Oscar nominees: Best Picture
Why it’ll win: Pic, which could’ve been slogged in political jargon and backstory, is pure edge-of-your-seat entertainment, thanks to Ron Howard’s sharp direction. To its Acad advantage is the fact that it’s got one built-in pop cultural hero (frothy British TV journalist David Frost) and one political villain (disgraced President Richard M. Nixon) whose human side is brought forth by Frank Langella.Maybe not: Though nominated for five Golden Globes, the biopic didn’t nab a single statue. While garnering critical acclaim for its acting, editing, directing and production values as well as its dramatic coup in casting Nixon as a tragic figure rather than crook, “Frost/Nixon” seems to be on everyone’s shortlist rather than a No. 1 pick. Critical quote: “Like the other election-year release about a modern Republican president, ‘W.,’ this one isn’t out to ‘get’ its much-vilified subject as much as to cast him as something of a tragic victim of his own limitations and foibles — tragic for the perpetrator and his country alike,” says Variety’s Todd McCarthy.