Predictions for the 2015 Spirit Awards

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One of the most interesting precursors to me is always the Independent Spirit Awards. They don’t always cite the same things that the Academy does, so it’s a chance to see smaller and more eclectic fare given a moment in the sun. Even though the Spirit Award have matched up with Oscar more often in the recent past than was usual, it’s still a place where you can see honors for films that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance. Personally, that’s one of the my favorite things about certain precursors, the fact that they bestow citations on worthy cinema that could have been ignored entirely.

Before I give you my shot in the dark predictions for this year’s Spirit Awards (which will announce their nominees in under two weeks…specifically on November 25th), I just wanted to further my point about the choices made by this group. Last year for example, while they awarded the likes of 12 Years a Slave, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, and Nebraska, they also had room to give prizes to Blue is the Warmest Color and Short Term 12 as well. Sure, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, and Lupita Nyong’o won their acting prizes just like with the Academy, but the nominees included the likes of Julie Delpy, Melonie Diaz, Will Forte, Oscar Isaac, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, and Shailene Woodley. The winners may tend to match up with what Oscar voters cite, but many of the nominees are far more eclectic, which is always a good thing in my book.

Anywho, here are the best guesses I have for who and what might be cited at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards, with names and titles done alphabetically for now. When the nominations are officially announced and the actual awards show comes in February, I’ll get into potential winners. For now though, behold:

Best Feature

A Most Violent Year

Best Director

J.C. Chandor – A Most Violent Year
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin
Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Best Male Lead

Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Oscar Isaac – A Most Violent Year
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Miles Teller – Whiplash

Best Female Lead

Jessica Chastain – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Scarlett Johansson – Under the Skin
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins

Best Supporting Male

Albert Brooks – A Most Violent Year
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Female

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Joey King – Wish I Was Here
Rene Russo – Nightcrawler
Emma Stone – Birdman

Best Screenplay

The Grand Budapest Hotel
A Most Violent Year

Best First Feature

Camp X-Ray
Dear White People
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Obvious Child

Best First Screenplay

Camp X-Ray
Dear White People
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Obvious Child

Best Cinematography

The Better Angels
The Grand Budapest Hotel
A Most Violent Year
Under the Skin

Best Film Editing

A Most Violent Year

Best Documentary

Ivory Tower
Life Itself
Mala Mala
Red Army

Best International Film

The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Wild Tales
Winter Sleep

Robert Altman Award

Love is Strange

Stay tuned to see how these nominations turn out!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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