The last two Independent Spirit Award winners for Best Supporting Actress went on to win the Oscar (Lupita Nyongo for “12 Years a Slave” in 2013, Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood,” 2014). This year there is one Oscar nominee in the running, Jennifer Jason Leigh, but in an unusual twist she’s nominated for two different films.
At the Oscars Leigh contends as a prisoner bound for execution in “The Hateful Eight.” But at the Spirit Awards she’s nominated for her voice-acting role in “Anomalisa” as Lisa, whose voice sounds unique to a man who can’t seem to tell anyone else’s apart. Leigh is the frontrunner to win according to the combined predictions of Expert film journalists we’ve polled, Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby, the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Spirit winners and over 1,000 total Users who make up our largest and often savviest bloc of predictors.
Out of 13 experts making Spirit predictions, nine of them favor Leigh, giving her 8/15 odds: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).
But Leigh is far from a lock. She faces close competition from Mya Taylor (“Tangerine“), who is predicted by the other four experts, giving her 23/10 odds: Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone).
Our editors are even more split. Three of us are backing Leigh: Chris Beachum, O’Neil and myself. Meanwhile, Marcus Dixon and Sheehan are betting on Taylor, and Rob Licuria is going out on a limb in favor of Cynthia Nixon (“James White“).
Our Top 24 Users are similarly divided between those three nominees. Thirteen of them predict Leigh, while nine say it will be Taylor and two are betting on Nixon.
Who do you think will win?
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