Spotlight: Westerns used to ride high in the saddle in this category, back when "Unforgiven" and "Legends of the Fall" were nominated and "Dances With Wolves" and "Last of the Mohicans" won. Now they could come galloping back thanks to the starpower and the gunslinging bang-bang of Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in "3:10 to Yuma."
"American Gangster," Karen Baker Landers, Per Hallberg
"The Bourne Ultimatum," Karen Baker Landers, Per Hallberg
"Into the Wild," Martin Hernandez
"No Country for Old Men," Skip Lievsay
"Sweeney Todd," David Evans
"There Will Be Blood," Matthew Wood, Christopher Scarabosia
"Sweeney Todd," Michael Semanick, Tom Johnson
"Transformers," Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell
"Spider-Man 3," Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell, Joseph GeisingerSpotlight: At least things can't possibly get worse for Oscar's biggest loser, Kevin O'Connell, after what he suffered last year. He not only lost for the 19th time ("Apocalypto"), but his mother died in his arms on Oscar night while the category's winner bashed O'Connell to reporters backstage. Now he may be nominated twice ("Transformers," "Spider-Man 3"). Ironically, if he loses, it'll probably be to "Sweeney Todd," a job he turned down because he was too busy with "Transformers" and "Spidey."
Possible"Beowulf," Tom Johnson, William Kaplan, Dennis Sands
"Enchanted," Tod A. Maitland
"Hairspray," Ron Bartlett, Rick Kline, D.M. Hemphill
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," Paul Massey, Christopher Boyes, Lee Orloff
"3:10 to Yuma," David Giammarco, Paul Massey
"The Golden Compass," Neil Kingsbury, Tony Dawe