Beanstalk: “Why is Birdman in the top spot? Boyhood should be. This looks like too much bias. You should distinguish yourself by only targeting movies that have been seen. You should follow the lead of Anne Thompson.”

Jack: “I admire Boyhood but it’s a safe, non-risky consensus choice. It’s the movie you say you really like if you want to be liked by the crowd, and I don’t necessarily see a great value in that. I’m very proud of the fact that I’m not a meticulous, fair-minded pulse-taker like Steve Pond. Right now the only unseen films that have people even half-excited are American Sniper, A Most Violent Year and The Gambler. People expect Unbroken to be good in a humanistic, touching-bottom sort of way, but I wouldn’t say they’re particularly cranked about it. I don’t know what people are saying about Into The Woods, but anyone who loves good music loves Sondheim.”

Beanstalk: “Okay, but putting two unseen films on your chart devalues your credibility. Wait until the time is right. Take it from me — you’ll be written off.”

Jack: “You can’t say with a straight face that the very commendable and respectable Boyhood should be in the top spot above the brilliant Birdman. It’s a very fine and brave and novel film and Linklater has my sincere respect, but you can’t say it’s the very best. Besides when have I ever placed a high premium on predicting what the Academy thinks? I believe in blowing the horn and not baahing like sheep.”

Beanstalk: “Why even bother to chart it then?”

Jack: “And wait for Dave Karger or somebody with his consensus default way of looking at things to post a similar-type chart? Oh, you have our respect, Dave…you’re listening to the lazies and playing it safe and conservative! We’re behind you and the way you think. Don’t you realize what a trap that is? To predict Best Picture glory for whatever the most sluggish and least perceptive people felt moved by? Whatever warms their hearts and pushes their comfort buttons? Somebody has to approach things with my attitude.”

Beanstalk: “Then call the chart ‘what Jeff Wells thinks the Oscar race should look like’ but no one will care nor take it seriously.”

Jack: “Oh, for God’s sake! I’ve got the Best Picture of the Year in the top slot. Wake up! And everything else is in its proper place also. And yet people will care and take me seriously, you’re saying, if I predict Boyhood or Unbroken or The Imitation Game? I like Boyhood but it can’t touch Birdman. If it wins, fine, but right now you’re making me nauseous.”