Independent Spirit Award Nominations

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:49 am

The Original BJ wrote:I'm baffled folks are considering Hidden Figures (with its 3 nominations, no Director nod, and no below the line nods) a possible upset. What precedent would there be for such a movie prevailing? I'm reminded some thought The Help might be an upset winner in 2011 and that seemed similarly bananas to me. At least Moonlight is within range of a shocking Best Picture upset (critics' prizes, Globe win, Directing/Editing nominations) even though I think it's running a pretty distant second.


It doesn't seem likely, but Hidden Figures is a late bloomer. It came practically out of nowhere to become the highest grossing Oscar nominated film of the year. According to Box Office Mojo it just edged out La La Land at $120 million to La La's $118.8.

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Sabin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:41 am

The Original BJ wrote
After November, I feel like I never want to make another prediction again, but I just can't ration away a scenario where La La Land gets upset by anything. It's running the table like Slumdog Millionaire, is a sizable box office success, had a record-winning Globe sweep, has a record-tying Oscar nom haul, and could potentially reap double digit wins. It's just simply the movie that more people in Hollywood unabashedly love, and "it's too white in this year" doesn't seem like something that's remotely going to stop its train from chugging along. (Especially given that there are ample opportunities to honor actors and writers of color in the major categories, it's not like they won't ALSO be able to make a diversity statement elsewhere.)

A friend of mine made this joke after the SAG Award: "See? There are black people in La La Land, just not IN La La Land." The Academy gets to have its cake and eat it too by honoring performances by people of color while honoring the whitest film of the year.

Most years, there is a front-runner and then one film in spitting distance (we can assume). Like Boyhood to Birdman. Or Gravity to 12 Years a Slave. Or The Social Network to The King's Speech. Or a couple of films in the running. Like The Big Short and The Revenant to Spotlight. Or most likely a few films from 2012. This year, I don't think anything is within spitting distance. Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight are indies. They are almost too independent to win a Spirit Award. If La La Land were eligible, they wouldn't have a chance.

Hidden Figures could have been the upset if it did WAY better. I'm shocked it only pulled in three nominations. It didn't get a Film Editing nomination over Hell or High Water. None of its songs by Pharrell (a previous Best Song nominee) got nominated over a documentary. The film's production design and costume design are hardly noteworthy but it's a historical drama that couldn't get in over Allied, Hail Caesar!, and Passengers. Theodore Melfi does not deserve a Best Director nomination, but in a year where the fifth wheel was Mel Gibson he could have gotten in for sure.
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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby inky » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:12 am

I think the preferential voting system helped creating a SPOTLIGHT upset last year but that was because of the Academy members' divide between the two major contenders (REVENANT and MAD MAX). I do agree that this scenario is unlikely to repeat this year because LLL is the overwhelming favorite.

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:01 am

After November, I feel like I never want to make another prediction again, but I just can't ration away a scenario where La La Land gets upset by anything. It's running the table like Slumdog Millionaire, is a sizable box office success, had a record-winning Globe sweep, has a record-tying Oscar nom haul, and could potentially reap double digit wins. It's just simply the movie that more people in Hollywood unabashedly love, and "it's too white in this year" doesn't seem like something that's remotely going to stop its train from chugging along. (Especially given that there are ample opportunities to honor actors and writers of color in the major categories, it's not like they won't ALSO be able to make a diversity statement elsewhere.)

And even considering all that, I'm baffled folks are considering Hidden Figures (with its 3 nominations, no Director nod, and no below the line nods) a possible upset. What precedent would there be for such a movie prevailing? I'm reminded some thought The Help might be an upset winner in 2011 and that seemed similarly bananas to me. At least Moonlight is within range of a shocking Best Picture upset (critics' prizes, Globe win, Directing/Editing nominations) even though I think it's running a pretty distant second.

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby inky » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:40 pm

> I think they could potentially choose Hidden Figures if there is an upset. It's uplifting, historically significant, popular at the box-office and satisfies the social politics angle.

Yes, I've been imagining an unlikely but not totally impossible scenario - that the academy members want a total negation of #oscarsowhite in this year, thus giving Best Picture and three of the four acting awards to African Americans.

