The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is celebrating a big milestone this year — it’s the 90th Oscars! Late night host Jimmy Kimmel is returning as host after presiding over one of the biggest mistakes to ever happen on live TV, when the wrong film was announced as the winner of Best Picture.

While everyone will be waiting to find out if another disaster awaits the ceremony, I’m waiting to find out if my predictions are correct or if they’re wildly off base. Leading the pack of nominations is The Shape of Water, with 13 nominations. Is that a sign of things to come or will a dark horse surprise us all?

2018 Oscar Nominations: The Shape of Water Leads with 13>>>

Here are my predictions for the 2018 Academy Awards:

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

Prediction: The Shape of Water. The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri are the frontrunners coming into Sunday night. Three Billboards won top prizes at the SAG Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice. Shape of Water received attention at the Critics’ Choice Awards, while also taking home awards for other categories at the BAFTAs, Directors Guild Awards and Producers Guide Awards, which could be a good indication of its standing for the Oscars. While the Academy seems more willing in recent years to award two different movies for Best Picture and Best Director instead of tying them together for one film, it’s rare for a movie that wasn’t even nominated for Director to then go on and win Best Picture, so that’s why I’m siding with Shape of Water.

Timothee 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.

Prediction: Gary Oldman. There’s a lot of categories this year in which it seems obvious who’s going to win. That appears to be the case for Best Actor. Gary Oldman is unrecognizable as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. After winning a SAG, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe, he most certainly deserves an Oscar to top it all off. (If by some chance he loses, it’ll likely be to Timothee Chalamet.

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

Prediction: Frances McDormand. Who doesn’t want to see Frances McDormand deliver another odd and loopy acceptance speech? I would like to see Saoirse Ronan take home the prize here (and she still could), but it’s obvious that Frances is far and away the frontrunner, after winning every award under the sun already, like Gary Oldman.

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

Prediction: Sam Rockwell. What’s interesting about this category is that there doesn’t seem to be anybody who could provide an upset to Sam Rockwell winning. Props to Christopher Plummer for stepping into his All the Money in the World role after Kevin Spacey was fired following sexual misconduct allegations, and to everyone involved on the film itself for reshooting his scenes a mere month before its release date. But this is Sam Rockwell’s year.

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

Prediction: Allison Janney. It’s Allison Janney all the way! Of course, Laurie Metcalf is also deserving for Lady Bird. But c’mon, it’s Allison Janney! And she transformed into Tonya Harding’s mother in an eerie way, if that’s even the right word to use, complete with a bird on her shoulder. We all know her from such hit shows as The West Wing and Mom. It’s great to see her get all this recognition during awards season — and every bit of it is well-deserved.

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

Prediction: Guillermo del Toro. Guillermo is quite the filmmaker, isn’t he? The creativity, the style, the artistry — everything he puts into his movies is exquisite, and you know it’s a Guillermo del Toro film. It’s his to lose.

The Big Sick
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Prediction: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Three Billboards is most likely going to take home some awards at the Oscars, regardless of what happens in the Best Picture category. When it comes to Original Screenplay, it’s between that film and Get Out. Three Billboards has won at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, while Get Out has taken home a Writers Guild Award and Critics’ Choice Award. This might be Get Out‘s best chance at an Oscar. But I’m siding with Three Billboards.

Call Me By Your Name
The Disaster Artist
Molly’s Game

Prediction: Call Me By Your Name. While it’s received critical acclaim, Call Me By Your Name hasn’t received much recognition in terms of Oscar nominations. For the few categories it is up for, expect Best Adapted Screenplay to be where a win comes from.

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Loving Vincent

Prediction: Coco. There’s only one movie that deserves to win here — and it’s Coco. Pixar has another quality film on its hands, and with no other animated film even close to matching Coco, expect the Dia De Los Muertos-themed film to win.

Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

Prediction: Dear Basketball. I would love to see Lou win Best Animated Short; this was the short that played before Cars 3. It has an adorable storyline. But when it comes to my prediction, I’m going to have to go with Dear Basketball, an animated short that’s based on a Kobe Bryant letter. And with iconic Disney animator Glen Keane at the helm, how can you go wrong?

