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And the Oscar should go to ...

What deserves to win, and what's likely to win? Those are two very different questions in Sunday night's Oscar sweepstakes. Here are some picks and predictions, based on the nominated movies rather than an ideal slate of candidates.

Best picture

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Most likely: "American Beauty"

Most deserving: "The Insider"

Best director

Most likely: Sam Mendes for "American Beauty"

Most deserving: Spike Jonze for "Being John Malkovich"

Best actor

Most likely and most deserving: Denzel Washington for "The Hurricane"

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Best actress

Most likely and most deserving: Hilary Swank for "Boys Don't Cry"

Best supporting actor

Most likely and most deserving: Tom Cruise for "Magnolia"

Best supporting actress

Most likely: Angelina Jolie in "Girl, Interrupted"

Most deserving: Catherine Keener in "Being John Malkovich"

Best original screenplay

Most likely: "American Beauty"

Most deserving: "Being John Malkovich"

Best adapted screenplay

Most likely: "The Cider House Rules"

Most deserving: "Election"

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