Maybe this is a stupid queston, but isn't the point of these to award the best film of the last 12 months?
So why every year do all the nominations of the films come from about a 2 month part of the year, with all the films released in said time?
Do the OAPs who obviously vote in these things find it hard to recall back an longer than that?
Something like that although with the advent of things like DVDs of the films being nominated provided to the voters, it is not that bad for films released earlier in the year. But it is still not great.
However, (IMO) many films are specifically made and target the Oscars. For example, for years major Woody Allen films only came out at the very last of the year to qualify for Oscar consideration. This is why you see all the depressingly melodramatic films released around that time as well. I consider movies like 'Cold Mountain' to be merely attempts at Oscar grabs.
I also get tired of genre bias, and I am not just talking about scifi. If the film is not "serious' or unpleasant, it is usually not taken seriously. And just because an independent film gets all artsy and tries to be deep, it does not mean that it is any better than a film like 'Love Guru'.