Player Affinity writes: In recent years, there's been a big increase in the number of quality art-house films hitting theaters during the first half of the year. Last year, Winter's Bone and The Kids Are All Right carried their goodwill and relative box office success to Best Picture and Best Actress nominations. The year before, The Hurt Locker carried the same goodwill to a Best Picture win. And countless other films--Moon, Two Lovers, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, A Prophet--earned distinctions on year-end best lists despite an early release date. In other words, December is no longer the only time an independent movie can succeed. Art-house cinema is a year-round enterprise, and in 2011, business has been booming. Here are some of the most respected indies of the year thus far, and their chances for Oscar recognition in 2012.