The task of predicting the Oscars is always a difficult one, forcing you to set aside what you want to win and what most deserves to win for choices that fit the typical Academy voting habits. But with a somewhat more diverse voter pool in 2018, things are changing – just look at Moonlight’s refreshing surprise win last year – and this year’s Best Picture race is more unpredictable than any in recent memory. Seriously, all three ScreenCrush editors – people who watch and write about movies all day, every day – admittedly have no clue what’s winning the big prize. Still, we have some ideas to help you win your Oscar pool this year.

ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer, E. Oliver Whitney, and Britt Hayes summoned their Academy Awards tea leaves – no, not that tea – and prayed to their Amazonian fish gods to predict the 2018 Oscar winners. They may be wrong, but they could be right. And if you’re mad about it, go rent some billboards to vent.

Matt SingerE. Oliver WhitneyBritt Hayes
Best Picture Get OutGet OutThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best ActorGary OldmanGary OldmanGary Oldman
Best ActressFrances McDormandFrances McDormandFrances McDormand
Best Supporting ActorSam RockwellSam RockwellSam Rockwell
Best Supporting Actress Allison JanneyLaurie MetcalfLaurie Metcalf
Best DirectorGuillermo del ToroGuillermo del ToroGuillermo del Toro
Best Adapted ScreenplayCall Me By Your NameCall Me By Your NameCall Me By Your Name
Best Original ScreenplayGet OutThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missori Get Out
Best CinematographyDunkirkBlade Runner 2049 Blade Runner 2049
Best Costume DesignPhantom ThreadPhantom Thread Phantom Thread
Best Film EditingDunkirkDunkirk Dunkirk
Best Makeup/ HairDarkest HourDarkest Hour Darkest Hour
Best Original ScorePhantom ThreadPhantom Thread The Shape of Water
Best Original Song“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman“Remember Me,” Coco“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman 
Best Production DesignThe Shape of WaterThe Shape of WaterBlade Runner 2049
Best Sound EditingDunkirkBlade Runner 2049Dunkirk
Best Sound MixingDunkirkDunkirkDunkirk
Best Visual EffectsWar for the Planet of the ApesWar for the Planet of the Apes War for the Planet of the Apes
Best Animated FilmCocoCoco Coco
Best Foreign Language FilmThe SquareA Fantastic Woman A Fantastic Woman
Best Documentary FeatureIcarusLast Man in Aleppo Faces Places
Best Documentary ShortEdith + EddieTraffic StopEdith + Eddie
Best Animated Short Film Dear BasketballGarden Party Dear Basketball
Best Live-Action Short Film DeKalb ElementaryDeKalb Elementary DeKalb Elementary


I feel like I give this warning every year, but here it is one more time: I’m a pretty informed dude about movies, but I’m pretty uninformed when it comes to the Oscars. I’ve never won an Oscar pool in my life, and I’ve lost a few painful bets on the Academy Awards in my day. (My stomach is still sore from the year I had to drink a whole bowl of queso dip as my punishment.) So take my picks lightly. I’m particularly uncertain about Best Picture this year; is it going to be the divisive Three Billboards or the timely Get Out or the classical, fish-dong-heavy The Shape of Water? I have my guess above, but I honestly don’t know. And that’s great! Too many of the recent Oscar telecasts have felt like a fait accompli. This year the four acting prizes seem like foregone conclusions, but there’s some real suspense about the top trophy, and that’s not even considering the possibility of another Moonlight envelope screwup. Looking over my picks; I actually hope I’m wrong. I’ve predicted my favorite movie of 2017, Lady Bird, will win precisely nothing. And that would be a real shame. That’s why I’ll be rooting for failure on Oscar night. Go not me!

E. Oliver:

I’ve changed my Best Picture prediction at least three times in the last week. The acting and directing categories are pretty much locks at this point (with Supporting Actress as a possible surprise for Metcalf), but the top race is the most unpredictable in years, with five out of the nine nominees having a solid shot (sadly, I do not see The Post, Phantom Thread, Dunkirk, or Call Me By Your Name winning).

My earliest prediction was The Shape of Water, a widely beloved romance, but oddly enough, del Toro’s fish-banging fairy tale has become the safe choice this season. After last year’s Moonlight triumph, it’s possible the slowly diversifying Academy will want to make a meaningful statement with Best Picture, so awarding bitingly political and boldly original films like Get Out, Three Billboards, or Lady Bird would do just that. While a big part of me believes Three Billboards could take it, I’m thinking Best Picture’s preferential voting will knock it out out of first place – considering the film’s debated issues around race and its redemption arcs, I imagine fewer voters will confidently rank it in the top spot, thus pushing it down further. Plus, while it’s a movie about rage, in these upsetting and violent political times, I think the Oscars want to shine a light on some hope. So that leads me to Get Out; its social message is loud and clear, and out of all the nominees, it’s the one I think will leave the most people smiling when the envelope is read aloud.


I am not even going to pretend that I have the slightest clue where the Oscars are going this year. With all the new (and more diverse) additions to AMPAS’ voting pool, 2018 has the potential to be a bit more surprising than previous years ... or not. But there are a few things you can always count on at the Oscars: They love male actors who undergo big transformations. In recent years, they like movies that make them feel socially conscious, even superficially. They like movies about movies and the people who make them. They love when likable men play despicable characters. When it comes to music, they share a lot in common with your kooky aunt. That said, it’s pretty clear that the three big contenders this year are Three Billboards, Get Out, and The Shape of Water. A split between the three seems likely, with Three Billboards taking Best Picture (topical, but just challenging and controversial enough), Guillermo del Toro taking Best Director, and Jordan Peele taking Best Original Screenplay. Get Out is too smart and too universally adored for it to not win one of the major three, and the fact that some people feel like del Toro should win an Oscar – just not for this movie – only adds to my belief that he’ll take one home this year.

Daniel Day-Lewis or Timothée Chalamet should win for their leading performances, but they didn’t transform themselves enough; Oscar voters only like big, showy, makeup-heavy transformations – even better when they involve weight fluctuations or fat suits. Frances McDormand righteously owns Best Actress, while Sam Rockwell will take Best Supporting Actor for Three Billboards even though, of the two, it should be Woody Harrelson. Weirdly, the experts think the opposite is true for Allison Janney’s supporting turn in I, Tonya, and while she’s totally great (arguably the best part, even), I’m sticking to my guns with Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird just has to win something. The rest of my picks were made for fairly obvious reasons (give Best Cinematography to Roger Deakins already, damn!), and while I’d love for Sufjan Stevens and Baby Driver to take home some statues, that’s probably not happening. As for the shorts – I didn’t see any of them, so I’m going with whatever the experts say here. Is it still too late to give The LEGO Batman Movie the Oscar for Best Animated Film?

See the full list of nominees here. Stay tuned for our full coverage of the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, kicking off at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Gallery - The Full List of Oscar Best Picture Winners:

Gallery – Great Movies With Zero Oscar Nominations:

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