Predicting the Independent Spirit Awards

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While it’s true that we’re just about 72 hours out from the Oscars, we’ve also got the Film Independent Spirit Awards coming in just about 48 hours or so. Personally, I find the Spirit Awards to sometimes be preferable to the Academy Awards, since they offer up a chance for more eclectic choices. Where else can I get to see my favorite male (Jason Segel for The End of the Tour) and female (Jennifer Jason Leigh for Anomalisa) performances of 2015 nominated? The same goes for David Robert Mitchell and It Follows in Best Director. It’s things like that which set this apart. It’s not a precursor with any impact on Oscar season, since voting has already ended, but it’s still an enjoyable ceremony to witness. Today, we discuss the nominees a bit, with predictions for it found below as well.

Carol in coffe shop
It appears like Carol and Spotlight will be duking it out for most of the top honors here, with Beasts of No Nation as a potential spoiler. There’s also the potential for Tangerine to shock in a place or two, but it might be too small, even for the Spirit Awards. I feel confident that Brie Larson will win Best Actress here for Room and Idris Elba will put a win on the board for Beasts of No Nation in Best Supporting Actor, but many of the other categories could go multiple ways. I suspect that Todd Haynes for Carol is in the lead for Best Director, while Spotlight might have Best Screenplay in the bag. Usually, the Spirits have the Oscar frontrunner here to throw awards at, but since that’s no longer Spotlight, there’s not a whole lot of Academy crossover here. That could make this very interesting…

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Here now are my predictions for this weekend’s Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature

1. Carol
2. Spotlight
3. Beasts of No Nation
4. Tangerine
5. Anomalisa

Best Director

1. Todd Haynes – Carol
2. Cary Joji Fukunaga – Beasts of No Nation
3. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
4. David Robert Mitchell – It Follows
5. Sean Baker – Tangerine
6. Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson – Anomalisa

Best Screenplay

1. Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer – Spotlight
2. Phyllis Nagy – Carol
3. Charlie Kaufman – Anomalisa
4. Donald Margulies – The End of the Tour
5. S. Craig Zahler – Bone Tomahawk

Best First Feature

1. The Diary of a Teenage Girl
2. James White
3. Mediterranea
4. Songs My Brothers Taught Me
5. Manos Sucias

Best First Screenplay

1. Emma Donoghue – Room
2. Marielle Heller – The Diary of a Teenage Girl
3. Jonas Carpignano – Mediterranea
4. Jesse Andrews – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
5. John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, and Myna Joseph – The Mend

Best Male Lead

1. Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation
2. Jason Segel – The End of the Tour
3. Ben Mendelsohn – Mississippi Grind
4. Christopher Abbott – James White
5. Koudous Seihon – Mediterranea

Best Female Lead

1. Brie Larson – Room
2. Rooney Mara – Carol
3. Cate Blanchett – Carol
4. Bel Powley – The Diary of A Teenage Girl
5. Kitana Kiki Rodriguez – Tangerine

Best Supporting Male

1. Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
2. Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
3. Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
4. Richard Jenkins – Bone Tomahawk
5. Kevin Corrigan – Results

Best Supporting Female

1. Jennifer Jason Leigh – Anomalisa
2. Cynthia Nixon – James White
3. Mya Taylor – Tangerine
4. Marin Ireland – Glass Chin
5. Robin Bartlett – H.

Best Documentary

1. The Look of Silence
2. Best of Enemies
3. Meru
4. The Russian Woodpecker
5. Heart of a Dog
6. (T)error

Best International Film

1. Son of Saul
2. Mustang
3. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
4. Embrace of the Serpent
5. Girlhood

Best Cinematography

1. Carol
2. Beasts of No Nation
3. It Follows
4. Meadowland
5. Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best Editing

1. Spotlight
2. Room
3. It Follows
4. Heaven Knows What
5. Manos Sucias

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)

1. Heaven Knows What
2. Krishna
3. Christmas, Again
4. Out of My Hand
5. Advantageous

spotlight michael keaton mark ruffalo
Stay tuned to see who and what wins this weekend!

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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