“When it comes to Best Picture criteria, most people want the ‘big thing’…the lump in the throat that melts you down, the movie that delivers some profound bedrock truth about our common experience, that makes you want to hug your father or your daughter…that comfort, that assurance, that touch of a quaalude high. And if I ever get to the point that a movie like War Horse or The Artist or The Help makes me feel that way, please take me out behind the building and shoot me in the head, twice.” — from a 10.29.11 HE piece called “Miniature Golf.”

We should all take comfort that among the current Best Picture faves none are as cute or cloying or shamefully manipulative as The Artist, War Horse or The Help. The top three —Birdman, Boyhood and Gone Girl — are admirably lacking in these characteristics. Ditto The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher and The Grand Budapest Hotel. And you know that A Most Violent Year, Inherent Vice, American Sniper, Fury, Big Eyes and The Gambler haven’t the slightest interest in dropping a quaalude into anyone’s drink.

As things stand now the only potential Best Picture contenders which might — I say “might” — try the old tear-duct game are Interstellar, Into The Woods, Selma and Unbroken.

You want “some profound bedrock truth about our common experience”? Try Gone Girl.