The Best Picture preferences of the Gold Derby team (to which I belong) have been posted, and boy, are some these predictions weird! The percentages were tabulated by including predictions of various “experts” (i.e., columnists like myself) along with editor odds and preferences. Don’t ask me to explain the calculus but at least there are some rankings to start with.

The leading default choice for Best Picture is Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse because of (a) the kneejerk Spielberg kowtow factor (i..e, obeisance before power), and (b) because journalists believe that the film will make people cry. George Clooney‘s The Ides of March is second-ranked, and that’s not going to happen — it’s a very solid adult-angle political drama but it’s not Best Picture material. Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants is third, and that will definitely happen, for sure. Then comes Stephen Daldry‘s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close…maybe. And then Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist…probably.

Clint Eastwood‘s J. Edgar is ranked sixth based on…what? Because no one seems to think that the trailer offers a lot of encouragement. JJ AbramsSuper 8 is next…really? It’s a summer genre film with good performances. David Fincher‘s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is ranked eighth, and then Bennett Miller‘s Moneyball is ninth with The Help coming in tenth.

My personal predictions (in this order): Moneyball, The Descendants, War Horse (who knows?), The Help, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (ditto), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (ditto) and possibly Midnight in Paris.