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.


  1. Matt Neglia 4 years ago

    Do you think fincher even stands a chance for a nomination this year? It seems like an awfully crowded field

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  2. Hooooe 4 years ago

    I believe there will be 7 nominees this year (my next likely number is 6). My top seven are the same as yours, but in a different order. My near misses are the same as your numbers 8-10, but in reverse order.

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  3. But Um. 4 years ago

    I know there is an embargo, but it seems a lot of them didn’t like Dragon Tattoo based on its placement?

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  4. lazarus 4 years ago

    Karger has Hugo at #9.

    Doesn’t seem very reliable to me.

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  5. Pierre de Plume 4 years ago

    Of the top 5 films listed, neither Hugo nor Midnight in Paris is ranked #1 by anyone on the panel. That seems reasonable to me keeping in mind that this is not a judge of quality but, rather, a list of predictions for best picture.

    Although I haven’t seen War Horse, its #2 ranking seems odd. I’d have thought The Descendants would be there at this point.

    Sasha — all is forgiven for your inadvertently forgetting to submit your predix this time around as I know you’ve been spending long hours trying to tweek the AD site for the benefit of your readers.

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  6. Glenn UK 4 years ago

    Fassbender will make Actor.
    Viola won’t make Actress.
    Extremely Close will make Picture.

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  7. Sasha Stone 4 years ago

    I know there is an embargo, but it seems a lot of them didn’t like Dragon Tattoo based on its placement?

    I know that one who loved it still put it low and one who hated it put it low. So that only tells me they think the precious, cowardly Academy members won’t be able to take it. Which of course is possible. I’m betting that they will appreciate it for being so different from the sea of cornball.

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  8. JJ 4 years ago

    Yes for Fassbender! How can fellow actors not be blown away by what this guy does with such subtlety!? If you want ham, bite into clooney. If you want pretty boy angst and bad hair, moan for Pitt. But Fassbender is fucking mesmerizing without BEGGING for an Oscar in the performance! In fact, he’s not even asking you to like him and it’s haunting as hell.

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  9. Stefan 4 years ago


    So Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close remains the last big unknown. Has anyone of the Gurus of Gold already seen it? I am wondering whether the chart is turned upside down once they have….

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  10. Rich 4 years ago

    The Golden Globes are being announced this weekend?

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  11. Rich 4 years ago

    I thought it was the 15th

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  12. mark 4 years ago

    Fassbender will be nominated.

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  13. Nevin 4 years ago

    I’m hoping for a push for Michelle Williams and Fassbender next week. They were both just so amazing, both categories this year are very strong, but they just stood out from the rest. Still haven’t seen The Artist or Streep yet though. Also is there no chance for Brit Marling from Another Earth, she’s so good in that.

    Also it would be a shame if Girl with the Dragon Tattoo gets nothing, I haven’t seen it yet, but I can already tell it will be probably be my favorite movie of the year. Due to my love of the novel and Fincher. I’m still hoping, it can’t all go to the Artist right?

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  14. Sasha Stone 4 years ago

    Sorry, Globes are AFTER the weekend…..I think it’s Thursday

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  15. Sasha Stone 4 years ago

    Stefan, the Gurus put in their predictions before most of them saw that movie.

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  16. Brock Landers 4 years ago

    No Extremely Loud? I’ve heard it was terrible, and this seems to support that (I’m assuming you saw it last night).

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  17. Ryan Adams 4 years ago

    GG nominations will be announced 8 a.m. (ET) on Thursday, December 15

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  18. Evan 4 years ago

    What’s the deal with Breznican? Either he’s using this promote his own personal preferences…or he’s the worst Oscar prognosticator (Hugo – 10 but Young Adult at 5, Michael Shannon – 3 but George Clooney – 6?, Felicity Jones ahead of Michelle Williams??)

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  19. John 4 years ago

    Yes, I also heard that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is massively disappointing.
    My top 10 is similar, but, seriously, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy stands no chance at all.

    1. The Artist
    2. The Descendants
    3. Hugo
    4. War Horse
    5. The Help
    6. Midnight in Paris
    7. Moneyball
    8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
    9. The Tree of Life
    10. The Ides of March/The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is too dark, too raw and too ‘anal’ (as Fincher said himself) for the Academy and a nomination would be a long shot. The Ides of March seems to have gained a bit of buzz, but it’s still not going to make the cut, in my opinion. Which leaves us with 9 films. I think that, eventually, the nominated films will be 6-8.

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  20. murtaza 4 years ago

    1) why is tinker tailor soldier spy being kicked out, is it bad?
    2) they went for black swan, they can nominate GWTDT if it’s any good.
    3) and it seems stephen daldry has failed finally with his fourth film, extremely loud looks stupid from trailer itself.

