In the Gurus of Gold view, the top ten Best Picture contenders are, in this order, these: 1. The Artist; 2. War Horse; 3. The Descendants; 4. Hugo; 5. Midnight in Paris; 6. The Help; 7. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; 8. Moneyball; 9. The Tree of Life; 10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

The Gurus and the Gold Derby gang are continually estimating and revising their predictions, and I must confess I’m starting to weaken as far as the Artist onslaught in concerned. Or at least, I’m feeling weaker today.

The Zeligs have apparently decided where the safe havens are, and the resulting mentality is relentless and appalling.

Another interesting barometer comes from the Broadcast Film Critics Association website, which is the home of the Critics Choice Awards. They’re a fairly good indicator of where mainstream sentiment is, and right now, it appears, they’re thinking a bit differently than the Gurus. Presumably based on votes from the BFCA membership, they’ve assigned numerical ratings to the top contenders, and here, in descending order, is how it reads as of 3:30 pm Pacific:

1. The Descendants — 92 out of 100.

Tied for second place: The Artist, 91 out of 100, and Moneyball, 91 out of 100.

3. The Help — 89 out of 100.

Tied for fourth place: Hugo, 87 out of 100, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 87 out of 100.

5. Midnight in Paris — 85 out of 100.

6. War Horse — 80 out of 100.

7. The Tree of Life — 78 out of 100.