And the winner is…

Tom Andrew

The 84th Annual Academy Awards will be airing on Feb. 26 at 4 p.m.  on ABC and will be hosted by Billy Crystal. Crystal stepped in after Eddie Murphy backed out a few months ago.

The nominees were announced on Jan. 24 and created some stir, as they usually do.

This years race still has some amazing actors, directors and writers and it will be tough to decide who will take home the golden statue beforehand, but lets try.

If you are like most people you may be having an Oscar party. If you need a ballot sheet for those nominated this year you can go to, there you will find everything you need for the Oscars.

This years Best Film is a tough category. Most insiders feel that whoever wins Best Director will snag this award, but in years past that hasn’t been the case.

There were many amazing ground breaking films nominated, from “Hugo” to “Moneyball” and from “War Horse” to “The Artist.” Some also may feel that “The Help” has a pretty good shot as well, but when the dust settles, “The Artist” will most likely take away the award for being the first silent film in some time. It’s an amazing film and reminds us of the way things used to be. “The Help” or “War Horse” will be a close second.

In the Best Director category, again we have a bunch of amazing directors who have turned in some riveting work. Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” is a huge departure from what he normally does and yet has pulled off a beautiful film, and the return of Woody Allen with “Midnight in Paris” is also great, but director Michel Hazanavicius for “The Artist” will win.

The Best Actor category may be the easiest category to pick in some respects. This race is really between Brad Pitt for “Moneyball” and Jean Dujardin for “The Artist.” Dujardin has been taking home every Best Actor award this year, and it looks like he will continue his winning streak here, but it would be nice to see Pitt win. His performance in “Moneyball” is endearing, honest, and some of the best work this actor has ever turned in.

The race for Best Actress should be a shoo-in, but as in years passed that hasn’t been the case. Actress Meryl Streep has been nominated 17 times for an Oscar and has only taken home the golden statue twice. This year she turns in yet another unforgettable performance as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” She has been winning most Best Actress awards this year for her performance, but like most years, the Oscar has seemingly eluded her. This year should be her year. The only other actress that may come close will be Viola Davis for her role in “The Help.”

The supporting categories also have amazing actors, and this is where most of the upsets will, and have, occurred before. This year’s Best Supporting Actor should go to Christopher Plummer for the film “Beginners,” although be prepared to see Max von Sydow be a surprise winner for the film “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

Best Supporting Actress will be a tough one to decide. All were great performances, but Octavia Spencer’s performance in “The Help” should come out on top, that’s if Melissa McCarthy’s hilarious performance in “Bridesmaids” doesn’t squeak past her.

The rest of the categories are chock full with amazing artists, so tune in and catch the whole show.