When the Oscar nominations come out on Thursday morning, only five of the 10 films shortlisted for the award will actually be left in the running for the Visual Effects Oscar. You can expect further coverage of the work that went into each nominated film at StudioDaily in the weeks to come. But, for now, why not familiarize yourself with some of the VFX work you may have missed earlier this year? It helps to have a rooting interest, especialily if you plan to get out of bed to watch the live announcement of the nominations at 5:30 PT.
As far as handicapping the nominations, Gravity may be the only sure thing on the list (it's the likely winner of the actual Oscar, too). The rest of the films all have their pluses and minuses. Five films into Peter Jackson's epic Tolkien adaptation, will Hobbit fatigue affect Weta Digital's shot at a nomination for the dragon Smaug? Will ILM's train work for The Lone Ranger suffer from its association with a film that was tarred (unfairly?) by some of the worst press of the year? Will the novel front-projection techniques employed by Oblivion impress voters? 
Bill Desowitz has a good report on last week's VFX Bakeoff at Animation World Network, where he details which aspects of the different films were emphasized in the voting presentations.
VFX Reel [Image Engine]
Futuristic Effects [Image Engine]
We couldn't find any working links to Gravity VFX breakdowns. The closest thing we could find is this amusing parody video at Funny or Die. Please let us know in the comments if you have a link to the real deal! In the meantime, you can revisit our interview with Framestore's Timothy Webber, the film's VFX supervisor. FX Guide has a massive story with lots of photos.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Ditto on The Hobbit. It's probable that, with the film still in theaters, Warner Brothers doesn't want to spread footage from the showpiece Smaug sequence all over the Internet. Again, let us know if you've found a good video reel showing off Weta Digital's work. There is a wealth of other behind-the-scenes material at the official Hobbit blog.
Iron Man 3
VFX Breakdown [Digital Domain]
VFX Reel [Digital Domain]
VFX Breakdown [Method Studios]
Weta Digital VFX for Iron Man 3 [Weta Digital]
The Lone Ranger
Synthetic Environments of The Lone Ranger [ILM]
The Visual Effects of The Lone Ranger [ILM]
VFX Reel [Digital Domain]
Pacific Rim
Creating the Kaiju for Pacific Rim [ILM] 
The Visual Effects of Pacific Rim [ILM]
Star Trek Into Darkness
Building the Future for Star Trek Into Darkness [ILM]
Journey to the Red Planet for Star Trek Into Darkness [ILM]
The Visual Effects of Star Trek Into Darkness [ILM]
Thor: The Dark World
VFX Breakdown [Blur]
World War Z
VFX Breakdown Reel [Cinesite]
VFX Breakdown [MPC]