Francois Duhamel / Universal Studios
Contenders: Tom Hanks / Julia Roberts / Aaron Sorkin / Mike Nichols
Promise: With a whole shelf full of awards -- Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes -- amongst them, it seemed like some kind of movie dream team to join up Hanks, Roberts, Sorkin and Nichols in a breezy, sophisticated look at how one well-connected U.S. Congressman mobilized money and materiel to clandestinely assist in defeating the Russians in Afghanistan in the '80s. How could it miss?
Weakness: The movie divided critics and audiences. After picking up a handful of Golden Globe nominations (but winning nothing), the film would garner only one Oscar nom, for best supporting actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. By the way, did you ever see Hoffman on the campaign trail?