“Hollywood Elsewhere’s view is that nothing is so objectionable as ‘conventional industry wisdom,’ especially as reflected in Gurus of Gold charts and other tabulations in this vein. Unless, that is, conventional industry wisdom happens to be in synch with what we strongly feel and/or believe in. Hah!” — a quote from a Hollywood Elsewhere’s 2011/12 advertising pitch letter.
One noteworthy thing about the season’s first Guru chart are the indications of affection and prejudice toward certain films, a “1” vote idiotically being the highest and a “10” being the lowest. In what upside-down, hairy-kumquat realm does a lower number mean “better” and the lowest number is cause for celebration?
The Gurus with the most affection for Steven Spielberg‘s first-place The War Horse are EW‘s Anthony Breznican (1), Deadline‘s Pete Hammond (1), Sasha Stone (1) and Kris Tapley (1). David Poland, EW‘s Dave Karger and Hitfix‘s Gregg Ellwood each gave it a 2.
Spielberg’s less-engaged friends right now (and obviously this can and will change) are L.A. Times guy Mark Olsen (10), TheWrap‘s Steve Pond (8) and The Toronto Star‘s Pete Howell (7). What this means (and it means very little) is that some of these guys are feeling a certain cynical distance from The War Horse…that’s all. They’re probably a little tired of the emotional manipulations and John Williams scores that go into every other Spielberg film.
Another noteworthy thing about the season’s first Guru chart is that the Best Picture contender with the second highest vote tally is George Clooney‘s The Ides of March. Sight unseen, of course. Pure nothingness. All it means is that most of them want to see a smart political film with good acting and a strong theme about loyalty and betrayal, etc.
My top ten spitball contenders? In this order: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Descendants, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Ides of March, The Iron Lady, Moneyball, The War Horse, We Bought A Zoo, The Tree of LIfe and Midnight in Paris.