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  21. Rafael 4 years ago

    I have a strong feeling that Hugo and The Artist will divide the passionate camp of “I LOVE MOVIE’S ABOUT MOVIES” and create a divide for the oscar.

    I just saw War Horse the other day and seriously, it is a classic “by the books” movie, but the command of storytelling Spielberg has is mind blowing, the movie had everything in place to fall into the cheese factory but even if it inclines over the edge from time to time the balancing act by the beard is superb. It’s such a feel good, well done movie with some serious underscores.
    I see it easily taking best pic in the end.
    But best Director is a run between masters (Spielberg X Scorsese) it should be fun.

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  22. JP 4 years ago

    @ John

    Although I still have Extremely Loud at 5th and War Horse is my 2nd and The Descendents my 4th, my prediction chart is basucally the same as yours.

    There’s no way Young Adult is ranked higher than Harry Potter and Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy has lost buzz so fast that now even Gary Oldman is in big trouble. If Extremely Loud is a total failure, Harry Potter’s chances will get even bigger.

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  23. Scott 4 years ago

    Has anyone reported this yet? Saw it on the forums…

    “EL&IC has plummeted to 66/100 now” (BFCA score)

    Speaking of, I think it’s interesting to note that only 7 of the Top 10 have 85+ BFCA scores.

    Dave Karger is the one that hosts the Oscar presentation on TV isn’t he?

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  24. JoshuaG 4 years ago

    Not that I think it’s necessarily deserving (though I did love it), I’m surprised Drive got no love whatsoever.

    And nobody expects The Help to break into the Best Picture fold except for Sasha? I still assume it’s a shoe-in. I really can’t see a way it doesn’t get in, except if maybe voters get their fill with War Horse as the “commercialized, crowd-pleasing story of triumph against insurmountable odds.” Maybe there isn’t room for two box office, heart-warmers.

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  25. JoshuaG 4 years ago

    My brain is apparently shot…I missed The Help smack dab in the middle of the voting. My apologies for wasting everyone’s time. I stand by my statements, though…

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  26. Jonathan 4 years ago

    Now that EL&IC isn’t fairng well w/critics and how Academy members are going to puss out on Dragon Tattoo, does WB go all in for Harry Potter? This may have a shot now for a BP slot.

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  27. Beth Stevens 4 years ago

    Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is back up to 85 at BFCA. Yay!

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  28. Ryan Adams 4 years ago

    ding ding ding!
    that explains my recent dick jump

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  29. Dean Treadway 4 years ago

    I watched ALBERT NOBBS last night, and now I’m sure that Close is not going to make the cut; the movie is terrible and the performance isn’t that convincing, either. I predict a surprise nom for Kirsten Dunst for MELANCHOLIA, making the actress race between Streep, Dunst, Williams, Davis, and Elizabeth Olson. Swinton has the best chance of besting one of these.

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  30. Glenn UK 4 years ago

    Where are people finding information about Extremely Loud? I’m searching and cannot find a thing!!!

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  31. Ryan Adams 4 years ago

    Beth has found a secret passageway

    “Go here and search for Extremely Loud”

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  32. Dean Treadway 4 years ago

    By the way, I think there will be 8 nominees for Best Pic this year:


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  33. Susan 4 years ago

    “and Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy has lost buzz so fast that now even Gary Oldman is in big trouble”

    What are you talking about? The movie opens tomorrow and the ratings for it are very very good.
    And Gary Oldman’s buzz is that extremely loud shout that he is so ridiculously overdue for a nomination. It will push him in.

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  34. Allie 4 years ago

    Sasha I respect you but I have noticed you keep avoiding Young Adult and Theron. Have you not seen the film or did you not like it? What’s the deal? I know you’re loving Mara at the moment but if you haven’t seen Theron’s tour de force performance in Young Adult, you are really missing something. I guarantee you will be blown away, as uncomfortable as the film may make you. It’s THAT good. There’s a reason she made the top 5 on Gurus of Gold. Close should not be above her. NO WAY. That’s such BS. Anyway I noticed other ppl ask you the same thing and I haven’t seen a response. Might have missed it but just asking.

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  35. James 4 years ago

    The Artist will lose his mojo. WAR horse will rest in PEACE. The Descendants will descend! (duh)

    And HuGO will GO to #1!!! You Go Hugo!

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  36. menyc 4 years ago

    I think Fassbender will get in because he is currently “Fassbender”. Deservedly.
    In other words I don’t think they are voting for either film but for him being amazing in everything.
    But Gosling should get in for the same reason.

