We’re about 24 hours away from the Academy Awards celebrating the films of 2018. I’ve already weighed in with some snap judgements and reviews of the short film nominees, but it’s time for a final gut check.

The betting odds keep changing.

The computer simulations are out. Plus there are The Hollywood Reporter’s “brutally honest” ballots, which are always a window into, well, something:

Rami Malek is going to win — everywhere I’ve gone, Rami Malek was there; he’s a very charming fellow. I’ve now spent more time with him than I have with my dog.

Anonymous Director’s Branch Member

I can’t wait. I’ll be live-tweeting the whole thing over @makingthemovie.

A Plea on Behalf of Ballot Pool Culture

Before I get to my picks: a public service announcement…

I just moved to New England, to a college town with plenty of avid filmgoers. I’ve met several people who have gone out of their way to see the nominees in Documentary and Foreign Film. Yet none of the locals I’ve met have heard of running Oscar ballots. People, this is one of the best things about an Oscar Party!

Whatever party you are going to, print out a few ballots and run a friendly, informal Oscar pool! It takes very little effort and adds a whole game layer to the experience of watching the telecast.

If you’re here, you already know that thinking about what films you think should and/or will win in each category and then watching to see if you are right is great fun! Let’s spread the love this Awards Season!

The Picks

Best Picture – BlacKkKlansman
Director – Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Lead Actor – Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Lead Actress – Glenn Close, The Wife
Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Supporting Actress – Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Original Screenplay – The Favourite
Adapted Screenplay – BlacKkKlansman
Animated Feature – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best Foreign Language Film – Roma
Best Documentary Feature – RBG
Original Score – Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk
Original Song – “Shallow,” A Star is Born
Sound Editing – First Man
Sound Mixing – Bohemian Rhapsody
Production Design – The Favourite
Cinematography – Roma
Makeup and Hair – Vice
Costume Design – The Favourite
Film Editing – Vice
Visual Effects – First Man
Best Documentary Short Subject – “Period. End of Sentence”
Best Live Action Short – “Skin”
Animated Short – “Bao”