Check out David Poland’s latest Oscar column. It’s full of great pull quotes about this silly season. One of the reasons he’s able to see the bigger picture is that he, and his group of Gurus, turn in a top ten for Oscar – they are fairly close to how the Oscar Best Picture race turns out year after year, give or take a film or two. The same goes for the AFI and the PGA now that the race is down to more than five, closer to ten. At the end of the day, it’s isn’t that hard to suss out the films that are going to be in the race. This, because the way they vote on Best Picture now is that a film has to have a significant number of number one votes to get in. You have to find the handful of favorites. The danglers, the films that are pushing through in the 11th hour, will have to knock out one of the mainstays. American Hustle, for instance, had its place held in the top ten long before anyone say it. So its last minute buzz is really not about whether it will get nominated, but about whether it will win. Here are a few quotes from Poland’s column:
We just did our 7th Best Picture chart for Gurus o’ Gold and the thing that strikes me most powerfully, is that the movies that were in the Top Ten are still the same 10 movies that are there today and none of them have ever dropped out of the 10… and obviously, nothing new has broken in.
This is what I figure. I think that movie journalists, bless our hearts, have gone from keeping score on the pinball machine of the season to being under the glass… part of the game. Every time there is a noise, instead of just reporting it in the perspective of the hundreds of other sounds—and the biggest story, which is whether the ball is still in play—each noise is A GAME CHANGER.
All groups are now reading off the same small list of “legit contenders.” They have been for months and will be throughout the rest of the season. There will be—and have been—variations of which films and performances are chosen from that list. There is even the possibility of someone or something coming from completely off the small list.
Trends do start to happen. This is completely legit. But they don’t happen because of award nominations.
So stop, look at the movies, and don’t listen too much. You’re likely being sold a duck in a barrel… the very best one.