Duelling Gurus

Obviously there are two competing Oscar handicapper gangs taking shape — one at Tom O’Neil‘s “The Envelope” (expect at least 12 journos when it’s all finalized) and the return of Gurus of Gold (roughly 80% in place) at David Poland‘s Movie City News.
The Times rule is that you can’t be an “Envelope” team member plus a Poland Guru. I know there’s been some soul-searching among journos about whether to side with the Hatfields or the McCoys, and I for one have heard the crack of rifle fire over issues of alleged guru-poaching.
I know this: it’s not “early” in the Oscar handicapping racket. It’s all happening right now, fast and furious.
Just yesterday I heard uh-ohs about three big December releases, and once these stories begin to travel the films in question — I’m not going to name them — will see their stock prices begin to drop. All of this could easily fall by the wayside once they start to screen, but right now it’s starting to look as if these three now have something to prove.
The game will basically be over as of early to mid November, and from then on everyone will be just dancing. The chances of a late November or early December surprise seem slim at this stage.
O’Neill is currently working on a comprehensive choices-at-a-glance chart, and it’ll be in place fairly soon. Poland posted a Gurus chart today but I’m told that at last one respondent’s choices are about three weeks old, so it’s not exactly expressing the immediate current.
That said, the Best Picture tally has Dreamgirls slightly ahead of Flags of Our Fathers with Babel a somewhat distant (20 points behind) third.
The Best Actor race — this is a fairly early call — has The Last King of Scotland‘s Forrest Whitaker almost 20 points ahead of Venus star Peter O’Toole, and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed…nobody’s seen Blood Diamond yet) trailing in third place.
And the Best Actress race has The Queen‘s Helen Mirren well in front of three runner-ups — Volver‘s Penelope Cruz, Little Children‘s Kate Winslet and The Devil Wears Prada‘s Meryl Streep — with very nearly the same scores.

  • http://www.chud.com Devin Faraci

    Has anyone actually **SEEN** DREAMGIRLS? I’m sort of wondering what’s stopping people from guessing the Best Picture nominees for 2009 at this point.

  • austin111

    Gurus of gold???? The Envelope????? This is actually pretty funny. I think Dreamgirls is the film to beat. Whitaker will take home the honorary Phillip Seymour Hoffman prize ( or the oscar given to everyone’s favorite character actor who’s never seriously been given the attention they deserve). O’Toole would be great except that they gave him the honorary thing last year. Mirren is as good as gold — unless, unless it’s finally Winslet’s year.

  • http://fienprint.blogspot.com Daniel Fienberg

    Awwwww Snap! This is *so* like the Jets and the Sharks of the Oscar prognosticating world!
    I wanna see the Gurus of Gold and the Envelope Gang rumble like in Anchorman! Instead of knives and guns, your weapons can be huge quantities of hot air. One group on one side of a line, the other group on the other and everybody can just blow!
    Do you have the monogrammed bowling shirts yet?
    Dan
    P.S. Devin, IMDB currently only has 30 films listed as probable 2009 releases, but based on that list, I’m putting my money behind James Cameron’s Battle Angel and Brett Ratner’s remake of Boys From Brazil.

  • http://www.incontention.com Kristopher Tapley

    Hatfields and McCoys? Petty. In any case, no game anywhere, anyhow is going to be “wrapped up” in November. By that logic, “Brokeback Mountain” won Best Picture last year – when it peaked in November.
    It all evolves. That’s the fun of it.

  • Jay T.

    Seriously, who gives a rat’s ass about all of this Oscar charting?

  • EDouglas

    I’ll be on the side of the Angels, but that’s only because the Devil didn’t ask me to play for his team.

  • http://fienprint.blogspot.com Daniel

    Awwwww Snap! This is *so* like the Jets and the Sharks of the Oscar prognosticating world!

    I wanna see the Gurus of Gold and the Envelope Gang rumble like in Anchorman! Instead of knives and guns, your weapons can be huge quantities of hot air. One group on one side of a line, the other group on the other and everybody can just blow!

    Do you have the monogrammed bowling shirts yet?

    Dan

    P.S. Devin, IMDB currently only has 30 films listed as probable 2009 releases, but based on that list, I’m putting my money behind James Cameron’s Battle Angel and Brett Ratner’s remake of Boys From Brazil.

  • http://oscarwatch.com bipedalist

    The whole guru vs. derby thing is silly. It’s not like anyone is saying anything new or original – it’s just the same blind guessing – looking to see what the other guy is saying. That’s the weird part, how it becomes like a clusterfuck where everyone predicts exactly the same thing – where’s the use in that? The trick is to be that one person who goes against the odds, makes a wild prediction and it comes true. But anyway, Poland was asking people at exactly the right time – while GD was folding into the Times.
    Sasha
    one of the Gurus of Gold