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Film Independent Spirit Award predictions

On Saturday, the day before the Academy Awards, a very different sort of ceremony is held. Yes, I’m talking about the Film Independent Spirit Awards, which come right before Oscar this weekend. The Spirit Awards often ends up containing my favorite nomination slates, as they reflect a broader sensibility than the Academy. To be fair, it’s also a smaller and more indie sensibility, but that jives with my taste anyway. I think both bodies did excellent work this year, so it’s a pleasure to be covering it all. The Spirit Awards are the focus today though, so lets dive in and try to make some accurate predictions. Here goes nothing…

With this particular precursor, there’s zero Oscar impact, due to when balloting occurs, so it’s purely interesting to see how this group feels about the year in film. It’s going to be a battle down the line between Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight, with potentially American Honey hoping to be a spoiler here or there. Though I could be wrong, my gut tells me that Moonlight is going to be really beloved by Film Independent voters, leading to potentially a near sweep. The Spirit Awards usually are good for a curveball or two, though of late they’ve veered closer and closer to Oscar in terms of what wins. We’ll see if they match the Academy Awards at all once the weekend is through, but for now, they seem poised to pick from two of the Academy’s favorites in 2016. Who knows, maybe American Honey will upset everywhere, but the smart money is on Moonlight, followed by Manchester by the Sea. We shall see what they opt to do in just a few short days, folks.

Enough chit chat. Here now are my final and locked in Spirit Award picks:

Best Feature

1. Moonlight
2. Manchester by the Sea
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. The Witch
2. Swiss Army Man
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. Isabelle Huppert – Elle
2. Sasha Lane – American Honey
3. Natalie Portman – Jackie
4. Ruth Negga – Loving
5. Annette Bening – 20th Century Women

Best Supporting Male

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

Best Supporting Female

1. Lily Gladstone – Certain Women
2. Molly Shannon – Other People
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. Other People
2. The Witch
3. Christine
4. Barry
5. Jean of the Joneses

Best International Film

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

Best Documentary Feature

1. O.J.: Made in America
2. 13th
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. Moonlight
2. Hell or High Water
3. Jackie
4. Manchester by the Sea
5. Swiss Army Man

John Cassavetes Award

1. Free in Deed
2. Lovesong
3. Hunter Gatherer
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 to see who and what wins on Saturday during the Film Independent Spirit Awards!

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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