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It’s the day you’ve been waiting for: Oscars night! The brightest stars in Hollywood have assembled for the biggest event in the entertainment industry, a whirlwind of pretty dresses, dashing suits, and enough champagne to fill an ocean. Expect heaping platefuls of laughs from comedian Ellen Degeneres, who is hosting the 86th Academy Awards for the first time since 2007.

At stake, of course, is a shot at immortality in the form of the iconic golden statuettes as synonymous with the Oscars as popcorn with movies. Emotions in the Dolby Theatre will be high among the nominees, which are led by the films Gravity and American Hustle (10 nominations each), followed closely by 12 Years a Slave (9 nominations). Below are GALO’s predictions for the winners. Let the speculation begin!

Best Picture: Gravity

12 Years a Slave has plenty of buzz, but Gravity has the edge with strong performances from Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The voting may be close, as a science fiction film has never won the award. Expect Gravity to do what Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, ET, Alien, and Avatar failed to do.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

The Mexican filmmaker is set to become the first Latino to win the award. His efforts, at seamlessly meshing cutting-edge digital technology to showcase the so-real-you-have-to-vomit drama of Gravity, make him as sure a lock as there ever has been.

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Much has been made of the amount of weight McConaughey had to lose to portray a man diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s, but his efforts have already been rewarded with a Golden Globe win. He could add to that with an Oscar, but expect Chiwetel Ejiofor — who won the BAFTA for Best Actor for his portrayal of a free man sold into slavery in 12 Years a Slave – and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) to also contend. It should be noted that despite three previous nominations, DiCaprio has never won Best Actor.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Blanchett has already racked up a slew of awards for her portrayal of a rich Manhattan socialite falling into poverty and homelessness, including a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle has said that “Blanchett in Blue Jasmine is beyond brilliant, beyond analysis. This is jaw-dropping work, what we go to the movies hoping to see, and we do. Every few years.” And for tabloid fodder: if Blanchett does win, keep an eye on her relationship with husband Andrew Upton. The so-called “Oscar Curse” says that whoever wins the award for Best Actress will have her significant other cheat on her or divorce soon after. For Blanchett’s sake, we hope the “Oscar Curse” is just a myth!

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Leto’s role as Rayon, a transgendered AIDS sufferer who helps heterosexual cowboy Ron Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey) get medicine to the Dallas AIDS community, is nothing short of transcendent, and he portrays the character with the perfect mix of wit, seriousness, and a great pair of pumps. Anything short of a Best Supporting Actor title would be a major upset.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Nyong’o faces strong competition from Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), but has the edge since Lawrence won Best Actress in 2013. Julia Roberts has also been nominated for her role in August: Osage County, but is considered far behind Nyong’o and Lawrence. The same goes for 84-year-old June Squibb in Nebraska.

Best Animated Feature: Frozen

As sure a thing as any is that Disney’s Frozen will take home top honors for Best Animated Feature. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, it has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, and is considered by some — including The New York Times — to be the best animated Disney film in decades. If Frozen comes up short, expect hell to freeze over.

Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty

The Great Beauty (Italian: La Grande Bellezza) focuses on an aging man still riding the coattails of his past glories, and its introspective look at life makes it the favorite in this category — but just barely. The Dutch-language Belgian film The Broken Circle Breakdown, which follows the breakdown of a marriage following the death of a child, is utterly heart-wrenching, and has already won a Satellite Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Expect it to have a strong Oscars showing, also.

Best Original Screenplay: American Hustle

Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell have crafted a masterful tale of two con artists forced by an FBI agent to set up an elaborate sting operation on corrupt politicians, and while it certainly is compelling, it is almost neck-and-neck with the indomitable Woody Allen and Blue Jasmine. Spike Jonze’s Her could also be a dark-horse winner, thanks to how relatable its story about a man who develops a relationship with a computer with a female voice and personality is. If Jonze wins, maybe Siri could accept the award with him?

Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup originally penned his memoir 12 Years a Slave back in 1853 and, 161 years later, John Ridley has done a terrific job adapting it into a touching film filled with emotional intensity even in its most quiet moments. It could be upset by Terence Winter’s adaption of Jordan Belfort’s original work in The Wolf of Wall Street, however.

Who do you think will win big tonight? Sound off in the comments below. The 86th Academy Awards air live tonight on ABC at 7e/4p. 

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Featured image: Television icon Ellen DeGeneres returns to host the Oscars for a second time. The Academy Awards® for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. Photo Credit: ABC/Andrew Eccles.