The nominees have been announced for the first major award ceremonies of the season: The Independent Spirit Awards. Looking down the list of nominees, there are some that are well deserved, some that are confusing and some that are infuriating. Could this be a stepping stone towards the Oscars? The full list: http://www.awardscircuit.com/2014/11/25/independent-spirit-awards-go-crazy-boyhood-birdman-selma/ (SPOILER: My predictions were WAY off).
Best Feature: This is a category they more or less got right: nominating 4 of the main contenders for Best Picture and all featuring in my Top 10 predictions for Best Picture. The only puzzling one is Love is Strange that has been nominated ahead of the likes of A Most Violent Year, Foxcatcher and Nightcrawler. As it happens, from the trailer it looks promising, but it is nowhere near the calibre of the other films in contention. It will be a close tustle between Boyhood and Birdman but Linklater’s masterpiece should win.
Best Director: Another solid selection, with the same 4 deserving nominees for Best Feature getting a mention hear, aswell as David Zellner for Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter. I haven’t actually heard of Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter but after looking at some reviews, it’s reasonably critically acclaimed and was a big hit at Sundance. I would have thought that Bennett Miller or J.C. Chandor would get a nod but as Miller has won the ‘Special Distinction Award’ and J.C. Chandor was nominated in the screenplay category, you can see why they nominated Zellner. It will be an easy win for Richard Linklater, though, and completely deserved.
Best Male Lead: This was an odd one as they seem like they were just paving the way for Michael Keaton to win, which he will, by not nominating some of the year’s best performers: Oscar Isaac, Steve Carell, Bill Hader and Bill Murray. It’s even more odd to see Andre Benjamin nominated for the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Jimi Hendrix biopic All is By My Side. David Oyelowo and Jake Gyllenhaal will give Keaton a tough battle, but it’s his to lose.
Best Female Lead: With only two nominees matching up to the ones I predicted, this category is a bit of a farce with the most obvious winner in a category you’ll see all awards season: Julianne Moore for Still Alice. No one else has a chance, especially as Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams and Kristen Wiig were all snubbed who were the only real challengers to Moore. I’d reccomend putting your entire bank account on Moore winning.
Best Supporting Male: This is a three horse race between Norton, Hawke and Simmons, the latter of which is likely to take home gold. The other nominees are strange ones: two British actors: Riz Ahmed and Alfred Molina. It’s great to see British talent being recognised, but where are Mark Ruffalo and Alec Baldwin? I honestly thought that Molina was put into the lead category. It won’t matter though as Simmons will win.
Best Supporting Female: As soon as odds were announced, Patricia Arquette has been the favourite in this category- and she’ll win here. 4 of the 5 were expected and the other 1, Andrea Suarez Paz, I hadn’t heard of. Laura Dern should be disappointed, though, as it could effect her chances of an Oscar nomination.
Overall, I’m pretty disappointed by the list of nominees as the winners appear to be to easy to predict as they missed of some big names and some big films. The lack of nominations for The Skeleton Twins, Foxcatcher, St. Vincent, Wild and Inherent Vice is disappointing especially.