Let's pretend that the best picture Oscar nominees are my current predictions...
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
(Feel free to add Midnight in Paris or War Horse, and take out a film or two, such as Hugo).
And let's say momentum continues to rest with The Artist as the favorite to win.
But unless there is a strange shift in movie viewership and fan support I don't see this year's Award season having much cultural interest. The highest grossing film will be The Help (assuming it's nominated) and that summer film really got a box office lift from the success of it's source material, the novel by Kathryn Stockett.
In related news you have nights that Univision wins in TV ratings and it's been an awful December at the boxoffice. It would seem that American entertainment is at a cross roads where it's best product is often miles away from it's audience. An audience I believe who's willing to engage, pay money, and be entertained.