The bottom line is, in order for these films to make it into major Oscar contention, they will have to be among the voters' top choices. And in order for that to happen, they will need to be critically-hailed game-changers that move them out of mere genre status. If Avatar (which I will see Thursday night--here's the Guardian's early preview) becomes a game-changer like Star Wars, it will do fine. District 9 could use some help from critics' groups. And Star Trek will probably have to settle for technical noms, with an outside shot at an adapted screenplay slot (a tough category).