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James Cameron, Avatar

Mark Fellman/20th Century Fox

Oscar Watch

You think the Oscars are about a month away. We think they're already over. 

Looking at the odds (from here and here and here), and taking in awards season up to this point, here's what's going to happen.

We think:

• James Cameron's Avatar will win Best Picture. Conventional wisdom says it's so. The worldwide box office demands it be so.

If Avatar doesn't win Best Picture, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker will. The Producers Guild says it's so. (Critics would like to say it's so, too, but whatever, they have no say.)

If neither Avatar nor The Hurt Locker win and plausible candidates Up in the Air and Inglourious Basterds miss out, too, then the offshore gaming sites will be sweating it. Especially if anybody dared to put down money on the longest of long shots, District 9.

Bigelow will win Best Director. The Directors Guild says it's so. Against all odds, and for melodramatic reasons that should be obvious, we will continue to pull for a Bigelow-Cameron tie. 

• Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) will win, just as they did at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Waltz will win so big, he may win twice.

• Mo'Nique (Precious) will win, just as she did at the Globes and SAGs, unless Academy voters get tired of toeing the line, get wooed by Harvey Weinstein and vote Penélope Cruz (Nine). It's happened. Especially the Weinstein-wooing part.

Everybody will be surprised when Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) or Meryl Streep (Julia & Julie) wins because, for a change, nobody knows who's going to win. 

Everybody will be surprised if Helen Mirren (The Last Station) wins. (The average TV viewer will be surprised to learn she was nominated.) Accordingly, she's a 50-to-1 shot at Ladbrokes.

Avatar will win six Oscars overall. Sportsbook.com says this is the most likely outcome from the movie's nine nominations, and we can see it. (Wild guess: It wins Best Picture, Visual Effects, Art Direction, Cinematography, Sound and Sound Editing, and loses Best Director and Editing to The Hurt Locker and Original Score to Up.)

Avatar will lose Editing because if it wins, then Cameron, who is a member of the movie's nominated editing team, will win yet another Oscar, and there's only so much success Hollywoodistas can stomach (from other Hollywoodistas, that is). 

Nobody, including us, knows what they're talking about, unless they're counting the ballots at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Or to put it another way: We won't rule out Taylor Swift pulling another upset until James Cameron's on stage at the Kodak Theatre, trying really hard to act humble.

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Follow all the twists and turns on the road to Oscar right here