Will Dustin Hoffman get that much talked-about Oscar nomination for "Rain Man"?

Will Gene Hackman be his main competition?Will the best actress category be dominated by Sigourney Weaver, Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine?

Will Jessica Rabbit get a nomination for best performance by a character that's "just drawn that way"?

We'll see come Wednesday.

But before that it's time once again for smart-aleck film critics to predict who will most likely be among the nominees. (Next week we'll complain about who was left out.)

This critic's crystal ball suggests that the best actress nominees will include Streep for "A Cry in the Dark," MacLaine for "Madame Sousatzka," Weaver for "Gorillas in the Mist," Melanie Griffith for "Working Girl" and Jodie Foster for "The Accused."

Personally, I hope Christine Lahti, for "Running on Empty," will displace one of those, but don't bet on it. And it's possible, of course, that some others might find their way into one of the five coveted nominee slots - Susan Sarandon for "Bull Durham," Glenn Close for "Dangerous Liaisons" and Barbara Hershey for "A World Apart" most likely. Less likely . . . but you never know . . . are Bette Midler for "Beaches," Natasha Richardson for "Patty Hearst" and Geena Davis for "The Accidental Tourist." Jessica Rabbit will have to wait for a future opportunity.

On the best actor side, I see the nominees as Hoffman, Gene Hackman for "Mississippi Burning," Tom Hanks for "Big," William Hurt for "The Accidental Tourist" and Forest Whitaker for "Bird."

Whitaker could be edged out by Edward James Olmos for "Stand and Deliver," and some other maybes are Tom Hulce for "Dominick and Eugene," Bob Hoskins for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and Jeremy Irons for "Dead Ringers." Less likely are Kevin Costner for "Bull Durham" and Michael Keaton for "Clean and Sober."

Supporting actors whose names you might see among the nominees are Kathy Baker for "Clean and Sober," Diane Venora for "Bird," Mercedes Ruehl for "Married to the Mob," Sonia Braga for either "The Milagro Beanfield War" or "Moon Over Parador," Dean Stockwell for either "Married to the Mob" or "Tucker," Martin Landau for "Tucker" and Alec Guinness for "Little Dorrit."

The five best film nominees? How about "Rain Man," "Mississippi Burning," "The Accidental Tourist," "Gorillas in the Mist" and "Little Dorrit."

Less likely, but always possible: "Bull Durham," "Beaches," "Running on Empty," "The Accused," "Bird" and "Tucker."

Now all we can do is wait until Wednesday.

And we'll see which side of my face I'm laughing out of . . . so to speak.

- QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Leslie Halliwell, noted British film historian and author of "The Filmgoer's Companion" and "Halliwell's Film and Video Guide," who passed away last month of cancer at age 59. His intelligent film criticism will be sorely missed by those of us who value his many reference books and who empathize with his special fondness for older classic films. Among his comments over the years:

"Even the most casual enquirer will know that the vast majority of available videos harp on horror and sex themes, a nauseous flood of celluloid with which no commentator could hope to keep up, even if he wanted to."

"I remain suspicious of the films of the last 15 years or so, which have followed fashion to the exclusion of permanent value."

- "RAIN MAN" WAS displaced last week by "Three Fugitives," as the Nick Nolte-Martin Short farce climbed to the top of the chart in its second week of business.

"Three Fugitives" won the week's box office sweepstakes by only a few thousand dollars, as "Rain Man" dropped to No. 2. "Beaches" fell from the No. 3 spot to No. 4.

Two newcomers came in at 3 and 5, respectively - "Her Alibi," a Tom Selleck comedy, and John Candy's "Who's Harry Crumb?" - to round out the top five.

Here's the latest national "top 10" countdown, according to the show business trade papers:

1. THREE FUGITIVES, $51/2 million ($131/2 million, two weeks).

2. Rain Man $51/2 million ($961/2 million, eight weeks).

3. Her Alibi, $5 million (first week).

4. Beaches, $4 million ($26 million, seven weeks).

5. Who's Harry Crumb? $4 million (first week).

6. Twins, $31/2 million ($91 million, nine weeks).

7. Working Girl, $21/2 million ($411/2 million, seven weeks).

8. Mississippi Burning, $21/2 million ($181/2 million, eight weeks).

9. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! $2 million ($71 million, 10 weeks).

10. The Accidental Tourist, $11/2 million ($24 million, seven weeks).