Oscars Best Director Predictions 2014Getty

It's just about that time! Dust off that old tuxedo from the attic because the Oscars are almost here.

With the big night quickly approaching, Moviefone has released a set of staff predictions each day this week (in countdown fashion) for the six major categories. From Best Picture to Best Actress, you've heard our expert thoughts, and now, with the Oscars just a day away, we bring you the last and perhaps the most closely contested award: Best Director.

Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") and Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") are the ones to watch for in this year's race. Cuaron has pushed film technology to the brink in his visually-spectacular "Gravity," while McQueen made a beautiful and moving film in "12 Years a Slave."

We've already given you the beat on the rest of the major awards, so now let's break down our director picks to win the Academy Award. Here, we've listed the directors we expect to win, and then, more importantly, who we think should win.

Tim Hayne
Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron. The "Gravity" helmer is the favorite to win in this category, as well he should be. The years of work it took to write and develop "Gravity" paid off big time, resulting in the most spectacular moviegoing experience since "Avatar." He's already won a Golden Globe and BAFTA award for his work behind the camera, so an Academy Award is pretty much a lock.

Who Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron. For all the same reasons I listed above. "Gravity" is an innovative sci-fi masterpiece, so give the man an Oscar already.

Alexis Moore
Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón. The Academy loves to reward directors for artistic and technical feats and "Gravity" delivers in full on both counts. It's visually stunning and easily one of the most original (both in concept and in execution) films ever made. If you didn't leave the theater wondering "how'd they do that?!" then maybe you should stop reading this and go make a movie. You're clearly a genius and Hollywood needs you. I would personally be pleased if the movie you choose to make involves any of the Real Housewives, but I'll leave that decision up to you.

Who Should Win: Alfonso Cuarón. Were you reading what I just wrote? "Gravity" is a masterpiece and director Alfonso Cuarón deserves every accolade that's been heaped upon him during this awards season. I hope he ends his run with an Oscar come Sunday night.

Jonny Black
Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron. The technological innovations that Cuaron not only accomplished throughout the process of "Gravity," but then also implemented in the final product will not be overlooked. Period. The visuals are beyond impressive (to say the least) and the innovation is great for the medium, too. I'd be shocked if the Academy didn't reward that and Cuaron's years of dedication for the project. If Cuaron doesn't take home the award, it will almost certainly be Steve McQueen. Keep in mind, James Cameron lost out for technological-wonder "Avatar" to ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker."

Who Should Win: Steve McQueen. It's so, so hard to argue against innovation in any medium let alone when you can see the change in front of your eyes, but the purist in me cannot overlook McQueen for "12 Years a Slave." I harped on the film's subject matter in our Best Picture segment, but to take on slavery without holding back and then produce a film that is ultimately beautiful is totally astounding. The pacing is second-to-none. When watching the movie initially, I was left speechless because of the subject matter. After watching the film a second time, I was left speechless because of Steve McQueen.

Eric Larnick
Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron. I think in reality it's a two picture race between "12 Years" and "Gravity." And while "12 Years" will take the top prize, the Academy will offer this as a "consolation" for the incredible visual innovation that Cuaron displayed.

Who Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron. It's tough because both Cuaron and Steve McQueen ("12 Years" director) did fantastic jobs in different ways, but I have to go with "Gravity" simply because the technical achievements were remarkable and set a new standard for the actual visual component of film-making. McQueen can and will have plenty of more opportunities to receive awards acclaim for his character pieces.

What's your pick? Tell us in the comments below, and find out which star wins Best Supporting Actress when the Oscars air live Sunday, March 2 at 7 ET / 4 PT on ABC.

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categories Oscars, Awards