Ten Best Picture nominees means that The Hurt Locker could actually make the cut — great! But Up needs to stay in its own Best Animated Feature slot — there’s nothing wrong with beautiful Mexico so Rio Grande crossings are unnecessary. And due respect to JJ AbramsStar Trek but big-budget escapism by way of a GenX/GenY franchise reboot isn’t and shouldn’t be regarded as Best Picture material — it simply lacks the DNA. And anyone who would even flirt with the idea of Francis Coppola‘s Tetro being a possible Best Picture nominee (as David Poland did yesterday) needs to give his/her pet a flea bath, speed-walk a mile on the treadmill, do some yoga breathing exercises., etc.

The ten most likely Best Picture nominees of 2009: Invictus (Warner Bros.), d: Clint Eastwood; Biutiful (Universal), d: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu; Nine (Weinstein Co.), d: Rob Marshall; The Hurt Locker (Summit), d: Kathryn Bigelow; Amelia (Fox Searchlight), d: Mira Nair; Green Zone (Universal), d: Paul Greengrass; An Education (Sony Classics), d: Lone Scherfig; The Lovely Bones (Paramount), d: Peter Jackson; The Road (Weinstein Co.), d: John Hillcoat; The Tree of Life (no US distributor), d: Terrence Malick.