The New York Times critics offer up their Oscar nominee choices. To me, the purpose of an Oscar exercise isn't entirely to present my top five films and actors and actresses from, in Oscar terms, obscurities. There has to be a relative practicality, with the occasional impracticality thrown in. Naming Jeanne Moreau as a Best Supporting Actress nominee in an obscure foreign film might be fine; naming fifteen of these in the acting categories isn't. (Stephen Holden is the one that seems to most get this with his suggestions. Scott seems to somewhat adhere to this. Dargis doesn't care.).
The Oscars are what they are. At their best, they get the nation talking about a slice of the year's best films. And on the whole, that's a good thing in my book.
That said, I would love to see Hanna Schygulla nominated. I just haven't seen The Edge of Heaven yet.
PS: It also doesn't do any good nominating a film that had an Oscar qualifying run last year - 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days. Otherwise I might have stuck in a couple nods.
PPS: Then again, I guess it's a For Your Consideration list, and not predictions. So, I suppose this list is more meant as suggestions.