Because I'm still proud to have predicted that Flags of Our Fathers would never be the frontrunner that most every other prognosticator proclaimed it to be a year ago, I've left it at #6. This is just me being stubborn. I know this. No need to call me on it. It will most likely make it into the shortlist. But I can dream that the distance --it's still a long way until nominations if you stop to think on it-- will cool the heat generated by the lukewarm-for-raves raves as it were. If you follow me.
You see, the name critics have already rolled over and kissed Clint Eastwood's ass rather than actually doing their job. Consequently, the pre-Oscar awards bodies who get the seasonal ball rolling and who are obsessed with being seen as "predictive" of Oscar nominations, have been given something of a greenlight and will probably follow suit. Plentiful "masterpiece" comments from the blurb whores go a long way if you're already right up Oscar's alley.
It's a shame since the filmmakers in question have been amply rewarded in the past for better material.
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[new predictions in all categories are in progress]