Predicting the 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards

For those who find the Academy Awards to be a bit high-brow, you’re in luck with the 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards, an awards ceremony widely consider to be the rebellious younger brother of the Oscars, dedicated to celebrating independent film.   Traditionally held on the eve of the Academy Awards, this year’s ceremony is even more appealing than usual because the five best actress nominees at the Spirit Awards just so happen to be the same nominees at this year’s Oscars.

Though Winter’s Bone claimed most of the Gotham Awards last fall- the east coast equivalent of the Spirits– don’t expect the same outcome; Black Swan should own the night with major wins for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Actress.

The Spirits Awards is a great party, one that shouldn’t be missed, and here’s how I think the evening will fare:

Best Feature
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Kids Are All Right
Winter’s Bone

The Real REAL: With five amazing films to choose from, Black Swan is the one that still has people talking at the water cooler. This should be an easy and deserved win for the film.


Best Director
Darren Aronofsky
Danny Boyle
Lisa Cholodenko
Debra Granik
John Cameron Mitchell

The Real REAL: Though Aronofsky won at the Spirits in 1999 for Best First Screenplay (Pi) and again in 2009 for Best Feature (The Wrestler) , he’s never claimed any hardware for Best Director. Tomorrow night should be his moment, finally.

Best First Feature
Everything Strange and New
The Last Exorcism
Night Catches Us
Tiny Furniture

The Real REAL: Though I would love to see Tanya Hamilton’s Night Catches Us take this award home, something is telling me that Tiny Furniture will walk away with the honor.

John Cassevetes Awards
Daddy Longlegs
The Exploding Girl
Lovers of Hate

The Real REAL: You call it! If I had to guess, I’d say Obselidia.

Best Screenplay
The Kids Are All Right
Winter’s Bone
Please Give
Rabbit Hole
Life During Wartime

The Real REAL: Please Give has received so much love in the screenplay department this past year, so expect for it all to come full circle at the Spirits.

Best First Screenplay
Tiny Furniture
Lovely, Still
Jack Goes Boating

The Real REAL: Honestly, I’d have to go with Tiny Furniture.

Best Female Lead
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Greta Gerwig, Greenberg
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

The Real REAL: Portman. Why stop now?

Best Male Lead
Ronald Bronstein, Daddy Longlegs
Aaron Eckhart, Rabbit Hole
James Franco, 127 Hours
John C. Reilly, Cyrus
Ben Stiller, Greenberg

The Real REAL: This should be a fairly easy grab for James Franco, with Ben Stiller and Aaron Eckhart trailing closely behind.

Best Supporting Female
Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism
Dale Dickey, Winter’s Bone
Allison Janney, Life During Wartime
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jack Goes Boating
Naomi Watts, Mother and Child

The Real REAL: Both Dale Dickey and Naomi Watts could easily take this but I’m looking for Winter’s Bone to sweep the supporting category, so Dale is my definitive choice.

Best Supporting Male
Bill Murray, Get Low
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Samuel L. Jackson, Mother and Child
John Ortiz, Jack Goes Boating
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

The Real REAL: This awards season would not be complete without John Hawkes getting some much deserved recognition. He’ll no doubt get it here at the Spirits.

Best Foreign Film
The King’s Speech
Mademoiselle Chambon
Of Gods and Men
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

The Real REAL: Of Gods and Men or Uncle Boonme would be the logical predictions, but who knows with The King’s Speech thrown into the mix.

Best Documentary
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Thunder Soul

The Real REAL: Exit Through The Gift Shop, just for the possibility of a Banksy appearance.

Black Swan
Never Let Me Go
Tiny Furniture
Winter’s Bone

The Real REAL: Gonna take a shot in the dark and say Black Swan.

Robert Altman Award
Please Give

The Spirit Awards airs LIVE tonight on the IFC channel at 10pm/EST.  Joel McHale from E’s The Soup and NBC’s Community will serve as host.   Make sure to follow  @th3realreel for live tweeting and commentary!


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