Finally -- It's Oscar Time!

After the long writers' strike, Hollywood is ready to party and congratulate its own.

The celebration takes place Sunday night, with the 80th annual Academy Awards.

On The Early Show Friday, veteran Tinseltown observer Jess Cagle offered prognostications.

The People magazine executive editor and Early Show entertainment Here to give us a preview of the big night is Jess Cagle, Executive Editor of People Magazine and Early Show entertainment contributor says Hollywood is in the mood to party!


Photos: Countdown To Oscar
Though the walkout seemed to put a damper on the Hollywood awards season, even forcing Vanity Fair to scrap its annual Oscar party, the stars seem ready for fun, Cagle says. There's a chance it'll be cold and rainy Sunday, but everyone will still be up for partying -- they're so relieved the strike is over and that the Oscars are happening.

Story: 80th Annual Academy Awards Nominees List
There's a great list of presenters: Patrick Dempsey, Steve Carell, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Garner, Denzel Washington, among many others -- so it'll be a star-studded telecast.

And even though the Vanity Fair soiree is gone, the Elton John/InStyle party looks to pick up the slack and the title of THE place to be and be seen after the ceremony.


Photos: "No Country" Poised For Oscar
As for Cagle's predictions:

BEST ACTRESS:
Nominees:
Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"
Julie Christie in "Away from Her"
Marion Cotillard in "La Vie en Rose"
Laura Linney in "The Savages"
Ellen Page in "Juno"
WILL WIN: Julie Christie. Not a lock, but seems to have the momentum.
SHOULD WIN: I'd like to see Ellen Page win, because I loved that movie and that performance.

BEST ACTOR:
George Clooney in "Michael Clayton"
Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood"
Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah"
Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises"
WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis. Almost a sure thing. He's won all the other awards. It's his night.
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis. Can't argue with that one. But I'd love it to be George Clooney, because he gives the best acceptance speeches!

BEST PICTURE:
"Atonement"
"Juno"
"Michael Clayton"
"No Country for Old Men"
"There Will Be Blood"
WILL WIN: "No Country For Old Men." It's already won every other award so it seems inevitable.
SHOULD WIN: "There Will Be Blood." Not a commercial movie at all, but it's a masterpiece. But it may just be too weird for the Academy.

Most of the categories this year seem pretty cut and dry. Is there any major category that's still wide open?

Yes, Cagle says:
SUPPORTING ACTRESS is often the category that ends up in a surprise. This year, there's no clear frontrunner. Cate Blanchett won the Golden Globe, Amy Ryan won all the critics' awards, Ruby Dee won the Screen Actors Guild award. Now, a lot of people believe Tilda Swinton will win, since that will be the Academy's chance to give "Michael Clayton" something. I'm going to predict Amy Ryan just because she's my favorite.

There are still two days before the awards. If viewers want to catch up on the major nominees at home, what's available on DVD?

"MICHAEL CLAYTON": Seven nominations inc: Best Picture, Actor, Supp Actor, Supp Actress, Director, Screenplay
"IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH": Best Actor (its only nomination)
"EASTERN PROMISES": Best Actor (only nomination)
"AWAY FROM HER": Best Actress (two nominations in all)
"ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE": Best Actress (two nominations, total)
"LA VIE EN ROSE" Best Actress (there nominations, total)