A few things-
First, Mark set me straight on my sound issues, so apologies for the flippancy. Still say Trek gets a two-fer, just 'cuz I want it to get a few awards.
Second, I just saw Avatar. Yep, took me awhile to get around to it.
I still think it will win Best Pic, but I can't imagine anyone making a convincing argument as to why. It has great design elements, and is a marvelous technical achievement. But is that how we define what a great movie is? Nothing but tech?
The story and the acting were serviceable, and I don't begrudge the movie its box office.
In fact, some may say it was wise of Cameron to settle for a predictable script that just hit the beats without risking depth (or risk making his actors/animators dig too deep in performance). The guy did give us T2, so its not like he can't do great story if he wanted to. Serviceable is what he thought was right for this film, so that's cool.
But serviceable shouldn't be "best" -- unless we are giving up on the idea that movies are more than just machines.
And maybe we are. The WGA, the alleged protector of the writer, as much as admitted that box office is the ultimate determiner of craft when they gave the film a writing nom. I guess if the writers don't feel story should elevate a script, why should the rest of Hollywood?
I've seen seven of the best pic noms; against them I rate Avatar a no contest seventh.
Just my thoughts,