1) On the 10 Best Picture nominations: Despite the enlargement of this category, the race still comes down to - like every year - the films that were nominated for Best Director (and beyond that we know the "real" race is actually only 2 films), and in the end Up, the best film of the year, will get its ghettoized Animation Oscar.
2) On the documentary race: For the whole of 2009 I could not bring myself to watch The Cove. Then - thanks to the Cinema Eye Awards - I got motivated to actually watch the film and I hope the Oscars can do the same for the rest of the country, because it is truly a "Must See."
3) On Independent Film: I still don't know what "independent film" means these days. That said, arthouse distributors put up a fine showing and I congratulate them all, especially Sony Picture Classics for pulling out a Best Original Song nomination. Best Original Song! Who'd have thunk it?