Academy Award nominee predictions

Reuters files

Reuters files

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:37 PM ET

Next to the ending of Titanic, the Academy Awards are one of Hollywood's least suspenseful dramatic exercises.

At this point every year, we can give you a pretty accurate sketch of who and what the nominees will be when they're announced Thursday in Los Angeles -- with but a few benchmarks left to come (feel free to bet the house on a best picture Oscar for whichever film wins the Producers Guild Awards Jan. 26).

There are blips, especially when critics' societies get together, and something like the French film Amour (about an octogenarian couple facing a health crisis) wins - a razzberry at New York critics, who picked Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's film about the CIA's hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

Bigelow, already in the record books for being the first woman to win Best Director (for The Hurt Locker), is definitely one to watch. As are others in the following categories.


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