Year after year, conventional default thinking among Oscar handicappers is that the leading Best Picture contenders (a) say something recognizably true about who we are individually or as a culture right now, (b) are powerfully performed and stylistically edgy or striking in some way, (c) are emotionally affecting, (d) are commercially popular (The Hurt Locker being an exception) and (e) are not comedies.

That last rule is a big one, and many journalist know-it-alls who present themselves as highly perceptive free-thinkers follow it absolutely. Any film that is even half-comedic must be relegated to the second-tier. (Exception: American Beauty.) Which is why a skillfully made but not especially deep or socially resonant film like Argo — at heart a political caper flick that is obviously more earnest and less glitzy than Ocean’s Eleven, but isn’t all that different from it — is STILL outpointing Silver Linings Playbook on the Gurus of Gold Best Picture list. And despite SLP being more emotionally affecting, and in various ways reflective of our manic culture, and containing far stronger performances.

The biggest Guru friends of Silver Linings Playbook are still Fandango‘s Dave Karger, MCN’s David Poland, TheWrap‘s Steve Pond and L.A. Times entertainment reporter Glenn Whipp. The chief SLP Guru naysayer is In Contention‘s Kris Tapley. Apparent modified frowners are EW‘s Anthony Breznican, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg and L.A. Times reporter Mark Olsen.