Tom O’Neil’s Gold Derby, impressive assemblage of journalists, bloggers and critics predicts the Oscar race down to two movies — The Artist and The Descendants. Once again we are faced with the odd position of having to predict films most have still not seen. It appears that only three films fit that bill right now and those are War Horse, Dragon Tattoo and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Some have seen War Horse. Many of the long lead journos, some of whom are on Gold Derby’s panel, have already seen it but are under an embargo. The Descendants looks ready to top the critics chart, beating Moneyball and Harry Potter — it looks that way so far.
One of its biggest challengers is sure to be The Artist, which already has a powerful advocate in the LA Times’ Kenneth Turan, and now Anthony Lane has written a breathless rave for the New Yorker — his review, in fact, is the first to dive deeper into the artist than the notion that is simply a charmer, which it is. Lane also praises The Descendants, comparing it to From Here to Eternity, which famously won eight Oscars, including Picture, Director and Screenplay.