Oscars 2018: Who Should Win vs. Who Will Win

Gary Oldman stars as British statesman Winston Churchill in the World War II drama 'Darkest Hour.' (Photo: Jack English/Focus Features)
Gary Oldman stars as British statesman Winston Churchill in the World War II drama ‘Darkest Hour.’ (Photo: Jack English/Focus Features)

It’s been a fascinating awards season politically charged by the Time’s Up and Me Too movements, with a best-picture race full of worthy contenders and no clear front-runner to be had.

But now, it’s showtime at the 90th Academy Awards (ABC, Sunday, 8 ET/5 ET). Who’s going to take home gold trophies? Here are our predictions:

BEST PICTURE

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

Will win:Three Billboards

Should win:Get Out

In this wild race, Three Billboards has the edge simply because of its track record: The polarizing dark comedy has momentum after taking top prizes at the Golden Globes, Screen Actor Guild Awards and the recent British Academy Film Awards. (Plus, actors make up the largest Academy voting bloc, making that SAG victory key.) However, Jordan Peele’s wickedly clever and expertly crafted social thriller Get Out, which touches on themes like systemic racism and the faux “wokeness” of white liberals, has become a relevant and important film that deserves Oscars’ highest honor.

DIRECTOR

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

Will win/should win: Del Toro

Peele and Gerwig are rookies in this category who definitely will be back, as will veteran filmmakers Nolan and Anderson. This is del Toro’s time to shine, both for his position as the most influential director of the sci-fi and fantasy genres right now and for making us believe in the power of love with a romance between a woman and a fish-man.

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.

Will win: Oldman

Should win: Kaluuya

Oldman, extraordinarily transformed into Winston Churchill, has picked up every major honor of awards season, and this Oscar, which would be his first in a storied career, is his to lose. But for a more emotional and nuanced performance, there’s Kaluuya as Get Out‘s hero, a young black photographer lured to his white girlfriend’s family home for nefarious reasons. His tearful, haunting dip into “the Sunken Place” is Hollywood’s most enduring movie image of last year and worth a golden guy.

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SOURCE: Brian Truitt
USA TODAY