The Oscar gods have bestowed a nail-biter upon us for the 90th Academy Awards. Not since the 1999 face-off between Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan has the Best Picture race felt this close. Whether The Shape of Water or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will rise victorious is anybody’s guess — but we’ve got you covered with our fearless final predictions in all the major categories. If your office Oscar pool is still stressing you out, though, we suggest you put all your money on and and then chill out and enjoy what’s sure to be a ceremony for the ages on March 4.

Best Picture

Credit: Niko Tavernise/Fox; Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures; Fox Searchlight; Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Bros.; Jack English/Focus Features; Focus Features; Merrick Morton/Fox Searchlight; Sony Pictures Classics; A24

The Nominees:
Call Me By You Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Egads. When was the last time the biggest award of the night became the hardest to predict? (We’re still thinking about it.) Can we have a tie? That’s how close things seem between the modern fairy tale The Shape of Water and the fast and furious Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which have split the guild prizes and have left people who like to engage in guesses, guessing. But since we don’t think the Academy will be handing out two statues, we’ll go with The Shape of Water.

Best Actress

Credit: Merrick Morton/Fox Searchlight; Merie Wallace/A24; Fox Searchlight; Neon; Niko Tavernise/Fox

The Nominees:
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep, The Post
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Predicted Winner: It’s so hard to look away from Frances McDormand when she’s on screen in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Avenging, grieving mother Mildred Hayes is a searing creature to behold, white-hot in intensity as she seeks justice at any cost after the murder of her daughter. We predict we’ll be intently watching her give an acceptance speech on Oscar night, too.

Best Actor

Credit: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom/Sony Pictures Classics; Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures; Laurie Sparham/Focus Features; Jack English/Focus Features; Glen Wilson/Columbia

The Nominees:
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.

Predicted Winner: If there is one category that has had a clear front-runner from the beginning, it’s Best Actor, ever since audiences first glimpsed the physical transformation of the lithe 59-year-old Gary Oldman into the lumbering Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. But this performance is much more than just makeup wizardry, and for our money, it will be Oldman — who has never won! — taking home the prize. (Don’t despair, Timothée Chalamet, you’ve got plenty of time.)

Best Supporting Actress

Credit: Laurie Sparham/Focus Features; Kerry Hayes/Fox Searchlight; Neon; Merie Wallace/A24; Netflix

The Nominees:
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Predicted Winner: It’s going to come right down to the wire for two first-time nominees who built their careers and reputations on television. Laurie Metcalf is so subtle and tender in Lady Bird, and Allison Janney plays against type as Tonya Harding’s foulmouthed mother in I, Tonya. Janney has collected all the hardware so far, and we think she sticks the landing for the win.

Best Supporting Actor

Credit: Giles Keyte/TriStar Pictures; Fox Searchlight Pictures (2); A24; Kerry Hayes/Fox Searchlight

The Nominees:
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

Predicted Winner: It’s another tough category full of deserving candidates, but Sam Rockwell — a beloved character actor for decades — has finally broken through with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. His character, the dim and racist cop Dixon, is the most controversial figure in the film, but Rockwell handles a tricky balancing act with grace and will surely be rewarded.

Best Director

Credit: Warner Bros.; Justin Lubin/Universal; Laurie Sparham/Focus Features; Sophie Giraud/Fox Searchlight; Merie Wallace/A24

The Nominees:
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out

Predicted Winner: This summer we were screaming in the streets that this was finally Christopher Nolan’s year, thanks to the dazzling Dunkirk. (And let’s pause to give thanks for the tremendous category this has turned out to be!) But the tea leaves seem to point to Guillermo del Toro getting his very own fairy-tale ending on Oscar night.

Best Original Screenplay

Credit: Fox Searchlight; Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures; Merie Wallace/A24; Merrick Morton/Fox Searchlight; Nicole Rivelli/Lionsgate

The Nominees:
The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor; story by Guillermo del Toro)
Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)
The Bick Sick (Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)
Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Predicted Winner: The writing categories mirror the competitiveness of the Best Picture race — swing a dead cat and you’ll hit a worthy winner! But it’s hard to deny Martin McDonagh’s razor-sharp writing in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and hard to imagine a world where the Academy doesn’t reward the person responsible for giving Frances McDormand such delicious words to spew.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Credit: Michael Gibson/STX Films; Justina Mintz/A24; Ben Rothstein/Fox; Netflix; Stefano Dall'Asta/Sony Pictures Classics

The Nominees:
Call Me By Your Name (James Ivory)
Logan (Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green; story by James Mangold)
Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin)
Mudbound (Virgil Williams and Dee Rees)
The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber)

Predicted Winner: The last time James Ivory was nominated, it was for directing 1993’s The Remains of the Day, itself an adaptation of a popular novel. Now the 89-year-old, the Academy’s second oldest nominee (eight days younger than Faces Places director Agnès Varda), seems to have a clear shot at his first win for his gentle and poignant treatment of André Aciman’s love story Call Me by Your Name.

Oscars 2018
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