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:32 pm

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby criddic3 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:41 pm

Maybe Moonlight, but somehow I doubt they'll go with Manchester by the Sea. They really don't usually go for downtrodden movies like Ordinary People that often. Moonlight is also an unusual pick for them but it would be more in line with the social politics of many voters, particularly the acting branch. Both might seem too "small" to be a best picture choice. I think they could potentially choose Hidden Figures if there is an upset. It's uplifting, historically significant, popular at the box-office and satisfies the social politics angle.
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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:12 am

inky wrote:Wonder if anybody raised this before: In the past three years, the Independent Spirit Award Best Pictures agreed with Oscar Best Pictures - SPOTLIGHT, BIRDMAN and 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

Just a coincidence? Will this pattern be broken as the overwhelming Oscar favourite LA LA LAND is not eligible for Independent Spirit Awards? Or will MANCHESTER BY THE SEA or even MOONLIGHT create an upset like what SPOTLIGHT did last year?

One can only hope.
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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby inky » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:00 am

Wonder if anybody raised this before: In the past three years, the Independent Spirit Award Best Pictures agreed with Oscar Best Pictures - SPOTLIGHT, BIRDMAN and 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

Just a coincidence? Will this pattern be broken as the overwhelming Oscar favourite LA LA LAND is not eligible for Independent Spirit Awards? Or will MANCHESTER BY THE SEA or even MOONLIGHT create an upset like what SPOTLIGHT did last year?

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby flipp525 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:41 pm

Precious Doll wrote:Another surprising lock-out is Rebecca Hall in Christine who gives an excellent performance that grounds the film.

Absolutely. I also thought that J. Smith-Cameron was excellent.
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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:30 am

Another surprising lock-out is Rebecca Hall in Christine who gives an excellent performance that grounds the film.
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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Sabin » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:06 pm

dws1982 wrote
Sabin wrote
Normally, we can't say anything for certain until the Golden Globes come out. This year, we can't say anything at all. There are no front-runners this year in this category. Liam Neeson could totally get a career Oscar for his work in Silence. Unless, his role is super small and he's not doing anything impressive, and Adam Driver gets nominated instead.

Based solely on the book, Neeson's role is very important for symbolic and narrative reasons (he's the priest whose apostasy drives much of the plot), but in terms of actual time, it's fairly small. Of the secondary characters, I'd say Adam Driver, Yosuke Kubozuka, and Issey Ogata have roles as substantial as Neeson's, if not moreso.

That's why I've been reticent to place much faith in Liam Neeson as this foregone conclusion waiting to happen. It could just so easily end up being one of those early-in-the-year hunches that we've all been so wrong about, like Julianne Moore for The Shipping News or Cameron Diaz for Gangs of New York (realllllllly reaching back there).

dws1982 wrote
Alden Ehrenreich should be in the conversation for Hail Caesar!, as far as I'm concerned. It's a really pitch-perfect comic performance. Up-and-coming actresses in comic roles tend to get nominated, but there' s not much precedent for actors. And it was such an early-year release that it's hard to see it being remembered.

I was going to write "Alden Ehrenreich's profile is getting a boost because of the release of Rules Don't Apply" but that made more sense after it bombed hideously over this weekend. I don't have a list made of all my favorite performances this year but Alden Ehrenreich would be near the top for Best Supporting Actor. I don't like that film but every moment he is on-screen is a small treasure.

...we're less than a week away from the NYFCC, Critic's Choice, and the National Board of Review. Wow.
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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby dws1982 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:56 pm

Sabin wrote:Normally, we can't say anything for certain until the Golden Globes come out. This year, we can't say anything at all. There are no front-runners this year in this category. Liam Neeson could totally get a career Oscar for his work in Silence. Unless, his role is super small and he's not doing anything impressive, and Adam Driver gets nominated instead.

Based solely on the book, Neeson's role is very important for symbolic and narrative reasons (he's the priest whose apostasy drives much of the plot), but in terms of actual time, it's fairly small. Of the secondary characters, I'd say Adam Driver, Yosuke Kubozuka, and Issey Ogata have roles as substantial as Neeson's, if not moreso.

Alden Ehrenreich should be in the conversation for Hail Caesar!, as far as I'm concerned. It's a really pitch-perfect comic performance. Up-and-coming actresses in comic roles tend to get nominated, but there' s not much precedent for actors. And it was such an early-year release that it's hard to see it being remembered.

