From a purely spitballed perspective, what are the most likely 2009 Best Picture contenders at this point in time? Precious few. The only Coming Soon December releases that look like remote possibilities include James Cameron‘s Avatar, Peter Jackson‘s The Lovely Bones and Clint Eastwood‘s rugby-themed Mandela movie.

The only November release that may have a reasonable (but by no means certain) shot is Rob Marshall‘s Nine. There’s nothing at all in the October rundown right now.

There’s also — just blindly speculating — Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Biutiful,which has no release date and may not be seen until 2010. It’ll costar Javier Bardem and Ruben Ochandiano.

One thing’s for sure: An Education‘s Carey Mulligan will be in the running for Best Actress.

Review this Playlist piece from last month called “The 60 Most Anticipated Films of 2009” and you’ll see damn few comers.

It’s way early, all kinds of exciting manifestations are waiting in the wings and you obviously can’t tell anything at this stage, but you’d be hard put to call ’09 an exciting-looking year at this stage.