Gurus o’ Gold: Pre-TIFF 2011

Remarkably, last year’s Gurus were better at calling the ultimate nominees at the very beginning of the season, weeks before the Toronto International Film Festival than at any other time in the process. In our Top 10 picks, 9 ended up nominated. And the 10th nominee was our #11.

Will we match or surpass that record this season? Only time will tell.

(ADDED, 8/24, For Clarity) The Gurus were asked to pick their 10 most likely nominees, in order of likelihood. This can be read many ways and, no doubt, each Guru, has his or her own few of how things lay out.

Rank Last Chart Best Picture BreznicanEllwoodHammondHowellKargerOlsenPolandPondStoneTapleyThompsonWloszczyna Votes Total
1 War Horse
1 2 1 7 2 10 2 8 1 1 5 5 12 87
2 The Ides of March
5 2 1 1 3 6 7 3 5 9 3 11 76
3 The Artist
2 6 10 3 3 1 1 6 3 1 10 11 75
4 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
1 4 9 1 7 4 2 4 6 6 10 66
5 The Descendants
7 3 9 8 6 2 8 3 4 6 1 11 64
6 Midnight In Paris
9 5 2 8 6 3 6 5 8 3 10 55
7 J Edgar
4 6 5 5 5 5 9 9 2 8 10 52
8 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
3 4 7 9 8 7 7 7 32
9 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
7 4 2 7 4 5 31
10 The Tree Of Life
4 4 9 10 10 4 6 25
The Help
6 8 8 9 7 5 17
The Iron Lady
7 6 4 3 16
7 5 10 8 4 14
We Bought A Zoo
3 10 9 9 4 13
10 10 2 3 11
Young Adult
8 10 2 4
One Vote Wonders
Jane Eyre
2 1 9
Like Crazy
5 1 6
My Week With Marilyn
8 1 3
9 1 2
On The Road
10 1 1
10 1 1


Rank Last Chart Actress Performance That Might Be A Big Surprise Nomination BreznicanEllwoodHammondHowellKargerOlsenPolandPondStoneTapleyThompsonWloszczyna Votes Total
Michelle Yeoh
The Lady
1 1 1 3 3
Rooney Mara
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
1 1 2 2
One Vote Wonders
Elizabeth Olsen
Martha Macy May Marlene
1 1 1
Kristin Scott Thomas
Sarah's Key
1 1 1
Octavia Spencer
The Help
1 1 1
Kristen Wiig
1 1 1
Shailene Woodley
The Descendents
1 1 1
Charlize Theron
Young Adult
1 1 1
Mia Wasikowska
Jane Eyre
1 1 1


Rank Last Chart Actor Performance That May Be A Big Surprise Nomination BreznicanEllwoodHammondHowellKargerOlsenPolandPondStoneTapleyThompsonWloszczyna Votes Total
Jean Dujardin
The Artist
1 1 2 2
Gary Oldman
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
1 1 2 2
One Vote Wonders
Andy Serkis
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
1 1 1
Albert Brooks
1 1 1
Rhys Ifans
1 1 1
John Hawkes
Martha, Marcy Mae, Marlene
1 1 1
Jonah Hill
1 1 1
Owen Wilson
Midnight in Paris
1 1 1
Matthew McConaughey
Killer Joe
1 1 1
Ralph Fiennes
1 1 1

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39 Responses to “Gurus o’ Gold: Pre-TIFF 2011”

  1. Rooney Mara in the Girl with the Pearl Earring? Might want to fix that…

  2. Paul J says:

    You might double-check, but Rooney Mara has a Dragon Tattoo, not a Pearl Earring!!

  3. Pete says:

    Using the new AMPAS rules, there would be only five BP nominees based on the Guru’s voting.

  4. yancyskancy says:

    Does this mean the buzz on HUGO isn’t great?

    I’m sure this doesn’t mean much, but TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY didn’t make the Oscar buzz cut in Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Preview issue.

    Still hoping Kristen Wiig gets nominated, but I’m putting no money on it.

  5. Wait til u see A Dangerous Method kiera knightly is very very good and will be nominated again! At venice telluride toronto and nyc…opening Thanksgiving. Mark my words dear…

  6. movielocke says:

    So DP went from BP, BD, BActor and BSActor for Warrior to not including in his BP choices?

    How does the math work for The Artist to earn a nomination?