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby ITALIANO » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:10 pm

Mister Tee wrote:I don't have much to say about this list, but I do want to note the presence of Ralph Fiennes in the supporting actor category. Fiennes gave a truly charismatic, hilarious and maddening performance -- one that so dominates A Bigger Splash that only his absence from the final reel makes the supporting placement plausible. Between this film and Grand Budapest Hotel, I think he's showing himself to be a far greater character actor than the past 20 years of movie stardom had suggested.

My question: is it possible the critics bring him into the race this year? Though the lead and supporting actress fields are quite full, and best actor at least has Affleck and (likely) Denzel heading it, supporting actor seems virtually empty. So much so that the kids at Awards Watch have Liam Neeson/Silence as their front-runner -- always dangerous to have something unseen-by-Thanksgiving in that slot (Viva Unbroken!). But even more skeptical sorts would have to note that Mahershala Ali is a sure contender, despite the brevity of his role, simply because, who else? And Jeff Bridges might well make it, but he's hardly on par, in certainty terms, with 3 or 4 of the actress hopefuls. So might critics' groups bring Fiennes -- or Tracy Letts in Indignation -- to the forefront in time to make a nomination possible, despite their films' relative obscurity?


Mamma mia. I'm not sure that A Bigger Splash is the worst movie I've seen recently - but it certainly comes close. I saw it despite the TERRIBLE reviews it got from Italian critics (and the boos at Venice), because I heard that it had been praised in the US. And then I realized that, strange as it might seem, Italians lately are more reliable than Americans (the Trump election only confirmed this). I don't know how to correctly express what I felt - but it's not just that it's a bad movie - it's irritating. Deeply irritating. Oh, of course the cinematography is great, but that's easy when you shoot in the Pantelleria island. And Ralph Fiennes won't be nominated for Best Supporting Actor - he's as believable as an extroverted force-of-nature as Anna Magnani would be playing Vanessa Redgrave's role in Howard's End. Some actors should just say - ok, not for me.

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Re: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Sabin » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:50 pm

Mister Tee wrote
My question: is it possible the critics bring [Ralph Fiennes] into the race this year? Though the lead and supporting actress fields are quite full, and best actor at least has Affleck and (likely) Denzel heading it, supporting actor seems virtually empty.

My answer: Sure. Why not?

I'm trying to think of the last time Best Supporting Actor was this bare. No idea. I keep coming back to thinking about last year. All we know was:
FOR SURE: Rylance, Stallone.
AND SOME COMBINATION OF: Bale, Dano, Del Toro, Elba, Hardy, Ruffalo, Shannon, Tremblay.

I remember thinking "Wow, it's been a long time since I had less of an idea who will be nominated than this year." This year leaves 2015 in the dust.

Normally, we can't say anything for certain until the Golden Globes come out. This year, we can't say anything at all. There are no front-runners this year in this category. Liam Neeson could totally get a career Oscar for his work in Silence. Unless, his role is super small and he's not doing anything impressive, and Adam Driver gets nominated instead. Over twenty years after Forrest Gump, Mykelti Williamson could get in for Fences. Unless it goes to Stephen Henderson. Jeff Bridges could get his seventh nomination for Hell or High Water. Or Ben Foster gets his first.

What do we "know"? Mahershala Ali, Lucas Hedges, and Dev Patel give acclaimed performances in Academy-visible films. They don't seem to be splitting the vote with anybody else. They seem like pretty good bets.

Except I'm dubious of this positioning for Mahershala Ali because he only factors into the first third of a fiercely indie film, he doesn't have any huge scenes, and he plays a character whose cards are held close to the chest. He has Indie Spirit written all over him, except he wasn't nominated.

And Lucas Hedges is basically playing "The Kid." "The Kid" can be eight or eighteen. This "The Kid" has a better script, a better part, but The Kid doesn't always get nominated.

Dev Patel seems the likeliest to me because he's in a movie that the blue-hairs are going to love, the Weinsteins are pushing him, and it's an emotional role (from what I know). It's also pretty clearly the lead, which reeks of the same tokenism that saw Patel being pushed for Support in Slumdog Millionaire. It makes me wonder if Gandhi was made today, would we be talking about Sir Ben Kingsley, Best Supporting Actor? Maybe Patel will end up getting nominated for lead?

So here are my predictions. The nominees will be:

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Someone from Silence
Someone from Fences

...Or none of them.
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