Which movies are you rooting for this Academy Awards season? Maybe you’re in a pool and want to guess which movies will take home the statue, or maybe you’re just a film lover and want to see your favorites win. Here are my predictions for each of the eight main Oscar categories.

Best adapted screenplay:

“Call Me By Your Name”

“The Disaster Artist”


“Molly’s Game”


Choice: “Call Me By Your Name”

Starting off with probably the least buzzed-about award of the top eight, the bottom three choices, “Logan,” “Molly’s Game” and “Mudbound” can immediately be eliminated. No disrespect to any of those movies — I’m actually pleased to see the adaptation of a comic book story get a nod — but none of the films have a script that can surpass the top two. That leaves a two-way race between “Call Me By Your Name” and “The Disaster Artist” — you’ll see that a two-way races will become a common theme of these predictions. I was leaning toward “The Disaster Artist” because many Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members can connect with the story of someone doing whatever it takes to achieve their Hollywood dream. Also, turning Tommy Wiseau into an inspirational figure has got to be award-worthy. But then I thought back to last year when the socially aware movie “Moonlight” beat the Hollywood romance “La La Land,” and I figured that the Academy is probably even more woke than last year. Not to mention that “Call Me By Your Name” has a scene with a peach that’s even more award-worthy than any Wiseau dialogue.

Best original screenplay

“The Big Sick”

“Get Out”

“Lady Bird”

“The Shape of Water”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Choice: “Get Out”

This was a pretty easy prediction to make, as it would be downright criminal if any movie other than “Get Out” won. “Get Out” is the rare movie that you can watch over and over again and always discover a hidden detail or layer that changes the movie for you. Not to mention how poignant of a discussion it leads on race and how it practically pioneered a new genre of the societal thriller.

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”

Choice: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

When it comes to best supporting actress, it’s really just a battle of the moms between Allison Janney in “I, Tonya” and Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird.” I’d go with Metcalf, because the way she portrayed the complex relationship between her and her daughter created one of the most realistic moms I’ve ever seen — but I suspect that Janney’s biting performance as the abusive mother of Tonya Harding will sway more Academy voters.

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”

Choice: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

This was a tough choice to make, as I can realistically see any of these nominees winning (except Woody Harrelson, but only because Sam Rockwell clearly outshined him in the same movie). As far as the rest of the nominees, Jenkins and Plummer both were fine in their roles, but I think that Plummer is only here as a substitute for Kevin Spacey, and Jenkins’ nomination probably should have gone to Michael Shannon for “The Shape of Water.” That leaves Dafoe and Rockwell, and I lean toward Rockwell for having the dark comedic chops to pull off the role and for having the best character arc in a movie with a lot of character arcs.

Best leading 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”

Choice: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Once again, this is essentially a two-person race between Frances McDormand in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and Saoirse Ronan in “Lady Bird.” There was a big part of me that wanted to go with Ronan, an Irish woman who carries the movie with a relatable and convincing portrayal of a California teenager. I suspect the Academy will go with the more engaging performance McDormand gave as an angry mom ready to lash out. It’s close, but McDormand deserves her second Oscar win for this role.

Best leading 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.”

Choice: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

This is probably the hardest choice to predict because every year there’s at least one category in which you need to consider how the Academy operates rather than the performances themselves. After all, Daniel Day-Lewis is nominated, and he’s basically the darling of the Academy when it comes to best leading actor. Not only that, but this is presumably his last role before retirement, which means this may be the Academy’s last chance to honor him. On the other hand, Day-Lewis gives a fairly forgettable performance in a fairly forgettable movie. That takes me to the other top two candidates: Timothée Chalamet for “Call Me By Your Name” and Gary Oldman for “Darkest Hour.” I would love for Chalamet to win at such a young age, but Oldman’s transformation into Winston Churchill has already secured him a number of awards. Oldman has somehow never won an Oscar, but this is the year he’ll likely do it.

Best director

Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”

Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”

Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

Choice: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

This was the most exciting category for me to pick, because I would be thrilled if any of these directors won. Anderson, del Toro and Nolan are all fantastic directors who are long overdue for their first Oscars, and Gerwig and Peele are young directors who’ve earned their place in the spotlight. Typically, the film with the most nominations will win for directing, and “The Shape of Water” far outpaces the rest of this slate with 13 nominations.

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”


Remember how I said that best actor was the hardest category to pick? Turns out that best picture is much harder, but only because the Academy has an annoying habit of having nearly twice as many best picture nominees as the other categories. To make things simpler, I’ll just eliminate the movies I don’t think have a chance of winning: “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk,” “Lady Bird,” “Phantom Thread” and “The Post.” That still leaves four more choices to pick from. Again, “The Shape of Water” is far ahead in the number of nominations, but the same was true of “La La Land” last year and it didn’t win. But “The Shape of Water” and “La La Land” aren’t the same movie in almost any context, and I believe that the combination of the strong direction, unconventional love story and a strong female lead will clinch the win for “The Shape of Water.”