Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spirit Nominations are in!!!

So, the Independent Spirit Awards have announced their nominees!  This is a pretty eclectic set of names and I’ve actually seen a handful of these, so I’m happy about that.  Since I haven’t seen a whole lot, I’ll just stick to a few notes here and there and what I think this means for the actual Oscar race.  For the most part, the Spirits don’t always mean a whole lot, at least not at this stage.  They don’t really mean anything to be honest, since when it comes time to actually award someone they tend to just go with the populace and award whatever is getting Oscar attention.  So, despite a strong showing for something like ‘Keep the Lights On’, you can rest assured that it isn’t going to pick up ANYTHING when the ceremony is held.  Nope, it’ll all boil down to ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ for the big wins, unless the beloved status of ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ can etch out some decent wins.

So, here are the nominees, with an asterisk next to the one I think will win (a very early guestimate):


Best Feature:

Beasts of the Southern Wild


Keep the Lights On

Moonrise Kingdom

Silver Linings Playbook*


I’ve actually seen three of these (Moonrise, Beasts and Bernie) and of them I think that Bernie is mediocre good time and the other two are near masterpieces, with Moonrise being Anderson’s finest film to date and so I really hope that it wins!


Best Director:

Wes Anderson/Moonrise Kingdom*

Julia Loktev/The Loneliest Planet

David O. Russell/Silver Linings Playbook

Ira Sachs/Keep the Lights On

Behn Zeitlin/Beasts of the Southern Wild


I give Zeitlin the edge, of the two I’ve seen, since the way he manipulated the scenes to say what they needed to say was astonishing.  It was a visual marvel, and his ability to construct and pace out each frame was beautiful to watch.


Best Screenplay:                

Keep the Lights On

Moonrise Kingdom*

Ruby Sparks

Seven Psychopaths

Silver Linings Playbook


Best First Feature:

Fill the Void

Gimme the Loot

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Safety Not Guaranteed*

Sound of My Voice


Best First Screenplay:

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Fill the Void


Robot & Frank

Safety Not Guaranteed*


John Cassavetes Award:

Breakfast with Curtis

Middle of Nowhere*

Mosquita y Mari


The Color Wheel


Best Female Lead:

Linda Cardellini/Return

Emayatzy Cornealdi/Middle of Nowhere

Jennifer Lawrence/Silver Linings Playbook*

Quvenzhane Wallis/Beasts of the Southern Wild

Mary Elizabeth Winstead/Smashed


This should be an easy win for Lawrence, since she’s the only one in the batch guaranteed an Oscar nomination.  Wallis could surprise if Beasts becomes a force here, but I’m thinking that they will actually skew safe here and give Lawrence yet another trophy.  I’m intrigued more and more by Cornealdi (who won the Gotham Award last night).  I must see this movie.


Best Male Lead:

Jack Black/Bernie

Bradley Cooper/Silver Linings Playbook

John Hawkes/The Sessions*

Thure Lindhardt/Keep the Lights On

Matthew McConaughey/Killer Joe

Wendell Pierce/Four


Despite ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ being a serious contender, this just seems like a place where Hawkes will win rather easily.


Best Supporting Female:

Rosemarie DeWitt/Your Sister’s Sister

Ann Dowd/Compliance

Helen Hunt/The Sessions*

Brit Marling/Sound of My Voice

Lorraine Toussaint/Middle of Nowhere


Best Supporting Male:

Matthew McConaughey/Magic Mike*

David Oyelowo/Middle of Nowhere

Michael Pena/End of Watch

Sam Rockwell/Seven Psychopaths

Bruce Willis/Moonrise Kingdom


So, this showing for McConaughey here (double nominations) has me thinking that he is getting in with Oscar this year.  Sure, it is early yet and his star could fade, but he is making a really good early impression, and his year has been huge.  If he picks up some critics’ awards (which I’m thinking he will, especially NBR) then I see him squeezing into the top five.  I really wish I could say the same for Willis (my favorite nomination here) since he deserves the Oscar nom for what he did in Moonrise.  Maybe he could win here, if Moonrise does well and they want to give it another award.


Best Cinematography:

Beasts of the Southern Wild*

End of Watch


Moonrise Kingdom

Valley of Saints


Best Documentary:

The Central Park Five

How to Survive a Plague*

The Invisible War

Marina Abramoviae: The Artist is Present

The Waiting Room


Best International Movie:


Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Rust + Bone


War Witch


I think Amour may sweep everything that isn’t the Oscar (since Harvey bought that for Intouchables) but I’m really stoked to see ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’ here since I absolutely loved that movie!


So that’s it.  What does this mean for Oscar exactly?  I’m not sure.  It could mean that Matthew McConaughey his on his way to his first Oscar nomination.  It could mean that Moonrise Kingdom has a fighting chance for more than a mere Screenplay nomination.  OR, if could simply mean that Harvey wants Silver Linings Playbook to win everything.  That being said, I get a serious case of Descendants from Silver Linings Playbook, which causes me to believe that come Oscar night it is getting ONE thing, and that one thing looks like it is going to be Jennifer Lawrence.

I will say that Dwight Henry missing here, where he should have been a slam dunk, is telling.  I think he's out completely at this point, especially since he can't get a SAG nom and the Globes would never nominate him.  De Niro missing, even when the film was so well accepted here, is also a tad telling.  I mean, he's a big star and if he was such a sure thing (as some are suggesting) then how in the hell did he miss here? 


  1. It's weird because I just watched several of these films in the past couple of weeks. Thrilled that Return, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Sound of My Voice, and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia got in.

    Or, Silver Linings Playbook could be this year's Up in the Air, especially if Chastain wins. Maybe? Also, I'm not calling McConaughey just yet.

    1. I'm not entirely sold on McConaughey, but this was a great boost for him. I'd much prefer Willis get his first, but that is complete wishful thinking at this point.