The Envelope‘s Tom O’Neil is reporting that “one of the best gurus of all — Pete Hammond of Maxim and Hollywood Wiretap.com — [has] just switched his best-pic prediction today from Little Miss Sunshine to Babel.” But if you ask me, it’s a shaky prediction based upon a dry hunch and a sense of Oscar fatigue.
“I’ve been talking to my Academy voter people and getting this survey, which told me last year Crash, Crash, Crash and not Brokeback at this point in the race,” Hammond explains. “But I’m not getting that [this year]. It’s all over the map. I talk to a Departed person, then I get a Little Miss Sunshine, then I get a lot of Babel and so there doesn’t seem to be a consensus.
“A lot of them think Little Miss Sunshine is too slight for their vote as best picture. That’s its biggest drawback. That and the fact that it doesn’t have editing and directing nominations, which would make it the first in academy history to win that way. And The Departed is too ‘genre.’ Scorsese — they appreciate him and all of that…but some people think it’s not the best Scorsese. There have been better ones. So it’s always odd that you’re going to give an award to a guy for something that’s not his best work, but that’s what we often see.
“Then you’ve got Babel, which is really appealing to people’s social sense and it has a little more to it. And it’s an international picture, which is what the business has become — worldwide. It’s one drawback is the lack of guild support…”