Among the Gurus of Gold spitballers, the “friends” of Birth of a Nation (i.e., those who’ve afforded it a marginal recognition) are Vox.com’s Gregory Ellwood, Toronto Star critic Peter Howell, TheWrap‘s Steve Pond, The Film Experience‘s NathanielR, Susan Wlosczyna (a.k.a. “Suzie Woz”), L.A. Times‘ pulse-taker Glenn Whipp and Daily Beast‘s Jen Yamato. In this, the first round of all-but-meaningless Oscar speculation, Manchester By The Sea, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, La La Land, Fences, Arrival, Loving and Moonlight are leading the Best Picture pack. The Gold Derby gang is just starting to be heard from, but Birth of a Nation support is faint with them also. Right now GD honcho Tom O’Neil is Nate Parker‘s best friend with Birth in sixth place among his Best Picture spitballs.