If 2007 belonged to the cinematographers, and 2008 to the composers, then 2009 definitely belonged to the production designers. I can think of at least 15 films that have more than a deserving claim to this award. It'll be just about impossible for the Academy to pick a bad nominee this year. I tell ya, it wasn't easy narrowing down the Best Production Design, Set Decoration, and Art Driection to only five titles, but here they are:
(Robert Stromberg, Rick Carter, Kim Sinclair, Todd Cherniawsky, Stefan Dechant, Kevin Ishioka)
Coraline (Henry Selick, Phil Brotherton, Bo Henry, Tim Proost)
The ordinary world is gray but well lit. The Other world, by contrast, is colourful but dark. This intricate duality is crucial in supporting the story.
(Stuart Craig, Rosie Goodwin, Stephanie McMillain, Andrew Ackland-Snow, Neil Lamont)
In a franchise that by now is all too familiar, Craig continues to invent fascinating new environments, and keeps taking us to darker places.
The Road (Craig Kennedy, Robert Greenfield, Gershon Ginsburg)
In combination with Javier Aguirresarobe's photography, a desaturated but striking colour palette is achieved here that establishes time and place at first glance.
Sherlock Holmes (Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, Niall Moroney)
A perpetually smoggy and grimy London sets the scene for this mystery adventure. From the wealthy manors to grungy street dwellings, all are skillfully realized.
Just missed: Inglourious Basterds, Avatar, A Serious Man,
Where the Wild Things Are, District 9, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Antichrist, Ponyo, Bright Star, Star Trek.