    I wouldn’t question the inclusion in a normal 5 or 10 nominee year but it will be excruciatingly hard for a foreign film to get a nomination in the new system It can’t get nominated unless 5% of hollywood supports it over films they themselves worked on or their friends worked on. I mean, it was difficult but not impossible in the old system for foreign films to make it into the race, but the new system seems designed to exclude animated films from having a BP slot every time (all the incentives of the old system along with the heavy segregation of the animation field cause animators to vote for animated films for their top 3-5 votes, thereby ensuring an animated film is always nominated without needing a single non-animator vote), and as a side effect the rule change will even more effectively exclude foreign films.

  7. jdoubles says:

    Hmmm, being that almost EVERY prognosticator has Oldman and Dujardin in their top five for Best Actor right now, can they REALLY be called “surprise” nominees?

  8. Maxim says:

    Found an error (potentially). DP, it looks like your “#2″ vote didn’t register on your charts. I’m assuming it went to War Horse which would put it, rightfullly, at #1.

  9. Pete says:


    Foreign language films have made the top 5 in the BP category so it is not impossible for The Artist to obtain a nomination.

  10. movielocke says:

    yeah, but when those films earned a BP nomination, there was an instant runoff in place. That meant that votes for second, third and fourth place were what ensured a nomination.

    The new system being used this year doesn’t have an instant runoff for BP, only number one votes matter, and you have to get 5% or more of the available number 1 votes in order to qualify for BP.

    The culture and reality of any group is that you’re incentivized to vote first for in-group options as well as your own option.

    Asking Hollywood to vote for a foreign film in number one as their only choice for best picture is like asking John McCain to vote for Barack Obama in 2008. You always vote for yourself first.

    Again, it’s a rule designed to marginalize animators, but it will have greater ramifications in how it will affect other films, particularly foreign films.

  11. Pete says:

    In the first round, excess votes will be redistributed and lowest place votes will also be reallocated. At that point, the 5% rule takes effect.

  12. Matt says:

    I am surprised that The Tree of Life received more votes than Drive. It looks like there will be a lot of competition this year. http://WWW.MATTAWARDS.COM.

  13. movielocke says:

    Not quite right pete. I was going by the initial press release

    “After much analysis by Academy officials, it was determined that 5 percent of first place votes should be the minimum in order to receive a nomination, resulting in a slate of anywhere from 5 to 10 movies.”

    which suggests that only first place votes matter in determining BP nominations. Turns out, a contender has to earn 5% of first place votes to be eligible to be a BP nominee but the old system (and still in place for all categories) of reallocating votes until a final BP slate is decided upon will still be used.

    So if fifteen films all get at least 5% of the first place vote, only those fifteen can get a best picture nomination, and the old pre-2008 system is used to whittle it down to ten. In this event, if the Artist gets 200 first place votes, it won’t be nominated for Best Picture because it didn’t meet the minimum requirement of first place votes, even if it has 2000 second place votes and would easily sail to a nomination.

    However, this could be completely wrong because the actual rules for this year say:

    The pictures receiving the highest number of votes shall become the nominations for final voting for the Best Picture award. There may not be more than ten nor fewer than five nominations; however, no picture shall be nominated that receives less than five percent of the total votes cast.

    with no mention made of first place votes. So perhaps the press release was wrong and first place votes don’t matter, only percentage of votes matters…

    Also, Academy members only nominated five pictures again this year, not ten, like in the last two years.

  14. Bob Burns says:

    I know we’ll pick sides before long, but these things are such a pain to start caringagain when the campaigns begin gearing up. Feel for the Guru’s….. for the time being anyway.

    probably good for Hugo to be non-Oscar. Ads with that Oscar voice would damp down the magic.

  15. Alice says:

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  16. Xavier says:

    Whoever puts these polls together is a complete idiot. How do you write “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” instead of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”? How absolutely horrendous and a travesty.

    Also, these “gurus” are idiots. How would Elizabeth Olsen or Rooney Mara be “big surprise” nominations? Elizabeth Olsen is one of, if not THE, most likely nominee at this point, and Mara is starring in a very baity role that got a lot of traction even for Swedish actress Noomi Rapac, and TGWTDT is sure to be a huge blockbuster, which will only bolster her chances.

  17. David Poland says:

    Apologies to Rooney Mara and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo… now fixed.

    As for “surprise nominations,” yes, it is an awkward call. But “idiots?” A bit of an overreach, no?

  18. Tim says:

    All of the pundits have thus far completely ignored Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey”. There hasn’t been a screening yet but I have a feeling the quality is going to surprise people and we might see it become a surprise awards’ contender- possibly in picture, directing, original script, and actress (for Zana Marjanovic) categories.

  19. Tim says:

    Ah, I see this is for the TIFF only and not the Awards’ Season as a whole. My mistake.

