Oscar predictions: Who'll bag 2018's biggest gong?

Rosie Fletcher
Photo credit: Ralf Hirschberger / DPA / Getty Images

From Digital Spy

The awards season is in full swing – we've had the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs are just on the horizon and soon the daddy of them all, the Oscars, will be upon us.

We've had the nominations, spared a thought for the snubs and now's the time for the nitty-gritty of predicting who's going to pick up a golden baldie on the night. We should point out that these aren't who we'd like to win, but who we think the Academy is most likely to go with.

Scroll down to the bottom for details on the when, where and who of the 2018 Academy Awards.

Photo credit: Rex Shutterstock/Digitalspy/ST / Getty Images

Oscars 2018 predictions: who's going to win?

Best Picture

The nominees:

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

This is the biggy, and it's also the hardest to call. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri took the Golden Globe for Best Drama and is a strong contender with difficult subject matter and bravura performances, but writer/director Martin McDonagh didn't get a nomination at all for Best Director. Argo notably still won despite Affleck not getting nominated, so it's not out of the race but its chances are hurt.

Any other year we might have liked this award to go to Dunkirk, but sadly we think Nolan will be overlooked again with the release date coming in blockbuster season and a bit too early, and with a lack of diversity in the cast.

Ladybird could be an outside choice, a good-hearted, well-loved indie directed by a woman in the year of #MeToo, we wouldn't be surprised if it snuck in to steal the big prize. Get Out would be a very bold choice for the Academy, mainly because it rarely rewards genre films but the strong political side could help.

But ultimately we're going to go with The Shape Of Water. Guillermo del Toro's fishy fairytale is sweet natured, shows love for the golden age of cinema, is visually glorious and shamelessly romantic. Plus he's well liked and has never had much awards attention so we'd quite like him to have it.

Actor in a Leading Role

The nominees:

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out

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

Photo credit: BBC

Lots of strong contenders here – any other year and we could easily see it going to Timothée Chalamet, Denzel Washington or perennial awards botherer Daniel Day-Lewis (Kaluuya is great but once again the fact that Get Out is a genre picture could hurt his chances).

But this year belongs to Gary Oldman, who delivers sterling work in Darkest Hour and has never won before, despite boasting a highly impressive career.

Actress in a Leading Role

The nominees:

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Meryl Streep, The Post

Photo credit: Fox

Another very strong category, but we're backing Frances McDormand for a intense, emotional and complex standout performance in Billboards (and years of great work, which the Academy, being sentimental types, don't overlook even though they're meant to).

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan are both good but they're youngsters at 27 and 23, and Meryl – well she's really won enough Oscars and (shhhh – The Post isn't that great). The only real challenger is Sally Hawkins, who's good, well liked, plays a mute character and has never won an Oscar (she's been nominated though).

Actor in a Supporting Role

The nominees:

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Photo credit: Fox

Plummer's got a shot for the fine work he did replacing Kevin Spacey at the last minute, but it's another strong category. Though having two nominations for Billboards in the category could possibly split the vote, we think the win will go to Sam Rockwell for a performance that requires him to elicit laughter, hate and sympathy from the audience.

Actress in a Supporting Role

The nominees:

Mary J Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Photo credit: EOne

Blige is impressive in Mudbound and has a shot, Spencer is good and well-liked but she's got one already, Metcalf or Manville might sneak it, but our money is on Allison Janney who is absolutely vicious in I, Tonya and has an impressive body of work, with this her first Oscar nom. She also won the Golden Globe.

Directing

The nominees:

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

This one is fairly wide open and we'd love to see any of these directors win it. After a year of #MeToo and all-male noms at the Globes, Gerwig could be rewarded, but the movie doesn't have the technical flourishes of Dunkirk or the visual flair of Phantom Thread.

Jordan Peele would also be a popular choice but the directing award tends to go to something showier than Get Out. If we had to call it though, we'd say The Shape Of Water for looking, sounding and feeling gorgeous.

Adapted Screenplay

The nominees:

Call Me By Your Name

The Disaster Artist

Logan

Molly's Game

Mudbound

Logan and The Disaster Artist are good but they're not classic Oscar material, while Mudbound's Netflix status could hurt it. We reckon it's between Call Me By Your Name and Molly's Game and we're plumping for the latter – it's Aaron Sorkin and it's whip-smart.

Original Screenplay

The nominees:

The Big Sick

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Photo credit: Fox

For us this is between Get Out and Three Billboards. The Big Sick is sweet and funny but we're not expecting a comedy to win. The Shape of Water is lovely, but that's as much about the visuals as the script. Lady Bird feels a bit light to win this, while Billboards and Get Out are ferocious in different ways. Tough call but we think they'll reward Billboards, as the Globes did.

Animated Feature Film

The nominees:

Boss Baby

The Breadwinner

Coco

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent

Photo credit: Disney

Loving Vincent was gorgeous and innovative, The Breadwinner has strong subject matter, but it's going to go to Coco – you have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat a Pixar movie to the gong, especially one about dead people. Sob.

Oscars 2018 host: Who's presenting this year?

Jimmy Kimmel will return in 2018 having pulled off a broadly praised performance in 2017. If there's one thing the Academy likes, it's a safe pair of hands. (Billy Crystal hosted nine times, Bob Hope 15 times). We predict that while Jimmy keeps saying "yes", we won't see the likes of James Franco/Anne Hathaway or Seth McFarlane presenting them again.

Photo credit: ABC

Oscars 2018 date: When are they on?

You can see the 2018 Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4 from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. (It's later than usual so as not to clash with the Winter Olympics.) It kicks off at 5.30pm Pacific Standard Time, which means about 1.30am GMT.

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