Final predictions for the 2015 Oscar nominations

The long and winding road of another awards season is coming round the final turn. By early Thursday morning we'll all know who made the Oscar cut and who didn't. This year the battle to earn an Academy Award nomination is particularly fierce in categories such as Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, among others. There are going to be many worthy contenders on the outside looking in and we're already feeling for them. Still, at this point hope still abounds, even after our In Contention crew provides their predictions for this year's nominees.

It should be noted that both of us almost disagreed on as many categories as we agreed on. If our predictions hold, even with our differences, “Birdman,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” “Nightcrawler,” “Boyhood” and “The Theory of Everything” will have major hauls. And potential players such as “Selma,” “Foxcatcher” and “Gone Girl” will not fare as well. A number of others, including “American Sniper” and “Whiplash,” will fall somewhere in the middle.

Of course, the Oscar tea leaves can be hard to read. It's a much smaller group than some of the guilds who have already announced their nominations. “Gone Girl,” “Selma” or even a universal favorite such as “Guardians of the Galaxy” could still surprise. And trust us, there are always some surprises.

You can check out our predictions in the embedded story gallery below.

(One note: Only Tapley has been brave enough to stick his neck out and predict the always dicey short categories. Check out his analyses of those categories here, here and here for your own study guide if you're looking to guess those as well.)

Agree? Disagree? Share your thought in the comment section.