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Steven Spielberg, Charlize Theron Lead Latest Oscar Race

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Sep 16, 2005 | 11:54am EDT

Steven Spielberg's terrorist drama Munich and Ang Lee's controversial Brokeback Mountain have emerged as the front runners for Best Film at the 2006 Oscars, in the latest release from top movie industry odds site GoldDerby.com.

Site editor Tom O'Neill, a top critic and awards expert, suggests the two epics will compete with war film Jarhead, George Clooney's turn in Syriana and Memoirs of a Geisha for the top Academy Award.

But O'Neill is convinced it will be Spielberg's movie-- about the hunt for the killers of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics--that will claim the big prize.

He says, "It's the lead pony in this upcoming Oscar derby."

Meanwhile, O'Neill and his online critics consortium, favor Tommy Lee Jones to beat Jake Gyllenhaal (Jarhead), Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) and Joaquin Phoenix's turn as Johnny Cash (Walk the Line) to the Best Actor prize for his role in Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

GoldDerby.com's experts also predict Charlize Theron will be up for her second Best Actress Academy Award for her role of a victimized minor in North Country.

Theron will compete with Judi Dench (Mrs. Henderson Presents), Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman (Transamerica), Diane Keaton (The Family Stone) and Ziyi Zhang (Memoirs of a Geisha) for the award.

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