A first crack at Spirit Award predictions

Casey Affleck  with kidManchester by the Sea
Last week, you could make easily the case that the precursor season really kicked off, with the week before starting the trend due to the Independent Spirit Award nominations. Now, of course this nomination slate doesn’t overtly impact the Oscars, especially since the winners are announced the night before the Academy Awards, when ballots are already way past due. Still, their nominees help with shaping narrative and showing which indie contenders are true contenders and not just pretenders. In that realm, they definitely have value, and as such, can’t be ignored. To that end, I’ve got some predictions to share with you all, as I attempt, potentially in vein, to guess what Film Independent will see fit to honor when the show goes down on Oscar eve. Hopefully you enjoy and are as anxious for some ceremonies as I am.

What you’ll see below is a guess on my part, but it seems pretty clear that things will come down to either Manchester by the Sea or Moonlight in most of the categories. Now, Barry Jenkins and Moonlight did slightly better overall with nominations than Kenneth Lonergan and Manchester by the Sea, so that might give it an edge. That being said, right now I have them essentially splitting things, with Andrea Arnold’s American Honey sitting as a potential spoiler. The same sort of goes for Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, but that seems fit to get an award for Natalie Portman and her Lead performance while potentially striking out elsewhere. A few other players with multiple nominations that could end up winners include Hell or High Water, Other People, Swiss Army Man, and The Witch. It’s all up in the air at the moment though. We shall see what happens…

Alright. Here now is my initial attempt at some Independent Spirit Award predictions:

Best Feature

1. Manchester by the Sea
2. Moonlight
3. American Honey
4. Jackie
5. Chronic

Best Director

1. Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
2. Andrea Arnold – American Honey
3. Pablo Larrain – Jackie
4. Jeff Nichols – Loving
5. Kelly Reichart – Certain Women

Best First Feature

1. Swiss Army Man
2. The Witch
3. Other People
4. The Fits
5. The Childhood of a Leader

Best Male Lead

1. Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
2. Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
3. Tim Roth – Chronic
4. Jesse Plemons – Other People
5. David Harewood for Free in Deed

Best Female Lead

1. Natalie Portman – Jackie
2. Isabelle Huppert – Elle
3. Sasha Lane – American Honey
4. Annette Bening – 20th Century Women
5. Ruth Negga – Loving

Best Supporting Male

1. Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
2. Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
3. Shia LaBeouf – American Honey
4. Craig Robinson – Morris from America
5. Ralph Fiennes – A Bigger Splash

Best Supporting Female

1. Molly Shannon – Other People
2. Lily Gladstone – Certain Women
3. Riley Keough – American Honey
4. Edwina Findley – Free in Deed
5. Paulina Garcia – Little Men

Best Screenplay

1. Manchester by the Sea
2. Moonlight
3. Hell or High Water
4. 20th Century Women
5. Little Men

Best First Screenplay

1. The Witch
2. Other People
3. Christine
4. Barry
5. Jean of the Joneses

Best International Film

1. Toni Erdmann
2. Aquarius
3. My Golden Days
4. Under the Shadow
5. Chevalier

Best Documentary Feature

1. 13th
2. O.J.: Made in America
3. Cameraperson
4. I Am Not Your Negro
5. Under the Sun
6. Sonita

Best Cinematography

1. Moonlight
2. American Honey
3. Eyes of My Mother
4. Feee in Deed
5. Childhood

Best Editing

1. Hell or High Water
2. Moonlight
3. Jackie
4. Manchester by the Sea
5. Swiss Army Man

John Cassavetes Award

1. Free in Deed
2. Hunter Gatherer
3. Lovesong
4. Spa Night
5. Nakom

20th Annual Piaget Producers Award

1. Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich
2. Jordana Mollick
3. Lisa Kjerulff

23rd Annual Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award

1. Anna Rose Holmer for The Fits
2. Ingrid Jungermann for Women Who Kill
3. Andrew Ahn for Spa Night
4. Claire Carré for Embers

22nd True Than Fiction Award

1. Nanfu Wang for Hooligan Sparrow
2. Kristi Jacobson for Solitary
3. Sara Jordenö for Kiki

Stay tuned for another crack at these predictions next month!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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