The Indie Spirit Awards — as decided upon by the the members of Film Independent — take place on Saturday afternoon, just one day before the Oscars. The awards are handed out in a ceremony on the beach in Santa Monica hosted by Kate McKinnon and Kumial Nanjiani. For the second time in its 31-year history, the kudocast will air live on IFC beginning at 2:00 pm PT/5:00 pm ET. We will be updating the list of honorees throughout the two-hour ceremony and offering detailed analsysis of what these awards means to tomorrow’s Oscars.
Last year, “Birdman” prevailed in three of its six races: Best Picture, Best Actor (Michael Keaton) and Best Cinematography. It repeated for film and lensing at the Oscars. Its main Oscar rival, “Boyhood,” won only Best Director (Richard Linklater) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette). While Arquette repeated at the Oscars, Linklater lost to “Birdman” helmer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Best Actress at both awards went to Julianne Moore (“Still Alice“) while J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash“) picked up both Supporting Actor prizes.
In 2013, “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture here first as did all four Oscar acting champs — leads Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“) and Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“) and supporting players Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Lupita Nyongo (“12 Years a Slave”).
This year, we are predicting that “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 forecast to win all four of its bids: 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.
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