Five or six days ago Sasha Stone posted a list of films she believes are the most likely contenders for 2011 Best Picture nominations. She began by listing the favorites posted by the mysterious “Peter” at Awards Corner. Sasha and I discussed this during yesterday’s Oscar Poker recording. So I’ve decided to post my own top ten.

HE’s Most Likely 2011 Best Picture Contenders (in this order): 1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (d: Stephen Daldry, screenwriter: Eric Roth); 2. The War Horse (d: Steven Spielberg); 3. The Ides of March (d: George Clooney); 4. The Iron Lady (d: Phyllida Lloyd); 5. We Bought A Zoo (d: Cameron Crowe); 6. God of Carnage (d: Roman Polanski); 7. Young Adult (d: Jason Reitman, w: Diablo Cody); 8. The Descendants (d: Alexander Payne); 9. Moneyball (d: Bennett Miller); 10. J. Edgar (d: Clint Eastwood).

HE’s A-Little-Less-Likely Roster: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (d: David Fincher); Shame (d: Steve McQueen); The Tree of Life (d: Terrence Malick); Win Win (d: Tom McCarthy); Beginners (d: Mike Mills). The Impossible (d: Juan Antonio Bayona); Larry Crowne (d: Tom Hanks); Hugo Cabret (d: Martin Scorsese); On The Road (d: Walter Salles); Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (d: Thomas Alfredson); The Whistleblower (d: Larysa Kondracki); Wuthering Heights (d: Andrea Arnold); In the Land of Blood and Honey (d: Angelina Jolie).

Here’s Peter’s list with my after-comments:

1. David Fincher‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. HE comment: It’s a pop genre movie — a creepy thriller, a punk whodunit with shaved eyebrows. It’ll probably be great entertainment but it’s not Oscar material.

2. Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life. HE comment: Malick doesn’t make Oscar movies. Damnation by L.A. Times citic Kenneth Turan has probably sealed the deal — the over-50 Academy types will reject it. Parts of Tree are radiant, transcendent. It should make the cut, but it probably won’t.

3. Steven Spielberg‘s The War Horse. HE comment: If this film about a sad hard-luck horse turns out to be in the vein of Robert Bresson‘s Au Hasard Balthazar, a classic about a sad and saintly donkey, then no one will be a more committed supporter than I. But if War Horse turns out to be another cloying and shamelessly sentimental Spielberg film, then it must be stopped at all costs. That’s all I’m going to say.

Thomas Horn, Ton Hanks during filming of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

4. Clint Eastwood‘s J. Edgar. HE comment: Maybe. The script is a fairly dry thing, a little bit perverse. It may jbe quietly…who knows? But I have my doubts. I’m not feeling major heat.

5. Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo Cabret. HE comment: Never count on a Scorsese film operating outside of the northeast criminal goombah territory to achieve anything too exceptional — there are always problems when he ventures outside this realm. Then again this is a 3D film, etc.

6. Roman Polanski‘s Carnage. HE comment: Terrific play, sure-to-be-knockout performances, the direction of Roman Polanski. A very likely contender.

7. David Cronenberg‘s A Dangerous Method. HE comment: Forget it — Cronenberg doesn’t make Oscar films.

8. Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris. HE comment: A very charming, agreeable and popular film, but it won’t stand up to the fall/holiday competition.

9. Stephen Daldry‘s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. HE comment: Definitely.

10. Blah-dee-blah‘s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II. HE comment: Definitely.

11. Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants. HE comment: Definitely.

12. Phyllida Lloyd‘s The Iron Lady. HE comment: Probably, but Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) scares me.

13. Mike MillsBeginners. HE comment: Good enough to be among the ten; may or may not make it.

Georeg Clooney in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.

14. Blah-dee-blah‘s My Week with Marilyn. HE comment: Doubtful, from what I’ve been told. Possibly Michelle WilliamsMarilyn Monroe performance for Best Actress, but Kenneth Branagh, I’m hearing, is truly exceptional as Laurence Olivier, and in fact steals the film.

15. Andrea Arnold‘s Wuthering Heights. HE comment: Maybe.

Sasha Stone’s Awards Daily projection:

1. War Horse; 2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; 3. Midnight in Paris; 4. The Iron Lady; 5. J. Edgar; 6. The Descendants; 7. Harry Potter, etc.; 8. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; 9. Super 8; and 10. The Artist.