick, Salma Hayek, has never been nominated.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kathy Bates (About Schmidt) Meryl Streep (Adaptation) Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago) Julianne Moore (The Hours) Queen Latifah (Chicago) Long Shot: Michelle Pfeiffer (White Oleander) Joel's comments: I'm picking Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore to pick up nominations in both lead and supporting actress categories. They're great actresses featured in great performances.
ACTOR: Adrien Brody (The Pianist) Michael Caine (The Quiet American) Richard Gere (Chicago) Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York) Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt) Long Shot: Nicolas Cage (Adaptation) Joel's comments: Chicago is likely to pick up an unusual number of nominations for a musical. Richard Gere told me he's never been nominated for anything. He's already won a Golden Globe for his work in Chicago.
Chris Cooper (Adaptation) Ed Harris (The Hours) Alfred Molina (Frida) Paul Newman (Road to Perdition) Christopher Walken (Catch Me If You Can) Long Shot: Dennis Quaid (Far From Heaven) Joel's comments: This is the first time Paul Newman has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor. His first Oscar nomination was back in 1959 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Stephen Daldry (The Hours) Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) Rob Marshall (Chicago) Roman Polanski (The Pianist) Marin Scorsese (Gangs of New York) Long Shot: Alexander Payne (About Schmidt) Joel's comments: Martin Scorsese told me, "You know why I've never won? People think I've already won. People think I won for Raging Bull. People think I won for Mean Streets. But I never won." He is truly one of the great directors, and he's got to be an early favorite.