Artist Surge

The recently arrived-upon view of several critics and columnists — including Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan, CNN’s J.D. Cargill, Coming Soon‘s Ed Douglas, Movieline‘s Stu Van Airsdale, EW‘s Dave Karger, Deadline‘s Pete Hammond, In Contention‘s Guy Lodge, The Wrap‘s Steve Pond and Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson — is that The Artist is a more likely Best Picture winner than The Descendants.

On one level I understand. They’re saying that the Motion Picture Academy is very easily impressed and a cinch to win over with “entertainment.” They’re saying that a generally pleasing silver-screen bauble and a really cute yappy dog are a hard-to-beat combination. On another level I’m appalled. Even if I believed that The Artist is the strongest Best Picture candidate I wouldn’t predict it on the Gold Derby chart. I couldn’t and wouldn’t.

So many don’t seem to understand the basic prediction equation. Several “experts” saying that they think others will support film X is a way of saying that others should support film X because others are supporting it. The Gold Derby team is aware, surely, that most people are Zeligs at heart.

  • George Prager

    Good. THe sooner we can award it best picture, the sooner we can forget that it ever existed. THE ENGLISH PATIENT was on cable the other day. I thought for a minute that I was watching some TNT Original starring Bruce Boxletner.

  • Billy

    Right Prager and totally agree on “Patient” but the difference here is there will be no mistaking what this is when it comes to TV years from now and it will be a complete oddity that we will all flip right by. Wells said it best. Repeat viewings are the telltale. Maybe if FX colorizes it and dubs dialog in I will watch it for a few minutes, just to hear that adorable dog bark.

  • Noiresque

    The English Patient was and remains brilliant.

  • the400blows

    The Descendants is and remains brilliant. At least it didn’t bore me to death like The Tree of Life, Melancholia, J. Edgar, and a bunch of other pretentious and overrated films.

  • Alexander

    Isn’t the Gurus of Gold thing just–or, rather, strives to be–a barometer of the race? So, with The Artist winning big at NYFCC, it now has some kind of purported “momentum” and “buzz” or what have you. Like Mike Huckabee winning in Iowa almost four years ago. ‘Course, just as often as not, all of these end-of-the-year awards pre-Oscar don’t add up to a hill of beans. Which I guess they don’t anyway since all anybody cares about, even at the end of the year 2011, is what Mr. Oscar has to say.

  • Edward Havens

    No matter how brilliant the movie may be, The Artist is not going to win the Best Picture Oscar. Hollywood has a long history of barely honoring movies about movies.

    Adaptation, The Bad and the Beautiful, Barton Fink,

    Boogie Nights, Day for Night, 8 1/2, Ed Wood, The Player, Singin’ in the Rain, 1954’s A Star is Born and Stardust Memories. All great movies about the movies. A number of Oscar nominations (except for Stardust, which was inexplicably shut out of nominations). Several wins in there, too. But not one of them nominated for Best Picture of the Year, even with some critics group accolades. Only Sunset Blvd. can you find a movie about the movies that got a Best Picture nomination. Stretch it out to All That Jazz (the subplot about the editing of a Lenny-type movie) and you got two Best Picture nominees in sixty plus years.

    I’m sure The Artist will get four or five nominations at least, and with its momentum, it might even get a Best Picture nomination. But I wouldn’t put even a penny on it winning.

  • actionlover

    Man oh man! The excitement’s killing me! Who’s gonna win? WHO’S GONNA WIN!?! Won’t Oscar night EVER get here?!!?!

  • kingnik

    Having seen the three films in question, I think The Artist and War Horse are both aesthetically more accomplished and deserving films of the top Oscar than The Descendants is. They may be cinematic sugar and would not be my own top choices for top films of the year (A Separation, The Tree of Life, Weekend, etc.), they at least don’t take themselves as seriously that its content doesn’t deliver upon like The Descendants. Parts of The Descendants work well as a rumination on love and life and loss but the constantly patronizing tone Clooney’s central performance keeps striking and the mean spiritedness with which is portrays his wife, his family and the Hawaiian people in general left a bad taste in my mouth. Shailene Woodley’s the only thing truly excellent about it.

  • corey3rd

    I don’t care what Spielberg says, watching the trailer for “War Horse” is making me think of the man/horse bonding element of Robinson Devor’s “Zoo.”

  • LicentiousMaximus

    The Descendants was great, but it’s too low key for BP. Clooney’s close to a lock for BA though.

  • MechanicalShark

    The Descendants will not, cannot win Best Picture, so really it’s down to The Artist vs. War Horse and ELAIC.

  • great scott

    If Dave Karger thinks it’s going to be The Artist, then it’s going to be The Artist. The hard lesson we learned last year is to never doubt Colonel Karger. Right, Jeff?

  • George Prager

    George Prager Author Profile Page says …

    Just looked up the Artist. Has a film about Hollywood besides Sunset Boulevard ever won Best Picture?

    Posted by George Prager Author Profile Page at October 29, 2011 7:57 PM

    comment #14

    actionlover Author Profile Page says …

    “Sunset Blvd” didn’t win Best Picture.

    Posted by actionlover Author Profile Page at October 29, 2011 8:08 PM

    comment #15

    George Prager Author Profile Page says …

    So, THE ARTIST is really fucked. There’s no precedent.

    Posted by George Prager Author Profile Page at October 29, 2011 8:51 PM

  • LexG

    Just saw THE ARTIST.

    A) It RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULED. Dujardin is absolutely brilliant in it… Best Actor should be an unbreakable 3-way tie between Shannon, Fassbender and Dujardin. Maybe DiCaprio as four. Those three guys, how do you top that? How do you vote against any of those? Those are three totally mind-blowing performances.

    B) The packed house of Hollywood old timers went ABSOLUTELY APESHIT, applauding til halfway through the old credits and just in their GLORY, at least as much as they did with Midnight in Paris. If it’s really true the voting body is as Old Hollywood and traditional as is always said, I see this winning. And why not? It’s a pretty solid winner if it does.

  • Buk94

    WHO. GIVES. A. FLYING. FUCK?

  • Edward Havens

    Buk… you gave enough of a flying fuck to comment.

  • Guy Lodge

    Believe it or not, it’s quite possible to sincerely believe that The Artist is a better film than The Descendants. I do.

    Not that that has anything to do with why I’m predicting it for Best Picture — if I was in the business of making instructive predictions, I’d go all out for Drive.

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