The live action shorts in Oscar contention this year span the globe. There are stories from and of Israel, Northern Ireland, Iran, China, Iraq, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and Switzerland to be considered, and naturally, some real stand-outs in the mix.

I wouldn't say I noticed much of a trend when I screened each of the 10 contenders, though. There's politics here, coming-of-age there, a handful of stories centered on women, homosexuality and a dash of history. So I guess there's really something for everyone, with quality production value throughout.

Check out our breakdown of the 10 live action short Oscar finalists below. And with that, this wraps up our deep dive into the shorts categories. In case you missed them, be sure to catch up with our analyses of the animated shorts and the documentary shorts. Academy members in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and London have been viewing the contenders at branch screenings this month. It'll be interesting to see how they narrow from here.

Nominees for Best Live Action Short will be announced alongside all other Oscar nominees on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015.

Kristopher Tapley has covered the film awards landscape for over a decade. He founded In Contention in 2005. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Variety. He begs you not to take any of this too seriously.