Oscar Watch: Preview<br />

Forget all the talk about how the studios will dominate this year's Oscar race. The indies, or at least the studio specialty divisions, are stepping up with some of their best movies in years.

With pictures like Fox Searchlight's "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Wrestler," Overture's "The Visitor" and Focus' "Milk," the 81st Annual Academy Awards should remind Hollywood why the studios were once so eager to embrace the specialty biz.

But this doesn't mean the studios aren't in serious contention. With heavyweight entries like Universal's "Frost/Nixon," Fox's "Australia" and Paramount's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" -- not to mention two from Clint Eastwood alone, "Changeling" (Universal) and "Gran Torino" (Warner Bros.) -- this could be a genuine battle between Davids and Goliaths.

Follow the early Oscar handicapping in the following categories:

-- Picture
-- Director
-- Actor
-- Actress
-- Supporting Actor
-- Supporting Actress
-- Original Screenplay
-- Adapted Screenplay

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