Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Annette Bening

Columbia Pictures; Melissa Moseley/Warner Bros. Pictures; Focus Features

Sure, the Oscars aren't until February, but that doesn't mean we can't already start talking about who's caught our Academy eye. Especially since, as Entertainment Weekly points out, Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker had already come out by this time last year.

That's why we're so excited to kick off our Awful talk of all things Oscars, wherein we assert our predictions that—let's face it—are so gonna come true over the course of the year.

And while none of the Twilight cast may get their little gold statue this year (with more of their prestigious projects hitting the big screen in 2011), we've got some picks of who might be nommed for the top honors:

Annette Bening for Best Actress

Just like Sandra Bullock finally started to get recognized for her acting last year, darling Annette has been around forever, but hasn't exactly been showered with award season graces. Sure, she has two nominations under her belt but lost the race for both Being Julia and American Beauty to that award-robbing, husband-eschewing Hilary Swank.

But alas, this year things are gonna change. Annette was a powerhouse in The Kids Are Alright, and gave a performance that had better get noticed by the Academy. She's plays a fiercely age-proud lesbian mama doc and, well, it's totally award-worthy stuff. And she delivers it all just like Streep: little make-up, tons of knowing.

Annette's one of those rare women of a certain age who doesn't obsessively tinker with herself over the years. She's not trying to hide her years or look like every other Botox-lookin' broad out there. There's got to an award for that.

Inception for Best Picture

Yes, we hear everyone absolutely raving about Black Swan (and for good reason, mind you) but we're pretty confident Christopher Nolan's latest flick has the kick to make it to the final ten—especially seeing as those top ten spots are looking pretty empty (unless, of course, Toy Story 3 snatches the Up spot from last year, which our tearful nostalgia would not mind the least).

But now that the Oscars seem to be nominating big budget flicks that actually do well at the box office, we think Inception deserves to be put on a pedestal. Hey, if Avatar could grab a nom then Inception sure as hell can—at least the Freudian-frenzy of a film was actually, uh, original.

Plus, we're pretty sure the film could nab some other nominations—Best Director (duh, we were practically drooling watching this film), Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor (the Academy hearts Leo as much as we do!), and possibly even some Best Supporting nods (Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and especially Marion Cotillard were great if not criminally underused)—so why not just give it a chance at the night's top honor as well?

Angelina Jolie for The Long Shot

OK, before you laugh at us for even thinking the Academy would consider Salt, we said it was a long shot. That said, the Oscars do love to honor its favorite leading ladies—and with one win and another nom—Angelina is an Academy baby. Just see Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia. Meryl shined, while the film on the whole was...ho hum, at least in our opinion.

That's exactly what Ange does in Salt.

We liked the flick enough—it was definitely entertaining—seeing Angie kick ass and get herself out of one absolutely ridiculous situation after another without a scratch (remember, this action pic was written for Tom Cruise after all), but we were way more impressed by Angelina's performance.

Who needs testosterone when Angie's lips and fists can do the job so much efficiently, and with the bloodiest damn sex appeal around?

But, like we said, long shot.

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Photos: 2010 Oscars: Winners!

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