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  37. rufussondheim 4 years ago

    I’ve been doing some thinking. Seems like Drive is hitting a lot of people in the right way. We’ll see if it can get a boost in the next couple of days by the LA critics, or another major group.

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  38. JP 4 years ago

    Next week this race to the Oscars nominations will be pretty much drawn with the announcement of the nominees for the 3 major precursors (GG, Critics Choice and SAG).

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  39. lilli 4 years ago

    too sad to see someone hated TDWTDT :(((((
    but thanks a lot Sassha for bits of info. hopefully Dan did OK in this movie & its not only Mara who’s stealing all of it Cant wait for ur review.

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  40. rufussondheim 4 years ago

    People keep wanting to apply years past to this years race. BUT EVERYONE KEEPS FORGETTING THE NOMINATING PROCESS IS DIFFERENT. How that affects the nominations at this point is simply speculation. So saying things like Golden GLobes nominations are a precursor just don’t have weight with me. Not should they for anyone else.

    This is a bold frontier, people.

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  41. Glenn 4 years ago

    I fail to see why Extremely Loud is not a threat with ZERO reviews anywhere …… where do the critics choice get off recording a 70 rating without reviews? Clearly they are anticipating. EL&IC will pick up major pace once the reviews are in!!!

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  42. Ryan Adams 4 years ago

    where do the critics choice get off recording a 70 rating without reviews? Clearly they are anticipating.

    the actual reviews are embargoed, but these critics have seen the film, and the scores reflect the accumulation of their unpublished opinions.

    At least one of the reviews is a rave — because the first score that appeared for EL&IC was 100. Then more critics were averaged in, and looks like others have been less impressed.

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  43. Sasha Stone 4 years ago

    I fail to see why Extremely Loud is not a threat with ZERO reviews anywhere …… where do the critics choice get off recording a 70 rating without reviews? Clearly they are anticipating. EL&IC will pick up major pace once the reviews are in!!!

    That movie is going to be a mystery….

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  44. peter 4 years ago

    Dear Sasha, TGWTDT ain’t gonna happen, Rooney Mara – ain’t gonna happen, Midnight in Paris – ain’t gonna happen. And oh, do lighten up. You don’t seem to have that sense of having fun at predicting, unlike Tom O’Neil who doesn’t take himself seriously and that’s all good ’cause this is the Oscars, entertainment babeh, not deciphering the origin of the Universe of perfecting superstring theory. 😀

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  45. JP 4 years ago

    Now ELIC is 84… still a mystery but there was like a party in many websites when it was with 66… so… nobody knows anything.

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  46. BrandStrategyGuru 4 years ago

    I saw Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 2 months ago (I mentioned it in a previous post) and I am curious to see how it will do.
    I didn’t think it was a perfect film, but there were a few such strong emotional scenes that there was no dry eye in the audience. Seriously, everyone, men and women, cried. Sandra Bullock has a strong emotional oscar-bait scene, and acting wise I think she’s the only one with a chance (I don’t see how Max Von Sydow’s roll would, apart from the fact that he’s a legend).
    I can see how some people will respond very strongly to the material, the question is whether it will receive enough number one votes. It doesn’t strike me as a film that will be in number 5 – people will either put it at number 1 or ignore it completely.

    In my eyes, The Artist, The Descendants and War Horse (sight unseen) are the 3 secure best picture nominations as of now.
    Strong contenders are Money Ball, and The Help.
    After that they are all shaky at this point: EL&IC, TGWTDT, TTSS, Ides of March, J Edgar, MIP, TTOL, HP&TDHP2, Young Adult, Shame
    Before the PGA and DGA are announced, I don’t think it will get much clearer. The Golden Globes merely bring attention to some films, but themselves they mean nothing. The SAG can definitely bring attention to a film that otherwise can be overlooked (let’s imagine that the SAG loves the performances in Carnage, a film that so far has been ignored. Then it would be a possibility for a chance. But even if that movie gets nominated for a GG, it won’t help it.)

    My list as it stands so far:
    1. The Artist
    2. The Descendants
    3. War Horse
    4. Moneyball
    5. The Help
    6. EL&IC
    7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    8. Tree of Life
    9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    10. The Ides of March
    11. Harry Potter
    12. Young Adult
    13. J. Edgar
    14. Shame
    15. A Dangerous Method

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  47. BrandStrategyGuru 4 years ago

    I completely forgot Hugo! It should be at number 7

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  48. SCLUB8OFFICIAL 3 years ago

    @Sasha Stone “Harry Potter would work too”? Everyone knows that movie was the most successful and one of the best reviewed film of the year, so how come it got snubbed by the Academy like the Dark Kinight and the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?

    Also how come the academy chose 9 BP nominees instead of 10 or 5?

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