Saturday, February 23, 2013

Predicting the Spirit Awards

Even though this weekend is seemingly all about the Oscars, there is one more award's show before tomorrow night that can often affect the Oscar outcome, and that is the Film Independent Spirit Awards -- the only award's show that exclusively honors Independent films.  The Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) members.  The membership can be anyone who is willing to join these two non-profit organizations that support Independent film, however, majority of the members are Independent filmmakers themselves from all over the world.  Of course, how does this affect the Oscars?

Well, two of this year's Best Picture nominees -- Beasts of the Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook -- are up for the top Spirit Award honor of Best Feature, and very often this can give an indication of how the industry as a whole views a particular Independent film and its importance.  Always occurring the night before the Oscars, the Spirit Awards have at times foreshadowed a momentum swing for a particular film or performance that went on to Oscar glory.  Even though I don't think this will usurp Argo's Best Picture chances, it could add some last minute fuel to the fire for Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress or David O. Russell for Best Adapted Screenplay.  We'll see.

Below you'll find my predictions for the Film Independent Spirit Awards, which air tonight at 10/9 central on IFC, hosted by SNL's Andy Samberg.  This is my first year predicting these awards, so go easy on me, because it's very likely that I'll make a good many mistakes, even still, I think I have a good idea of what will win the major categories.  It will be interesting to see if Quvenzhane Wallis will beat out Jennifer Lawrence here for Best Actress, seeing how Beasts of the Southern Wild has so much industry love?  For a full list of nominations, just click on this link, and as always, check back later tonight to see my final reactions and how the events might affect tomorrow night's Oscar ceremony.  Now for my predictions:

Best Feature - Silver Linings Playbook
Best Director - David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Best First Feature - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature made for under $500,000) - Starlet
Best Screenplay - David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Best First Screenplay - Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, Celeste and Jesse Forever
Best Female Lead - Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Male Lead - John Hawkes, The Sessions
Best Supporting Female - Ann Dowd, Compliance
Best Supporting Male - Michael Pena, End of Watch
Best Cinematography - Ben Richardson, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Documentary - How to Survive a Plague
Best International Film - Amour 

UPDATE:  For a first time predicting these, I didn't do that bad.  I got 8/13 correct.  What does any of this mean for the Oscars?  Well, it pretty much reaffirms that Amour is guaranteed Best Foreign Language Film, as well, if the Indie film crowd didn't speak up for Beasts of the Southern Wild, it's Oscar chances merely fall into the category of also ran.  Then there was the Silver Linings Playbook sweep, which is oddly similar to last year's Spirit Awards sweep for The Artist, where that film went on to sweep the Oscars the following night.  Could the same thing happen this year?  Unlikely, though the Best Director and Best Screenplay wins for David O. Russell might be some foreshadowing as to some Oscar wins in those same categories for him, as well, Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Female Lead only made her Oscar chances even greater.  So there you have it.  All in all, it was a fun show, the presenters seemed like they were loose and having fun, and Andy Samberg was surprisingly hilarious.  With that said, onto the Oscars!

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