Probably one of the hardest this year, as the Academy changed the rules and we don't know how many films will land in this category.
In no particular order
1. Warhorse-Spielberg returns with not just one film but with two and this one is getting a lot of buzz.
2. Midnight in Paris-This is one of my favorite films of the year and with the imagination behind it, Paris should be the surprise nominee.
3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close-Its Daldry and his part three films have been successful with the academy so this one looks like a great film.
4. The Descendants-Its his first film since 2004 and it has been loved by the critics.
5. The Artist-It won the Hamptons and has been the darling of the critics. Plus direcotr Hazanavicius has overcome the stigma against silent film.
6. Shame-Its the film everyone is talking about. However will Oscars go for an NC-17 film even if it is being considered the best film of the year.
7. Terrence Malick-The Tree of Life-Life won top prize at Cannes. However this does not translate to best picture. However this is one of the most fascinating films of the year.
8. Tomas Alfredson-Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy-The film is already nominated for best picture at the BIFA and it is critically acclaimed.
9. Moneyball-I didn't love it but a well reviewed film is always a good sign for best picture.
10. J. Edgar-Eastwood has lost favor with the Oscars but I have to put it on this list because it looks promising largely in part to the cast.