In the last 20 years, no contemporary film has won this category (renamed from Best Art Direction), Last year, "Hugo" won the award which favors period and fantasy films.
This year, two-time nominee Eve Stewart is favored to win for recreating 18th century Paris in "Les Miserables." (See latest odds here.)
Her strongest rivals remain three-time nominees Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer for their combination of theatrical and realistic looks for "Anna Karenina." (Track changing odds in this race by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.)
Oscar champ Rick Carter ("Avatar") could claim a bookend for his work on "Lincoln," which depicts both battlefields and the nation's capital during the Civil War.
Dan Hennah contended for all three films in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, winning in 2005 for the final installment "The Return of the King"). He reunites with Peter Jackson for the three "Hobbit" films and is expected to be a nominee this year for the first in that series -- "An Unexpected Journey."
Sharon Seymour could reap her first Oscar bid for "Argo."
Jack Fisk ("The Master") picked up his only Oscar nod for "There Will Be Blood," his last collaboration with Paul Thomas Anderson.
Production designer J. Michael Riva passed away in 2012; he earned a nomination for "The Color Purple" and could earn a posthumous bid for Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained."
Ridley Scott's science-fiction epic "Prometheus" (two-time nominee Arthur Max) could be a contender, as could the disaster drama "The Impossible" ("Pan's Labyrinth" Oscar-winners Eugenio Caballero and Pilar Revuelta).