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By MCN Editor

Gurus o’ Gold – A Pre-Toronto Look At The 2010/11 Field

Welcome to the first Gurus gathering of this upcoming season.

It always seems a little silly to offer strong opinions before the Toronto International Film Festival has even begun. So we don’t. Consider these a gentle guide to what the buzz is, very early in the season.

We asked The Gurus to offer their 15 favorites to end up nominated for Best Picture come January. No ranking, No “sure things.” Just instinct and as much insight as is possible at this moment.

Last year, we did the same and the result was that The Gurus hit seven of the final ten in their Top Ten from this long distance. Two more were picked in the Top Sixteen. And the only film to get nominated that was nowhere to be found on this early list? The Blind Side. (Perhaps that explains the shock from the media when it got nominated… even after becoming a well-reviewed massive box office hit.) So maybe this early poll isn’t really all that silly .

Is there a stone unturned this year? Well, not Stone, which got a vote from Pete Howell. And not Tree of Life, which got 4 votes last year at this time… and just 3 votes this time around (2 of them from the same Gurus as last year).

This is not the look for the future of Gurus moving forward. But our team is designing a databased system that will launch when Gurus goes full-out in November. So, until then…

UPDATE, 9/7/10 – The last three Gurus have now chimed in.

The Participating Gurus
Anthony Breznican – USA Today
Greg Ellwood – Hitfix
Pete Hammond – Deadline Hollywood
Eugene Hernandez – indieWIRE
Pete Howell – Toronto Star
Dave Karger – Entertainment Weekly
Mark Olsen – LA Times
David Poland – Movie City News
Steve Pond – The Wrap
Sean Smith – Entertainment Weekly
Sasha Stone – Awards Daily
Kris Tapley – In Contention
Anne Thompson -indieWIRE
Susan Wloszczyna – USA Today

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22 Responses to “Gurus o’ Gold – A Pre-Toronto Look At The 2010/11 Field”

  1. Krillian says:

    I think it’s safe to remove SHUTTER ISLAND from contention.

  2. berg says:

    I thought De Niro gave his best perf in 15 years in Stone, yes even better than Machete

  3. LarryGopnik says:

    “Stone” is a trainwreck

  4. Don R. Lewis says:

    I love (LOVE!) the Gurus of Gold and love seeing who’s picking what, but this just seems waaaaay too early. I know it’s a gentle nudge into the awards ether but jeeeeeez man. There’s movies on here NO ONE HAS SEEN. That aren’t even done or are just barely done. The film fan in me says YAY!…the normal, rational person in me says HUH??

  5. The Pope says:

    If the early talk of The Way Home is true, I expect it will move up A LOT. Like the trek the characters undertook in WW2, so too has this film taken a very arduous journey. I just hope that Newmarket do not completely screw up the campaign. Peter Weir should have been given the gold many years ago. His work on Witness, Dead Poets and Master and Commander were better than the other nominees in those years (okay, I’ll admit Kurosawa should have won in ’86 for Ran).

  6. How about adding some more women to the list. 3 women out of 14? Not enough.

  7. yancyskancy says:

    Which woman-directed Oscar contenders are missing from the list, Melissa? I’m not being snarky–have the Gurus overlooked something?

  8. amanda says:

    yancyskancy I think Melissa meant women Guru’s not directors.

  9. AdamL says:

    If Made in Dagenham gets in I will kill myself. The trailer alone made me want to throw up. It looks like the worst film I won’t see in a long while.

  10. MichaelH says:

    TRUE GRIT feels like it might be a Coen bros ‘stinker’ – they’ve had three good ones in a row. They’re due for a miss-fire.

  11. Jake McClure says:

    a coen bros. stinker is still better than most others’ films.

    And anyway… NO! True Grit in no way feels like a stinker— somebody please get my back on this.

  12. Tim DeGroot says:

    BURN AFTER READING was a misfire for me, but the Coens haven’t made anything I would call a ‘stinker’. I’ll get a feel for TRUE GRIT when I see the trailer.

  13. Keil Shults says:

    The only Coen misfires have been The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty, though I’ll admit to feeling a slight need to see the latter again after all these years since my initial viewing. Beyond those two films, I’d say their weakest efforts (though I’d still give them an ultimately positive rating) are O Brother and Burn After Reading.

  14. Monco says:

    I’m all about Tree of Life and True Grit this fall. Of course that’s if Malick releases it this fall. The rumor that it is almost done or in fact done and Malick may hold it until Cannes 2011 is profoundly depressing. Dave have you heard if the movie is complete or near complete?

  15. doug r says:

    Good to see two pictures I actually watched on the list. Inception and Toy Story 3. Ten nominees is going to be nice…

  16. doug r says:

    Watch out for spam, Dave^^

  17. Bill says:

    You know, I don’t want to seem like an old fart. But wasn’t it great when people actually SAW the films before deciding whether they were Best Picture worthy. Back when what the public thought was good instead of a bunch of elitist bloggers predicting the future.

    Maybe this is why so many people think the Oscars are irrelevant these days.

  18. David Poland says:

    The fact that you didn’t know that people were making plans sight unseen, Bill, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t what was going on long before blogging existed.

    There are about a half dozen movies that are on these lists and haven’t been seen. But if you want to wait for nomination morning to know who is going to be nominated, be my guest.

    Also, please note, not to many “elitist bloggers” in Gurus. It’s mostly Traditional Media people.

  19. Genadijus says:

    Best Picture nominees:

  20. I don’t think Shutter Island will get a nomination for best picture, but Leo DiCaprio could

  21. caro says:

    i don’t see “fair game”(except may be for acting)or “hereafter”(do you see TIFF reviews?) or “shutter island” (it’s the less good Scorcese movie i saw since “kundun” and “cape fear”)

  22. What can I say. I do like the sight of Gold, specially gold coins such as Krugerrand but also Lunar Coins espcecially Rabbit and dont forget Canadian Maple Leaf and Gold Nugget from Australia

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon