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2018 Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win?

The acting races seem to be locked, but who will take home Best Picture?

Kaitlin Thomas

The 90th Academy Awards are Sunday, and although this year's ceremony is shaping up to potentially be one of the more predictable ones in Oscars history, there's still plenty of excitement to be had, since the race for Best Picture is still up in the air. Check out our predictions for the top categories below and then tell us yours.

Best Picture
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Who will win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The race for Best Picture is not as close to a sure thing as the acting categories appear to be, but Three Billboards is coming into the Oscars with a number of compelling stats working in its favor. The film has the all-important SAG ensemble nomination and win in its corner -- not since Braveheart has a film taken home the award for Best Picture without a SAG ensemble nomination -- and because actors make up the Academy's largest voting bloc, this is an important stat to remember. Three Billboards also took home the top award at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, which could also work in its favor.
Watch out for: The Shape of Water
Although Three Billboards appears to be a strong contender, the preferential balloting system could work in The Shape of Water's favor here, much like it did at the Producers Guild Awards. Under this system, films need to receive not just the most first-place votes to take home the award for Best Picture, but also rank high on the other ballots since those rankings are also counted. The system is what helped propel Moonlight to a surprising win over the seemingly invincible La La Land last year, and it could very well do the same thing again this year.

How to Watch the Oscars

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri​

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Fox Searchlight Pictures

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

Who will win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
del Toro is a virtual lock to take home the Oscar. He's already taken home the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics' Choice and DGA awards, with the DGA award being the best predictor of any races. In its 69-year history, there have been just seven instances in which the DGA winner did not line up with the Oscar winner. Three of those times the winner wasn't nominated for the Oscar.
Watch out for: Jordan Peele, Get Out
It's unlikely that Jordan Peele will be able to topple del Toro (he has a better shot in original screenplay), but if anyone could pull off an upset right now it's him. Get Out was the most surprising success story of the year and a win here would be the ultimate coup.

Best Actor
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.

Who will win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
It appears as if the Best Actor Oscar is Oldman's to lose. His performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour has already earned him the award at the Golden Globes, SAGs, BAFTAs and the Critics' Choice Awards. And while we wouldn't want to take anything away from Oldman -- this would be his first Oscar win -- maybe losing the Best Actor race will inspire Daniel Day-Lewis to rethink the whole retirement thing. Just saying.
Watch out for: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Although it's very unlikely, if enough of the new members of the Academy fell in love with Chalamet's performance in Call My by Your Name, he could potentially jump ahead of Oldman to take home the award for Best Actor. But again, this is very unlikely as he is also very young, which does not work in his favor the way it would if he were a woman.

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour​

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Jack English/Focus Features

Best Actress
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

Who will win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
There are very few people in this world who could win an Academy Award without campaigning, but Frances McDormand is definitely one of those people. Having already taken home the Golden Globe, SAG (which has aligned with the Oscar winner 17 times in 23 years), BAFTA, and Critics' Choice Award, McDormand is poised to take home the Oscar as well. If she does, it will make her the 14th person to win the award for Best Actress at least twice.
Watch out for: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
This is Ronan's third Academy Award nomination, and at 23, she is in the prime age range for women. If this were any other year, she'd likely be the frontrunner. A win for her performance in Lady Bird would also continue the young starlet trend of the last two years, which saw fellow twentysomethings Brie Larson (Room) and Emma Stone (La La Land) take home the Best Actress award.

Where to Stream the Oscar-Nominated Films

Best Supporting Actor
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

Who will win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Like the rest of the acting nominees, Rockwell swept the Golden Globes, SAGs, BAFTAs, and Critics' Choice Awards, which puts him in prime position to also take home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Three Billboards. But if you need more stats to support the argument for Rockwell, the SAGs have lined up with the best supporting actor winner 14 times in 23 years. If Rockwell wins, it will the sixth time someone beat a co-star in the category.
Watch out for: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Dafoe was the frontrunner leading into awards season, but The Florida Project underperformed and that has hurt his chances. But you could maybe make an argument that Rockwell's co-star Woody Harrelson might potentially split the Three Billboards votes, allowing Dafoe to take home the award. However, that's also very unlikely since Rockwell has swept the supporting actor race thus far.

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Allison Janney, I, Tonya


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

Who will win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
This is getting a bit repetitive at this point, since Janney has also taken home each of the four precursors, earning Best Supporting Actress statuettes at the Golden Globes, SAGs, BAFTAs and Critics' Choice Awards. The only thing working against her is the fact I, Tonya ultimately underperformed and failed to receive a Best Picture nomination.
Watch out for: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
I, Tonya's lack of a Best Picture nomination actually works in Metcalf's favor, because it could give her an advantage over Janney. But honestly, that's probably not enough to propel Metcalf to the top. Sadly, this was just bad timing; any other year Metcalf would likely be the frontrunner.

Jimmy Kimmel will host the 90th Academy Awards live on Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.