The award for Best Production Design was previously known as Art Direction until the Academy's designers branch (formerly the art directors branch) recommended the change this year.
Last year, "Hugo" won the award and joined a long line of period and fantasy films to achieve victory in the category. In the last 20 years, no contemporary film has won this award.
Among this year's top contenders are "Anna Karenina" (three-time nominees Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer), "The Master" (Oscar-nominee Jack Fisk), the 19th century biopic "Lincoln" (Oscar-winner Rick Carter), "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (Don Hennah, who previously won for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"), and "Les Miserables" (two-time nominee Eve Stewart).
Ridley Scott's science-fiction epic "Prometheus" (two-time nominee Arthur Max) could be a contender, as well as the literary adaptation "Great Expectations" (Jim Clay) and the disaster drama "The Impossible" ("Pan's Labyrinth" Oscar-winners Eugenio Caballero and Pilar Revuelta).