“Eighth Grade” vs “First Reformed” vs “If Beale Street Could Talk”: Final Independent Spirit Award Predictions


On Saturday, following tradition, the final show before the Oscars will go down, which of course will be the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Long known as the hipper compliment to the Academy Awards, this is the last stop before the season officially ends on Sunday night. Despite the presence of many Oscar nominees in the lineup, this can have no impact on the race, obviously. Voting wrapped up a few days ago on Tuesday, so ballots are in. The Spirit Awards simply represent a fun way to wind down the season. They’re often my favorite non Academy event of each year, so they’re well worth keeping an eye on just on their own merit.

As always, below you will see what I think the Spirit Awards will look like this weekend, but first a bit of commentary. This appears to be a wide open race, in a ton of categories too. Nothing really seems like a done deal. The acting categories are closest to that, with Ethan Hawke for First Reformed, Glenn Close for The Wife, Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk seeming like the odds on favorites. Then agin, it’s the Spirit Awards, and anything is possible. I have a hunch that Eighth Grade will do well, in a sort of rebuke to Oscar, but these are total shot in the dark picks…

Here now are my final predictions for the Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature

1. Eighth Grade
2. If Beale Street Could Talk
3. First Reformed
4. Leave No Trace
5. You Were Never Really Here

Best Director

1. Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
2. Debra Granik – Leave No Trace
3. Paul Schrader – First Reformed
4. Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here
5. Tamara Jenkins – Private Life

Best First Feature

1. We The Animals
2. Hereditary
3. Sorry To Bother You
4. Wildlife
5. The Tale

Best Male Lead

1. Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
2. Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
3. John Cho – Searching
4. Daveed Diggs – Blindspotting
5. Christian Malheiros – Socrates

Best Female Lead

1. Glenn Close – The Wife
2. Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade
3. Toni Collette – Hereditary
4. Regina Hall – Support The Girls
5. Carey Mulligan – Wildlife
6. Helena Howard – Madeline’s Madeline

Best Supporting Male

1. Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
2. Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
3. Josh Hamilton – Eighth Grade
4. Raúl Castillo – We The Animals
5. John David Washington – Monsters and Men

Best Supporting Female

1. Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
2. Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie – Leave No Trace
3. Kayli Carter – Private Life
4. J. Smith-Cameron – Nancy
5. Tyne Daly – A Bread Factory

Best Screenplay

1. First Reformed
2. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
3. Sorry To Bother You
4. Private Life
5. Colette

Best First Screenplay

1. Eighth Grade
2. The Tale
3. Blame
4. Thoroughbreds
5. Nancy

Best International Film

1. Roma
2. The Favourite
3. Shoplifters
4. Burning
5. Happy As Lazzaro

Best Documentary Feature

1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
2. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
3. Shirkers
4. Minding The Gap
5. Of Fathers and Sons
6. On Her Shoulders

Best Cinematography

1. Suspiria
2. We The Animals
3. Wildlife
4. Mandy
5. Madeline’s Madeline

Best Editing

1. You Were Never Really Here
2. We The Animals
3. The Tale
4. American Animals
5. Mid90s

John Cassvetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)

1. Socrates
2. A Bread Factor
3. Never Goin’ Back
4. Thunder Road
5. En el Séptimo Día

Bonnie Award (Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the inaugural Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines)

1. Debra Granik
2. Tamara Jenkins
3. Karyn Kusama

Jeep Truer Than Fiction Award (The 23rd annual Truer Than Fiction Award, funded by the Jeep brand, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by the Jeep brand)

1. RaMell Ross (Director of Hale County This Morning, This Evening)
2. Bing Liu (Director of Minding The Gap)
3. Alexandria Bombach (Director of On Her Shoulders)

Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award (The 24th annual Someone to Watch Award, funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851)

1. Jeremiah Zagar (Director of We The Animals)
2. Alex Moratto (Director of Socrates)
3. Ioana Uricaru (Director of Lemonade)

Piaget Producers Award (The 21st annual Producers Award, funded by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget)

1. Shrihari Sathe
2. Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams
3. Gabrielle Nadig

Robert Altman Award (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Suspiria
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino
Ensemble Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler


Stay tuned to see who and what take home prizes on Saturday!

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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