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Get ready for the Oscars! James Lipton dishes on his picks

It’s here! The glamour! The excitement! The gambling! The 85th annual Academy Awards!

It’s here! The glamour! The excitement! The gambling!

The 85th annual Academy Awards!

For some, it’s just another awards show--a chance to shamelessly ogle starlets and mock movie stars pretending to be thrilled for whoever just won. For others, it’s the one night that can single-handedly transform the month of February into something more than the cold, dreary depress-fest it normally is. (Apologies to Valentine’s Day enthusiasts and anyone with a February birthday.)

Inside the Actor’s Studio host James Lipton joined Hardball Friday to share his thoughts on the big night. And for those of you hoping to win big in your Oscar pools, you may want to pay attention.

Best Actor:  Bradley CooperIt should come as no surprise that Cooper delivered a knockout performance as a regular Philly guy, struggling with love and mental illness in this season’s Silver Linings Playbook. The star is, after all, a graduate of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, where Lipton became an early fan as his dean. “He has come out brilliantly,” said Lipton on Hardball Friday. “We’re very proud of him, needless to say... My heart is with Bradley Cooper.”

Best Actress: Jennifer LawrenceThe young actress blew critics away with her performance as Tiffany, the tough-talking yet emotionally fragile widow, who captures the attention of Pat (played by Bradley Cooper) in Silver Linings Playbook. “She’s remarkable,” said Lipton. “I’ve never seen a person from her generation as good,” agreed the Hardball host Chris Matthews on Friday.

Best Foreign Language Film:  AmourAmour, a French-language film about the long goodbye between an elderly couple nearing the end of life, has been nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film, “which is a very rare thing indeed,” said Lipton. “It will win for foreign film,” he said confidently.

Best Picture:  LincolnThe final category of the night is a real nail-biter this year, with two historical dramas--Lincoln and Argo--leading the pack. But although Argo won the Golden Globe for Best Picture in January, Lipton thinks that “Lincoln’s going to sweep past” the competition in the end.

Do you agree? Cast your ballot for Best Picture below! (Don't worry, there's no money riding on this one.)