“Spotlight” will be the big winner at the Independent Spirit Awards 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 more than 1,000 total Users who make up our largest and often savviest bloc of predictors.
“Spotlight” is nominated four times and is forecast to win all of those awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Tom McCarthy), Best Screenplay and Best Editing. The film is also a major contender at the Oscars, but the academy is only expected to give it Best Original Screenplay honors.
Following with two wins apiece will be “Beasts of No Nation” and “Room.” “Beasts” is one of the most honored films at this year’s Spirit Awards with five nominations, including Best Picture. The groundbreaking Netflix drama is expected to take home Best Actor (Abraham Attah) and Best Supporting Actor (Idris Elba).
“Room” actually underperformed at the Spirit Awards compared to its strong showings at other events, but even though it only contends for three awards, we’re betting it’ll ride the wave of awards season support to take Best Actress (Brie Larson) and Best First Screenplay. Larson is expected to follow this victory on Saturday night with an Oscar on Sunday.
Out of the 11 categories we’re predicting, three other films will win one apiece: “Carol,” the most nominated film with six Spirit bids, will take Best Cinematography. The animated film “Anomalisa” will be awarded Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Jason Leigh). And “Diary of a Teenage Girl” will win Best First Feature.
Best Director – Tom McCarthy
Best Actress – Brie Larson
Best First Screenplay
“Diary of a Teenage Girl”
Best First Feature
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Photo credits: “Spotlight” by Open Road Films; “Beasts of No Nation” by Netflix; “Room” by A24