I had another random thought about the ten nominees...relevance.
I have to admire the Academy for attempting to boost its relevance factor. While the five nominees were are great films (with the exception of The Reader), they weren't exactly the most relevant movies in terms with the general public like The Dark Knight and Wall-E. By extending the number to 10 it does allow the Academy to boost its relevance factor.
If you think this is a ridiculous argument, considered the Grammys, who haven't been relevant since Outkast won for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. I mean Alison Kraus, Robert Plant, and Herbie Hancock are legends for sure...but the fact that Kanye West has yet to win an Album of the Year award is simply a crime.
Also look at the Emmys: They two have increased their nominees in the major categories in order to include more shows. Of course, while Mad Men and 30 Rock are great shows, but if they repeat as winners this year, then the irrelevant factor for the Emmys will continue. They are simply great shows, that nobody is watching...
So once again, I applaud the Academy for at least trying to become more relevant, it may be a great thing, and it may crash and burn...we'll see!