  20. DukeD1989 says:

    It’s is ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene” and I truly do hope she gets nominated, the best performance so far this year I think.

  21. Proman says:

    Nice to see the chart being updated to reflect where “War Horse” should be.

  22. Ron Howie says:

    Where is A Dangerous Method????? Is this an error?

  23. David Poland says:

    Nope. Everyone got 10 picks. If we’d have had 12, I’m sure it would have been on many lists.

  24. Mark Johnson says:

    Did Anne Thompson seriously mean Jane Eyre at #2 odds for a BP nom? And I am suprised at the lack of support for A Dangerous Method. No mentions at all. I have 9 of the same 10, with A Dangerous Method in place of Tattoo.

    I like the surprise actor/actress addition. Fun! Though some of the ones listed wouldn’t be much of a surprise, right?

  25. Mark Johnson says:

    Wow… just went back and read some of the comments. By no means are any of the pundits idiots. It is a fun thing to do and shouldn’t be taken too seriously by anyone. Most of these movies haven’t even been seen yet so cut them some slack.

  26. Mark Johnson says:

    My longshots “Surprises” would be Sam Shepard for Blackthorn and Olivia Colman for Tyrannosaur. I will stop now. 🙂

  27. Maxim says:

    I don’t think anyone is an idiot at all but I can only explain certain placings as examples of wishful thinking.

    What I find most telling is how movies like Moneyball and Decendants are ranked higher than “Young Adult” or, say, “Hugo” but not “Extremely Loud”.

    In other words, not all Oscar veterans are perceived as being equal. Also, trailers matter but trailers can be oh-so-deceiving.

    “Did Anne Thompson seriously mean Jane Eyre at #2 odds for a BP nom? ”

    I saw that, too and then I was reminded that Anne always does something like this.

    My long-shots? War Horse for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

    Elle Fanning for Super 8 and Rio for Best Editing/Picture (if only!).

  28. Jose says:

    Kirstin Scott thomas for Sarah’s Key?
    Isn’t she receiving more buzz for We Need to talk about Keven? And what about Dunst for Melancholia?

    and I think Extremely Lous and Incredibly Close will be the How do You know of 2011, all star cast, acclaimed director, a lot of buzz, then it collapses upon its release.

  29. Proman says:

    I’ve paid to see How Do You Know and I enjoyed it.

  30. oH HAI mARK says:

    Ok. Where is A Dangerous Method? I actually thought before clicking this that A Dangerous Method would have the most votes. But it isn’t shown at all? Even in there acting predictions? Knightley HELLO! I’M OUTRAGED!

  31. Steven Kaye says:

    Midnight in Paris should, of course, be in first place.

  32. Guy Lodge says:

    Kirstin Scott thomas for Sarah’s Key? Isn’t she receiving more buzz for We Need to talk about Keven?

    It’s generally an uphill climb to get buzz for movies you aren’t in.

  33. Mark Johnson says:

    Ha! I was thinking it, Guy said it.

  34. Cédric Succivalli says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t the Gurus have picked only five choices in order for this chart to reflect the current system AMPAS voters will be using? And if it had been the case, Midnight in Paris would have been lower here. Just saying.

  35. Boris Yanskij says:

    Good lord are you so-called ”gurus” overestimating The Descendants. It’s nothing more than an absolute drag of a movie….

  36. Pat Larkin says:

    I am surprised that there is no mention of Mel Gibson for best actor. Regardless how one may feel about him, it shouldn’t effect him being nominated. In my eyes, his was the best male performance that I have seen this year and I have seen almost all of the major movies that have come out so far. Roman Polanski is continuously nominated(deservedly so), so I don’t see why Mel shouldn’t be nominated. The amount of facial emotion that he was able to show is worth a nod alone.
    Also Andy Serkis was very good, but I don’t know if a person who was digitally done up that much should get nominated. If that were the case then he should have got a best supporting actor nod for Lord of the Rings. Although in all honesty I don’t put much credence in the Academy Awards. Half of the time they don’t even nominate the movies or screenplays that I like the most. Memento! Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for best screenplay! I also thought that Of Gods and Men was one of the best movies last year and it didn’t even get nominated for best foreign film.

  37. movielocke says:

    just saw the trailer for the artist.

    Wow. I’ve never seen an oscar race end so very early in the season. BP, BD, BA, BSA and cinematography are all decided at this point. Impressive.

  38. Maxim says:

    But not Best Screenplay? Come on Movielocke, is it a sweep or what 😉 ?

  39. Warren says:

    Brendan Gleeson for THE GUARD.

    He’s so damn great in that film and it’s about time he got some recognition.