By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 3, 2009 at 5:53AM
The old Gurus 'O Gold gang is back, 16 strong. We first selected 15 top contenders, given that the Academy voters will be choosing ten this year. It's all meaningless really, until more of them have been seen. You're just voting on track record and elements. Telluride and Toronto will start to tell that tale. Whether or not a studio will even attempt to launch a serious campaign will be determined by the fest reaction. Awards marketing budgets are tight this year.
Not surprisingly, The Hurt Locker leads the pack (which is not always good news), followed by Clint Eastwood's Invictus, Rob Marshall's Nine, Pete Docter's Up, Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, two Sundance hits, Lee Daniels' Precious and Lone Scherfig's An Education, Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, Jane Campion's Bright Star and the Coen brothers' A Serious Man. At this stage, that's about where we are.