This sentiment is written every year around this time, so let's out with it: What else can you really say about this year's Oscar race? In some quarters it's been seen as a weak year. I disagree for a number of reasons, but it's subjective, of course. It's still interesting that so many were underwhelmed, from those in the media to those in the Academy, but all signs seem to be pointing to a Best Picture showdown between two excellent cinematic showcases from auteurs in full gallop. How can you complain?

Well, you can complain if you're at all in the business of predicting how this rodeo will turn out. A number of this year's races feel like they're coming down to the wire. But we've said that before, too, and almost always, when the answer is revealed, it's not shocking in and of itself. It's just a different shade of what was expected. The true surprises, when they happen, are ever appreciated. And we might get some this year. Or we might not.

Either way, it's past time to spit out a few guesses, so let's get on with it. You can find our final Oscar predictions in the story gallery below, nail-biters and sure things navigated and scouted to within an inch of their lives. I can't speak for Greg, but for my part, I pranced out onto a few limbs because it just feels like that kind of year. "Consensus" doesn't really exist in more than a few areas. So you just take your own counsel, cross your fingers and enjoy the ride.

With that preamble out of the way, go ahead and dig into our picks below. If you have any last minute thoughts or predictions of your own, the comments section is your playground. A few more days and it's all over.

(Oh, and by the way, we still have two more categories to break down for you later today: Best Picture and Best Director. So stay tuned for those later on.)

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.