Ahead of Sunday's 90th Academy Awards, Associated Press film writers Lindsey Bahr and Jake Coyle share their predictions for a ceremony that — at least at the end — should be a nail biter.


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"

Will win: Jordan Peele's cultural sensation "Get Out" wins because it has two crucial things going for it: the all-important SAG ensemble nomination and a good shot at a recently highly predictive screenplay award. And it did more to re-energize genre filmmaking than anything in a decade. — J.C. 

Should Win: "Lady Bird" is the movie I want to watch over and over again. It is such an effortlessly perfect slice-of-life film that will be around far after awards season noise comes to an end. — L.B. 


The nominees: 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: Gary Oldman has won most of the major awards so far. There's no reason he wouldn't continue the streak at the Oscars, much to the chagrin of internet darling, Timothée Chalamet, who will definitely get another shot at this award down the line. — L.B. 

Should win: I wouldn't begrudge Oldman his moment in the sun. But I'll say Day-Lewis is simply the best there is. Maybe a surprise Oscar would coax him into rethinking retirement. — J.C.


The nominees: 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")

Will win: This is Frances McDormand's year, plain and simple. — L.B.

Should win: The most deserving is Ronan, who's perpetually playing a jumble of emotions, most of them contradictory, at once. — J.C.


The nominees: 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")

Will win: Rockwell is the favorite but I smell an upset. There's not much evidence for it. I just think good sense will prevail and Dafoe will win his first Oscar. — J.C.

Should win: Willem Dafoe gives "The Florida Project" its beating heart. He makes every moment he's in memorable, whether he's escorting a suspicious character off the property of a low-rent motel on the outskirts of Orlando, or just trying to count the rent money. — L.B.


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

Will win: Allison Janney is very excellent as the caustic, complicated mother in "I, Tonya," and everyone has noticed. — L.B.

Should win: I'd cast my nonexistent vote for Metcalf, in her first film in almost a decade. Her character in "Lady Bird" is one of the finest working mothers I've ever seen in movies. — J.C.


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")

Will win: Affable, undeniably talented, quick to drop an expletive and "in love with love and movies," del Toro is the likely pick for this year's best director. Also, "The Shape of Water" could only have been made by him. — L.B.

Should win: I have no idea. The filmmakers in this group are impossible to compare against each other; all of the movies are so singular to the director. Anderson's impeccable comedy? Gerwig's richness of lived-in detail? I don't like choosing, but Nolan's feat in "Dunkirk" is a majestic creation of sight and sound. — J.C.

See more Oscars coverage in Sunday's Eat Play Live section of The Advocate. 

— J.C.

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.