I don't consider myself a viable authority on predictions, as I felt that only five of the films nominated for Best Picture last year were really deserving (Brownie points to anyone who can guess which five correctly). I do, however, have interest in the game and the votes of more esteemed professionals. The Gurus o' Gold, as put forth by Movie City News, are always a good first stop, and they've managed to post their pre-festival guesses. These are about as rough as you're going to get. It's worth mentioning that last year, the only film in the top ten that didn't make the cut was "Another Year", and what a score that would've been.
As far as their current predictions, I can see far more falling out, especially with the new rule in place. And I think it's telling that the only sure thing at this point is "War Horse". Steven Spielberg seems nearly destined for Golden Globe victory this year, and that's hardly a complement. I am surprised others don't have as much faith in "The Tree of Life". Yes, it is a bit of an abstract piece, but the people who love it REALLY love it. I doubt "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" will get much traction with the Academy. "Black Swan" just barely made it in last year. I don't think there will be much passion for Fincher's latest. I suppose "passion" is the key word you'll be hearing all season. Which films can get enough passion to get a pass.
Anyway, the top ten list from the Gurus is below. You can see the rest by following the link here. Feel free to comment on your thoughts.