I think I am on the brink of getting fired this year for my squirrelly predictions on both Gold Derby and The Gurus of Gold. When you pick something outside of the general thinking you are often written off for being someone who is either advocating for the film you want to win, or else so bad at predicting you couldn’t possibly know what is expected to win. It is almost as though predictors should have two categories — what I think will probably win, and why can’t this movie win instead? I will never say The Artist can’t win or won’t win. Of course it can win and of course it will probably win. Is it a worthy winner? Absolutely. Is it the best film of 2011? That’s debatable.
Many people so far believe it is and therefore that’s really all it needs. It has an Oscar story (made, like The King’s Speech, for a small amount of money and will probably profit greatly). When we talk about Best Picture we have to remember that it isn’t “best Picture.” It’s “the film most people could agree on was best.” And god love us as a species but agreeing on one thing is hard for us to do. So on the record, yeah, the Artist is the frontrunner. Gold Derby has the Artist moving ahead of the Descendants. But that movie only has to win one big award and it takes its place in the number one spot again. My choice right now, Moneyball, is way down the list — as in, I’m the only one who thinks it can win. But is it ahead right now? No, it’s not. It’s way way down the list. Our contender tracker lists those contenders I believe are ahead, without my own emotional content infecting it.
To that end, removing my emotional content and just look at buzz and talk, reviews and box office it’s The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo, War Horse, The Help, Moneyball. Then it’s Midnight in Paris, Tree of Life. Still in the unknown territory: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Please note: my leaving War Horse off my last article was a dumb oversight – my mind was elsewhere and I just blanked on it. I do think it’s a formidable contender, of course.