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  • 2013 Spirit Awards Predictions

    By | February 23, 2013

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    The 2013 Spirit Awards (February 23 @ 10pm ET) is essentially Film Independent’s antidote to the Oscars for us hopeless cinephiles of the independent film world. There has historically been some crossover between the two awards ceremonies (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook), but Film Independent tends to nominate “edgier” and “darker” films — films that are typically deemed to be too “independent” or “art house” for the multiplexes…and The Academy’s voters.

    To qualify, a film must: be at least 70 minutes long; have screened at least one week in a commercial theater in 2012 or shown at a qualifying film festival (Los Angeles Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York, Sundance, Telluride, or Toronto); and have been made for no more than $20 million (including post-production). International films are only eligible for Best International Film, all other nominations only go to U.S. productions. Documentary films are only eligible for the Best Documentary category (international Documentaries are not eligible).

    Compared to the Golden Globes and Oscars, the Spirit Awards nominations tend to be more in line with my way of thinking about cinema. (Several of the Spirit Awards nominees landed on my Favorite Narrative Films of 2012.) Strangely enough, this makes the Spirit Awards much more difficult for me to predict.

    As I go through each of the categories below, I will give my two cents about each of the categories. Smells Like Screen Spirit’s crack writing staff has reviewed a majority of the films, and you can get to any of our reviews via the hyperlinks.

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    Best Feature
    Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zeitlin)
    Bernie (dir. Richard Linklater)
    Keep the Lights On (dir. Ira Sachs)
    Moonrise Kingdom (dir. Wes Anderson)
    Silver Linings Playbook (dir. David O. Russell)

    Will Win: Silver Linings Playbook (dir. David O. Russell)
    Should Win: Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zeitlin)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Any Day Now (dir. Travis Fine); The Comedy (dir. Rick Alverson); Compliance (dir. Craig Zobel); Jeff, Who Lives at Home (dir. Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass); Killer Joe (dir. William Friedkin)

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    Best Director
    Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
    Julia Loktev (The Loneliest Planet)
    David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
    Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On)
    Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

    Will Win: David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
    Should Win: Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Rick Alverson (The Comedy); Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass (Jeff, Who Lives at Home); Travis Fine (Any Day Now); William Friedkin (Killer Joe); Craig Zobel (Compliance)

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    Best First Feature
    Fill the Void (dir. Rama Burshtein)
    Gimme the Loot (dir. Adam Leon)
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower (dir. Stephen Chbosky)
    Safety Not Guaranteed (dir. Colin Trevorrow)
    Sound of My Voice (dir. Zal Batmanglij)

    Will Win: Gimme the Loot (dir. Adam Leon)
    Should Win: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (dir. Stephen Chbosky)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zeitlin); Francine (dir. Brian M. Cassidy & Melanie Shatzky); Robot & Frank (dir: Jake Schreier); Sun Don’t Shine (dir. Amy Seimetz)

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    John Cassavetes Award
    (Best feature made for under $500,000)
    Breakfast with Curtis (dir. Laura Colella)
    The Color Wheel (dir. Alex Ross Perry)
    Middle of Nowhere (dir. Ava DuVernay)
    Mosquita y Mari (dir. Aurora Guerrero)
    Starlet (dir. Sean Baker)

    Will Win: Starlet (dir. Sean Baker)
    Should Win: The Color Wheel (dir. Alex Ross Perry)
    Should Have Been Nominated: The Comedy (dir. Rick Alverson); Compliance (dir. Craig Zobel); Francine (dir. Brian M. Cassidy & Melanie Shatzky); Gayby (dir. Jonathan Lisecki); Richard’s Wedding (dir. Onur Tukel); Sun Don’t Shine (dir. Amy Seimitz)

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    Best Screenplay
    Moonrise Kingdom (writers: Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola)
    Ruby Sparks (writer: Zoe Kazan)
    Seven Psychopaths (writer: Martin McDonagh)
    Silver Linings Playbook (writer: David O. Russell)
    Keep the Lights On (writers: Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias)

    Will Win: Moonrise Kingdom (writers: Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola)
    Should Win: Ruby Sparks (writer: Zoe Kazan)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Bernie (writers: Richard Linklater & Skip Hollandsworth); Compliance (writer: Craig Zobel); Damsels in Distress (writer: Whit Stillman); Jeff, Who Lives at Home (writers: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass); Richard’s Wedding (writer: Onur Tukel); Sleepwalk with Me (writers: Seth Barrish, Joe Birbiglia, Mike Birbiglia, Ira Glass)

