The last couple of years have really come down to the wire as the Oscar race has rarely been so seemingly close. And when there's a close race, you can bet — at least in some quarters — there is plenty of handwringing over ballot selections going on. This year voters are trying to decide between frontrunners like "Birdman" and "Boyhood" while passion for just about every other Best Picture nominee has been spread thin. But what are the toughest choices the Academy ever had to make?

I looked at Oscar history and, subjectively speaking, spotlighted a few races that certainly would have had me flipping a coin at the end of the day. And maybe more than a few Academy members, too. Had I drilled down into the below-the-line or even screenplay categories, this list probably would have known no end. So I froze it at Best Picture and acting categories, which offered plenty to chew on. I certainly don't envy the Academy any of these decisions.

Click through my picks in the story gallery below and feel free to offer up your own selections in the comments section.

And check out the 87th annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22 to see how this year's tight race ultimately plays out!

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.