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Gurus of Gold — So That Happened

With so much going on here at Awards Daily and it being the time of year when we can barely stay above water, I forgot to put in my Gurus of Gold predictions. Between sending them over there and updating the ones on Gold Derby, it is becoming a bit of a problem to find time, and/or rational thought, to stay on top of it. Right now nobody knows anything. And I mean that. The critics have all but scattered in different directions. We’ve yet to hear from the Guilds. The Globes, Boston, LA are all announcing this weekend. That will probably confirm the one thing we already do know — it’s either The Artist or Hugo. But probably the Artist. When you’re an Oscar predictor you can do one of two things. You can do what you think is going to happen or you can do what you hope might happen. Even the safest among us sometimes go with what they hope might happen, or else, have the chance to sway opinion. There are a couple of people who can sway opinion, and Dave Karger from EW is most certainly at the top of that list, I’d say. His prediction for the Artist goes way, way back. And with nothing else to really see as beating it at this point, most everyone else follows suit. Karger is reliable; after all, he and Anne Thompson were among only two who stuck with the King’s Speech even when all signs pointed to, well, you know.

Unlike The King’s Speech, though, The Artist IS actually daring fare. It’s a bit of a tiny miracle that it was pulled off and done so well. So there is no trashing it from my end. There can’t be. But I will say this. If a production that was made outside the Hollywood system wins another year in a row it’s going to be a huge wakeup call to American studios and filmmakers — less is more. Tell better stories, make cheaper films. Last year’s slap in the face to the studios was a bit harder to take than it is this year – as movies like Black Swan, Inception, True Grit, The Social Network and the Fighter were cast aside for the most conventional among them. So yeah, make a movie outside the studio system when the studios are turning out profitable, daring, brilliant projects? That kind of more than a little bit sucked.

So I would have put The Artist at number one this week because I would be putting down what I think WILL happen, not necessarily what I want TO happen. Loved the movie though I did, my choice for Best Picture of 2011 would be Moneyball, Hugo, The Descendants, or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Hell, Harry Potter would work too, come to that. But if The Artist wins I’m not going to complain. I think that would be a great choice by the Academy, maybe one of its best ever. Is it the best film of the year? That is hard to say. It is certainly one of them.

So, herewith, my own Guru predictions as David Poland would have wanted them. My apologies for dropping the ball yet again.

1. The Artist
2. Hugo
3. Moneyball
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5. The Descendants
6. The Help
7. War Horse
8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
9. Midnight in Paris
10. Tree of Life

They then have Best Actor

1. Brad Pitt, Moneyball
2. George Clooney, The Descendants
3. Jean Dujardin, The Artist
4. Woody Harrelson, Rampart
5. Gary Oldman, Tinker, Tailor
6. Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar

Best Actress

1. Viola Davis, The Help
2. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
3. Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
4. Michelle Wiliams, My Week with Marilyn
5. Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

I’ll skip the oddball Golden Globe predictions. Too much to do this time of year, my friends. Too much to do.