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    Best First Screenplay
    Fill the Void (writer: Rama Burshtein)
    Safety Not Guaranteed (writer: Derek Connolly)
    Robot & Frank (writer: Christopher Ford)
    Celeste and Jesse Forever (writers: Rashida Jones & Will McCormack)
    Gayby (writer: Jonathan Lisecki)

    Will Win: Safety Not Guaranteed (writer: Derek Connolly)
    Should Win: Robot & Frank (writer: Christopher Ford)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Beasts of the Southern Wild (writer: Benh Zeitlin); Francine (writers: Brian M. Cassidy & Melanie Shatzky); Sun Don’t Shine (writer: Amy Seimetz)

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    Best Female Lead
    Linda Cardellini (Return)
    Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere)
    Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
    Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
    Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed)

    Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
    Should Win: Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Carlen Altman (The Color Wheel); Greta Gerwig (Damsels in Distress); Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks); Melissa Leo (Francine); Kate Lyn Sheil (Sun Don’t Shine); Olivia Thirlby (Nobody Walks); Michelle Williams (Take This Waltz)

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    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)

    Will Win: John Hawkes (The Sessions)
    Should Win: Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Kentucker Audley (Sun Don’t Shine); Alan Cumming (Any Day Now); Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed); Tim Heidecker (The Comedy); Frank Langella (Robot & Frank)

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    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)

    Will Win: Ann Dowd (Compliance)
    Should Win: Ann Dowd (Compliance)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Kate Lyn Sheil (The Comedy); Juno Temple (Killer Joe)

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    Best Supporting Male
    Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)
    David Oyelowo (Middle of Nowhere)
    Michael Péna (End of Watch)
    Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths)
    Bruce Willis (Moonrise Kingdom)

    Will Win: Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)
    Should Win: Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Pat Healy (Compliance); Onur Tukel (Red Flag)

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    Best Cinematography
    Yoni Brook (Valley of Saints)
    Lol Crawley (Here)
    Ben Richardson (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
    Roman Vasyanov (End of Watch)
    Robert Yeoman (Moonrise Kingdom)

    Will Win: Robert Yeoman (Moonrise Kingdom)
    Should Win: Ben Richardson (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
    Should Have Been Nominated: Thimios Bakatakis (Keep the Lights On); Christopher Blauvelt (Nobody Walks); Benjamin Kasulke (Your Sister’s Sister); Jay Keitel (Sun Don’t Shine); Sean Price Williams (The Color Wheel)

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    Best Documentary
    The Central Park Five
    How to Survive a Plague
    The Invisible War
    Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present
    The Waiting Room

    Will Win: How to Survive a Plague
    Should Win: How to Survive a Plague
    Should Have Been Nominated: Ai Weiwei: Never SorryAmerica’s Parking Lot; Girl Model; The Queen of Versailles

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    Best Foreign Film
    Amour (France)
    Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (Turkey)
    Rust and Bone (France/Belgium)
    Sister (Switzerland)
    War Witch (Democratic Republic of Congo/Canada)

    Will Win: Amour
    Should Win: Amour
    Should Have Been Nominated: Blancanieves; Holy Motors; Lore; No

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    16th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
    (Emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.)
    Stones in the Sun (Mynette Louie)
    Derrick Tseng (Prince Avalanche)
    Alicia Van Couvering (Nobody Walks)

    Will Win: Derrick Tseng (Prince Avalanche)
    Should Win: Alicia Van Couvering (Nobody Walks)

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    19th ANNUAL SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
    (A talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.)
    David Fenster (Pincus)
    Adam Leon (Gimme the Loot)
    Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children)

    Will Win: David Fenster (Pincus)
    Should Win: David Fenster (Pincus)

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    STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
    (An emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.)
    Leviathan (dir. Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel)
    The Waiting Room (dir. Peter Nicks)
    Only the Young (dir. Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims)

    Will Win: Leviathan (dir. Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel)
    Should Win: Only the Young (dir. Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims)

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    ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
    (Best ensemble cast)
    Winner: Starlet (Director Sean Baker; Casting Director: Julia Kim; Ensemble Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone)

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    Also check out Criticwire’s Spirit Awards Poll: Who Will Win and Who Should Win According To 80 Critics and Bloggers, which I contributed to.

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