Oscars 2018: Predicting who will win — and who should

Catch up on these Oscars predictions before Sunday's show.

It's been a fascinating awards season politically charged by the Time's Up and Me Too movements, with a best-picture race full of worthy contenders and no clear front-runner to be had.

But now, it's showtime at the 90th Academy Awards (ABC, Sunday, 8 ET/5 ET). Who's going to take home gold trophies? Here are our predictions:

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Daniel Kaluuya stars as a young black man who finds out the sinister reason he was invited to meet his girlfriend's family in 'Get Out.'
Universal Pictures


Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour


Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Will win:Three Billboards

Should win: Get Out

In this wild race, Three Billboards has the edge simply because of its track record: The polarizing dark comedy has momentum after taking top prizes at the Golden Globes, Screen Actor Guild Awards and the recent British Academy Film Awards. (Plus, actors make up the largest Academy voting bloc, making that SAG victory key.) However, Jordan Peele’s wickedly clever and expertly crafted social thriller Get Out, which touches on themes like systemic racism and the faux “wokeness” of white liberals, has become a relevant and important film that deserves Oscars' highest honor.

'Shape of Water' filmmaker Guillermo del Toro exults after winning best director at the Golden Globes.
Dan MacMedan/USA TODAY


Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Will win/should win: Del Toro

Peele and Gerwig are rookies in this category who definitely will be back, as will veteran filmmakers Nolan and Anderson. This is del Toro's time to shine, both for his position as the most influential director of the sci-fi and fantasy genres right now and for making us believe in the power of love with a romance between a woman and a fish-man.

Gary Oldman stars as British statesman Winston Churchill in the World War II drama 'Darkest Hour.'
Jack English/Focus Features


Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Will win: Oldman

Should win: Kaluuya

Oldman, extraordinarily transformed into Winston Churchill, has picked up every major honor of awards season, and this Oscar, which would be his first in a storied career, is his to lose. But for a more emotional and nuanced performance, there's Kaluuya as Get Out's hero, a young black photographer lured to his white girlfriend's family home for nefarious reasons. His tearful, haunting dip into "the Sunken Place" is Hollywood's most enduring movie image of last year and worth a golden guy.

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Margot Robbie plays polarizing figure skater Tonya Harding in the biopic 'I, Tonya.'


Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Meryl Streep, The Post

Will win: McDormand

Should win: Robbie

McDormand also has blazed through the competition as Three Billboards' fiery force of nature, a vengeful mom with an ornery personality and a obsessive need for justice. Barring an upset, she's a lock, though even McDormand herself said in her SAG speech that "there's a lot of young ones coming up and they need doorstops, too." Of those, Robbie does the most with a high degree of difficulty, masterfully playing Tonya Harding over three decades and creating an empathetic portrayal of figure skating's most infamous antagonist.


Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Will win: Rockwell

Should win: Dafoe

Oscar glory for Rockwell, one of the best character actors of his generation, is going to come sooner or later, and barring an upset, it'll be for his portrayal of a racist cop who's a little more dimensional than his dimwitted persona would have you believe. That said, Dafoe is the heart and soul of The Florida Project as a grumpy albeit kind Orlando hotel manager who juggles the chaos of his struggling residents and their misfit kids, yet always has their best interests in mind.

Allison Janney plays Tonya Harding's caustic mom LaVona in 'I, Tonya.'


Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Will win/should win: Janney

Of all the acting races, this one's the no-brainer. In a category filled with memorable maternal figures, Janney is magnificent as Tonya Harding's villainous and abusive mommy dearest. No curse word goes unused and no scenery is left unchewed by the actress, who takes over whenever she's onscreen, whether dealing with a pesky parakeet or breaking the fourth wall.

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