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Last Man in Aleppo
Strong Island

Prediction: Icarus. Either Faces Places or Icarus could win. Icarus is a really timely documentary right now, coming on the heels of Russia being punished at the 2018 Winter Olympics for a doping scandal.

Edith and Eddie
Heaven Is A Traffic Jam on the 405
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

Prediction: Heroin(e). There are multiple films/shorts at this year’s Oscars that feel very relevant. Heroin(e) is about the opioid epidemic in the United States, an issue that was brought up during the 2016 presidential election and is still obviously talked about as something that needs to be addressed head-on.

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DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

Prediction: DeKalb Elementary. By far the most timely project at the Oscars is DeKalb Elementary, a short that’s based on the actual 911 call for a school shooting that took place at the titular school in Atlanta, Georgia. The Parkland school shooting in Florida is still a fresh wound in this country. And no doubt the Academy had that at the front of their minds when voting.

A Fantastic Woman, Chile
The Insult, Lebanon
Loveless, Russia
On Body and Soul, Hungary
The Square, Sweden

Prediction: The Insult. The race for Best Foreign Language film is between A Fantastic Woman (about a transgender woman) and The Insult (about a Lebanese man and a Palestinian refugee who end up in court). I could see either one winning. On the one hand, you’ve got a timely story in Fantastic Woman, which could show that the Academy is in tune with LGBT issues of today. On the other, there’s a more broad story that could appeal to international voters with The Insult.

Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Prediction: The Shape of Water. There’s some fantastic composers in this category, including Hans Zimmer, Alexandre Desplat, John Williams and Carter Burwell. Desplat has already won at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice and BAFTAs for The Shape of Water, and I expect him to do the same at the Oscars.

“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Mystery of Love,” Call Me By Your Name
“Remember Me,” Coco
“Stand Up For Something,” Marshall
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Prediction: “Remember Me.” My personal favorite song on this list is “Mighty River,” performed by the superbly talented Mary J. Blige. (My second favorite is “Stand Up for Something.”) Unfortunately, it didn’t win at the Golden Globes, even though it was a frontrunner. For the Oscars, however, it doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar anymore. This time, the race is between the songs from Coco and The Greatest Showman (the latter of which won at the Globes). I’m going to be kicking myself if “This Is Me” wins again and I didn’t favor it in my predictions, but I am going to predict that Coco will win a second Oscar.

Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

Prediction: Blade Runner 2049. The Ryan Gosling-starring sci-fi flick won’t be winning any of the top prizes, but it’s the technical awards that it has a strong chance of winning, with a Critics’ Choice Award and BAFTA already under its belt.

Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

Prediction: The Shape of Water. Of the technical awards, it seem like Production Design is the one that The Shape of Water could very well take home, following wins at the Critics’ Choice and BAFTAs.

Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria & Abdul

Prediction: Phantom Thread. There are multiple period films in the running for Costume Design, and it’s those kind of films that tend to find success here. That’s where Phantom Thread comes in.

Darkest Hour
Victoria & Abdul

Prediction: Darkest Hour. Echoing what I said earlier, have you seen Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill? That alone is worth a win.

Baby Driver
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Prediction: Dunkirk. This category is between Baby Driver and Dunkirk. Both tied for Best Editing at the Critics’ Choice, and the former also won a BAFTA. I’m predicting an Oscar win here for Dunkirk. Speaking of which…

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Prediction: Dunkirk. Sound Editing favors loud sound effects. I’m going with war film and BAFTA winner Dunkirk, but it could also be Blade Runner.

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Prediction: Dunkirk. Sound mixing usually goes for films with a more immersive sound. I’m sticking with Dunkirk, but don’t count out a lot of the other nominees.

Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Prediction: War for the Planet of the Apes
. Okay, here’s where I’m torn between my head and my heart. My head says to go with BAFTA winner Blade Runner. My heart says I should go with VES winner War for the Planet of the Apes. The logical choice is Blade Runner of the two, especially since the Apes reboot films have been shut out of winning in this category each time they’ve been nominated. This series has been widely praised for its state-of-the-art special effects, and with this being the final film, I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that the Academy will finally show those hardworking filmmakers some love.

What are your predictions? Do you think The Shape of Water is likely to take home Best Picture or will another one come away as the big winner of the night? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The 2018 Academy Awards airs Sunday, March 4 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on ABC. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.