Here are some counter-riffs to Katey Rich‘s assessment on Cinema Blend of what’s happened so far with the critics’ group choices:

1. Rich: “The Hurt Locker is a formidable contender, but critic’s support might not translate at the Academy.” HE: In other words, the Academy will nominate a film for Best Picture, but it may not confirm the Big Win unless it’s made some serious dough (i.e., more than $12 million).

2. Rich: “Don’t mess with Mo’nique and Christoph Waltz, because they are apparently unbeatable.” HE: The critics who are voting for Mo’Nique and Waltz are spineless and easily-led sheep, listening primarily to the blah-blah conventional wisdom of last summer and the fall. I have nothing against Waltz per se, but I know why critics are voting for him — i.e., because he won a Best Actor award in Cannes and because they like to discover and promote a new face, especially a family man in his 40s who has been honest about having had a so-so career thus far.

3. Rich: “Despite the stellar reviews, Up in the Air isn’t the awards season steamroller it had the potential to become. That doesn’t mean it won’t win, though.” HE: This is because certain comfort-seeking critics have felt a bit deflated by the downish finale — by the fact that Up In The Air isn’t finally selling the kind of warmth and assurance that many people go to movies for.

4. Rich: “With the exception of Carey Mulligan, everyone seems to have forgotten that An Education ever happened — it wasn’t even in NYFCO’s top ten films.” HE: The NYFCO reflects geekish online culture, and An Education has a classy traditionalist vibe that’s a little outside the hip-dweeb barrier. But what’s going on with Mulligan losing to Meryl Streep and Yolande Moreau among the Boston and LAFCA groups? Has she peaked? Are journos rebelling against having heard over and over that Mullligan is the year’s big discovery, the new Audrey Hepburn, etc.?

5. Rich: “With the exception of Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’nique, everyone seems to have forgotten that Precious ever happened — it had scattered support for Best Picture and Best Director at NYFCO, but nothing too substantial.” HE: Good! Keep that ball in the air!

6. Rich: “Some people seem to still remember In the Loop — it won NYFCO’s Best Ensemble prize– and hooray for that.” HE: Agreed — a good thing.

7. Rich: “The Messenger didn’t take any major prizes among the critic’s groups, but it made AFI’s Top Ten and made it pretty deep into the voting rounds for several NYFCO prizes. It may only result in a Best Supporting Actor nod for Woody Harrelson, but there’s a lot of support for this film that’s being underestimated.” HE: Good for Woody, etc., but he was better in Zombieland.