Best Original Song. Seems there will be no more Dreamgirls, Enchanteds or Beauty and The Beasts hogging the arguably useless Song category anymore. Movies will now be capped at 2 allowable nominations in that oft-dissed 5 wide category. One assumes the only reason they keep this category around is for ratings purposes (believing that the occassional rock star performance or variety show format will boost them). But when there are still no Oscars for Casting Directors or Stunt Men (or Choreographers if we're talking musicals) it does seem a bit gratuitous as awardable film contributions go...
Best Foreign Language Film. The Oscars have only recently tweaked their foreign selection system to include a 9-wide "finalist" round before the traditional 5 nominees are chosen. But tweaking it again, they are. Last year's outrageous shunning of the excellent Cannes-winning Romanian drama 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days won them much bad press (here and elsewhere) so they're adding yet another safeguard against their own general bad taste. The committee which chooses those 9 finalists will now choose only 6. And then an Executive Committee will add the remaining 3 titles.
Theoretically this will mean the following.
Step 1: 60ish movies are submitted from the participating countries. See last year for example. The screening committees then watch them all. They vote and we get 6 movies as "finalists"
Step 2: From the pile of 57ish shunned movies, the "Executives" will (presumably) rescue the 3 titles that have generated enough critical or cultural heat elsewhere (on the festival circuit, etcetera) by which Oscar could get a bad name by their snubbing.
Step 3: The foreign language committee votes from their field of 9 and we end up with the 5 Oscar nominees: France, Italy and 3 other countries. (Sorry, couldn't resist that last sentence)
Potential problem: Bad taste still cannot be outlawed. They are still free to nominate the 5 worst movies from that list of 9.