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Oscar Watch: War Horse, Ides of March, The Artist Lead Early Gurus 'O Gold Top Ten

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 24, 2011 at 5:45AM

In advance of the coming festival season, the Gurus 'O Gold have made their first picks of the ten top contenders for best picture nominations. Here's my top ten list--with many of the films sight unseen (the Gurus list is on the jump). 1. The Artist2. Jane Eyre3, Midnight in Paris4. The Tree of Life5. War Horse6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close7. The Help 8. Moneyball9. The Ides of March10. Carnage
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Thompson on Hollywood

In advance of the coming festival season, the Gurus 'O Gold have made their first picks of the ten top contenders for best picture nominations. Here's my top ten list--with many of the films sight unseen (the Gurus list is on the jump).

1. The Artist
2. Jane Eyre
3, Midnight in Paris
4. The Tree of Life
5. War Horse
6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
7. The Help
8. Moneyball
9. The Ides of March
10. Carnage

I left off one of two George Clooney projects, Alexander Payne's family comedy The Descendants, two genre films, the spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ( which is getting good advance buzz out of London), and David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (for which Sony is chasing box office, not awards), as well as Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar (which I must see, as it could go either way). Despite my reservations about The Help, I know many Academy members like the film, so I did put it in my top ten. I am also more bullish on Roman Polanski's Carnage and baseball drama Moneyball than most. But I was the only Guru to pick Cary Fukanaga's exquisite Jane Eyre. While most of my fellow forecasters may reflect a male bias (as does the Academy), the women did not vote for this either. Wow. I also included Mia Wasikowska as a long-shot surprise pick for best actress, along with long-shot actor Ralph Fiennes in Coriolanus, a movie that I recognize will not go far with the Academy; it's Shakespeare at its most pure and violent. Vanessa Redgrave will mark that film's only likely nomination.


1. War Horse
2. The Ides of March
3. The Artist
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
5. The Descendants
6. Midnight In Paris
7. J. Edgar
8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
10. The Tree Of Life

This article is related to: Studios, Independents, Headliners, Genres, Franchises, Festivals, Directors, Awards, Oscars, David Fincher, Jason Reitman, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, NYFF, Telluride, Toronto, Girl with Dragon Tattoo, Books, Biopics, comedy, Drama, Colin Firth, Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Weinsteins, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.