Variety‘s Steven Gaydos pointed out this morning that the recently published Film Comment best-of-the-year poll of 120 top critics has Hugo at #9, The Artist at #27 and Moneyball at #38.

My response: “Well and good, but much of that relentless Hugo love stems from an impassioned conviction-belief on the part of most big-city critics, and summarized as follows: “Marty is our guy, a Film Catholic Extraordinaire, and we’ll stand by him to the end, no matter what.” So whatever and however and even with a film as oppressive or agonizing as Kundun, Marty gets a pass — that’s simply how it is. Clint Eastwood enjoyed the fruits of this same arrangement of trust and faith for many, many years (until, that is, the double whammy of Invictus and Hereafter). So don’t give me with the high Hugo approval ratings. This is an elitist, intra-fraternal Tammany Hall dynamic.”