There could be plenty of fresh faces mixed in with the Hollywood veterans at next year's Academy Awards as the buzz builds for the 2010 Oscars.
That would put them in the company of perennial favorite Meryl Streep, who could earn her record 16th nomination for her performance as Julia Child in "Julie & Julia," and Jeff Bridges, who could finally win a trophy after four nods, for his role as a washed-up country singer in "Crazy Heart."
Despite some very good performances, critics aren't exactly cheering this year in film.
"I don't feel like it's been a spectacularly strong year in movies," New York Times critic A.O. Scott told ABCNews.com. "It kind of feels like the really exciting movies are fewer and farther between."
Despite one of the sparser years in film, the Academy decided to double the best picture nominees from five to 10.
"The Academy may be in the middle of an identity crisis," Scott said. "It's trying to figure out a way to get ratings for the broadcast and somehow reconnect with the broad mainstream audience."
More slots will likely make for a more interesting race for the top prize.
"It opens it up at both ends, for some of the more commercial movies and maybe some smaller and animated movies," Scott said.
Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips, who co-hosts the syndicated show "At the Movies" with Scott, thinks the George Clooney-helmed film "Up in the Air" has gotten so much buzz because of the slim pickings in film this year.