You know how it goes: sight unseen best picture predictions seem unavoidable, although I have been detecting an ever-so-subtle shift in attitudes. For instance, Anne Thompson and Erik Childress will only predict films that have been seen on their respective sites. I have always tried to do the same (it makes no sense to predict movies no one has seen; this logic is unavoidable, and yet…) but when asked to contribute to a spitball-fest, how can one say no? David Poland does it this way in order to compare how people were thinking at a given point in time.
This should not be misconstrued as anything but what it is. It certainly isn’t Oscar buzz. You can’t say “The Social Network now has Oscar buzz because the Gurus of Gold are predicting it.” Boil it down and it doesn’t count as actual Oscar buzz. I feel I must qualify this every year. Nonetheless, we all tossed up our half-lame predictions. My biggest surprise was that I was the only one predicting Fair Game.
I left off Blue Valentine for the time being because I only have mine, Dave Karger and Guy Lodge’s opinions to go on. If it comes out strong after Toronto then, yes. But, as I’ve always said, it’s a tough sell. It’s a hard sit. What it has going for it is filmmaker Derek Cianfrance’s incredible and thorough research and dedication to this decade-long project. But it is a hard sit.
Right now, Christopher Nolan’s mindbending spectacular spectacular is leading the chart. I like it that four out of the top five are films that have been seen, followed by The Social Network and True Grit (which haven’t been seen).
You can judge for yourselves if you think the Gurus are right or wrong. The chart, after the cut.
Last year’s top fifteen went like this. * for the eventually nominated, + for the winner.
The Hurt Locker+
Up in the Air*
The Lovely Bones
A Serious Man*
Capitalism: A Love Story
Inglourious Basters *
Julie & Julia
Where the Wild Things Are
The Tree of Life
500 Days of Summer
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
I couldn’t find the year before at this pre-toronto phase. The earliest I could find was later in September, which would be post-Toronto:
Gurus of Gold (Sept 24)
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button*
4. Slumdog Millionaire+
5. Revolutionary Road
6. The Dark/Knight
7. The Soloist
(not listed BP nominee: The Reader)
In conclusion – with all of my silly intro aside, the Gurus did have almost all ten BP nominees in their predictions by early September last year. And the year before, four out of five. So, it isn’t so off the charts crazy to do it this early. Then again, anyone with half a brain could probably figure out which movies were headed for Best Picture. With such a small-ish sampling, it isn’t really that difficult.
What I want to do know is this: is our Best Picture winner on this list?