Eric Roth “Benjamin Button”

Oscar: Adapted screenplay

Why he’ll win: An Oscar for “Forrest Gump” already decorates his mantel, and he’s been nominated for co-writing “Munich” and “The Insider.” His esteemed status was cemented further recently when he was named to receive the Distinguished Achievement in Screenwriting Award at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Screenwriters Showcase.

Maybe not: There may be a backlash from naysayers who point out that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s source material was a short story, and that the movie is too indulgent in both scope and length.

Critical quote: “The extent to which Fincher and his vast team of collaborators have succeeded in their storytelling can be seen by the fact that one comes out of the film thinking about the characters and narrative intent, not the admittedly amazing aging effects and other technical achievements,” says Todd McCarthy of Variety.