In a 12.9 Oscar-race article focusing on producer Scott Rudin (Extremely Loud & Extremely Close, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), N.Y. Times reporter Brooks Barnes writes that “the buzz from the few people who have seen Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close so far? Superb, but emotionally harrowing — one box of Kleenex might not suffice.”

Barnes also quotes a high-ranking studio executive as saying that Rudin “knows exactly what he has” in Stephen Daldry‘s 9/11 drama, “and it’s a jewel.”

And then a friend who’s seen Extremely Loud said something today that others may agree with: “It’s a better film than War Horse.” Meaning that it’s more or less the same kind of tear-soaked experience but that it uses a tad more restraint and is less emotionally scattershot than Steven Spielberg‘s film.

And then I remembered hearing from a person who’s witnessed reactions to screenings of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and how “they’ve been through the roof” on an “emotional gut level.”

Two seconds later a lightbulb went on and a little chime went “ding!”

Now, it may be that The Artist will eventually take the Best Picture Oscar, and if that happens…whatever. But if that black-and-white film loses steam and the choice comes down to War Horse vs. Extremely Loud…well! People like me will understand which side of the bread has the butter. So if — I say “if” — it comes down to an either/or, those with War Horse issues will, as Gen. Patton once said, “know what to do.” Just sayin’.