Independent Spirit Awards 2018: Predicting the Winners

The 2018 Independent Spirit Awards will be handed out on Saturday, with Nick Kroll and John Mulaney returning as hosts. Judging from some their promos (you can watch them here), it should be a fun evening.

Traditionally held the Saturday before Oscars Sunday, the Indie Spirit Awards celebrates the best in independent film from last year, and Get Out, Call Me by Your Name, and Lady Bird are some of the heavy favorites going into the ceremony. Let’s take a look at the nominees and predict who might take home the award.

Click here for a full list of nominees!

Best Feature
Call Me by Your Name
The Florida Project
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Rider

While The Florida Project — a film about a kid’s life living in a run-down motel next to Walt Disney World, and The Rider, which centers on a young cowboy who has to find himself in America’s heartland — were well received, the top three choices have to be Call Me By Your Name, Get Out and Lady Bird. I have to point out the exclusion of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in this category, despite its nods in other categories. Is it because it’s probably going to win the Oscar for Best Pic? Just weird it isn’t listed here.

Who will win? Both Call Me and Lady Bird were excellent films, but I’m all in with Get Out. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is just one of the most unique and fresh films of 2017, bending the horror genre on its ear while also delivering biting and darkly comical social commentary. It’ll be nice to honor here at the Indie Spirit Awards since it’ll probably lose at the Oscars (at least for Best Picture).

Best Director
Jonas Carpignano, A Ciambra
Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Sean Baker, The Florida Project
Benny and Josh Safdie, Good Time
Chloé Zhao, The Rider

This is a solid list of contenders as well an eclectic group. It’s odd Greta Gerwig was left off after so much love for Lady Bird, but instead, they went with Chloé Zhao for The Rider as their female choice. Also cool to see the Safdie brothers nominated for their intense Good Time (which also features Benny Safdie as Robert Pattinson’s mentally handicapped brother; he got nominated, too, see below).

Who will win? Again, I’m going with Peele. I think what I love most about Get Out is the fact this is something Peele has thought about. This idea – an African-American man meeting his white girlfriend’s family for the first time and having every nightmare about that kind of thing come true – is something that clearly would freak him out. Plus, the guy loves horror movies and how dumb the victims always are by staying rather than just getting the hell out of there. Peele just hit it so out of the park his first time at bat.

Best First Feature
Columbus
Ingrid Goes West
Menashe
Oh Lucy!
Patti Cake$

It is also interesting why Get Out is not nominated in this category but maybe they just wanted to give a few others a chance. There are some strong nominees, including my personal fav Ingrid Goes West in which Aubrey Plaza plays a mentally unstable woman who fixates on a social media star, played by Elizabeth Olsen.

Who will win? As much as I love Ingrid, I think it’s going to be a toss-up between Columbus and Patti Cake$. Columbus is a tightly wound character study from Korean-born writer/director Kogonada, while Patti Cake$ from writer/director Geremy Jasper centers on the most unlikely wannabe rap star. If I were to lean, I’d pick Patti Cake$ for its in-your-face indie spirit.

Best Female Lead
Salma Hayek, Beatriz at Dinner
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Shinobu Terajima, Oh Lucy!
Regina Williams, Life and Nothing More

Another great list of performances to choose from but just one clear-cut winner. I really want to give a shout out to Margot Robbie, though, for her gutsy turn as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. Maybe in another year without a powerhouse like Frances McDormand, Robbie would have won, but look out for this Aussie star. She’s going to be up there again.

Who will win? McDormand, of course. At this point, there really isn’t another female performance out there that can top her turn in Three Billboards as a grieving mother who just wants justice for the murder/rape of her daughter – and literally will not stop until she gets it. Next up? The Oscar.

Best Male Lead
Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Harris Dickinson, Beach Rats
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Robert Pattinson, Good Time

This is a little harder to predict since there are really three great performances: Daniel Kaluuya basically playing the freaked out alter ego of Jordan Peele in Get Out (and he does indeed, get out); James Franco as the strange and eccentric Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist; and Timothee Chalamet as a young man falling in love for the first time in Call Me By Your Name.

Who will win? I’m going with Chalamet. Kaluuya is terrific but it’s more about reacting to the horror around him, while Franco is really just doing an amazing impersonation (plus the whole sexual harassment allegations might hurt his chances). Chalamet’s beautiful performance just stands out and breaks your heart.

Best Supporting Female
Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Lois Smith, Marjorie Prime
Taliah Lennice Webster, Good Time

Last year’s indies was dominated by three very different types of mothers, and while Allison Janney and Laurie Metcalf have been neck and neck throughout the award season, I’m so glad Holly Hunter got a nod for her subtle turn as a mom dealing with her sick daughter and the man who broke her daughter’s heart in The Big Sick; she’ll miss that opportunity to compete against the other two at the Oscars.

Who will win? Janney seems to be sweeping up all the awards so far, so one would think her performance as Tonya Harding’s awful mother would win the Indie Spirit award as well. However, Metcalf’s excellent turn as a controlling, overbearing mom in Lady Bird has many wanting her to win at least one time. This might be it.

Best Supporting Male
Nnamdi Asomugha, Crown Heights
Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Benny Safdie, Good Time

The winner for this is also pretty clear-cut, but before I get to that, let me also give a shout out to Barry Keoghan for The Killing of a Sacred Deer. His performance as a very strange teenager who has somehow cursed the doctor who couldn’t save his father is actually pretty terrifying. Calculating, charismatic, and utterly bone-chilling.

Who will win? Sam Rockwell has it in the bag. His portrayal of a racist cop riddled with anger issues in Three Billboards stands as the character actor’s best performance to date. Only Rockwell can manage to take a very unlikable character and find a way to make you root for him in the end.

Best Screenplay
Lady Bird
The Lovers
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Get Out
Beatriz at Dinner

It’s funny because I’m absolutely positive Get Out will beat Three Billboards for Best Screenplay at the Oscars, but at the Indie Spirit Awards, I’m thinking they might give it to Billboards. Not sure why exactly, just a gut feeling. Let’s see if I’m right.

Best First Screenplay
Donald Cried
The Big Sick
Women Who Kill
Columbus
Ingrid Goes West

And for this, I’m predicting the award will go to The Big Sick. Real-life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s hilariously poignant first script is a very candid look at how the two of them fell in love, broke up and dealt with a life-threatening illness that brings them together again. It’s amazing and they also deserve to win, at least once.

The 2018Independentt Spirit Awards will air live on IFC Saturday at 2PM PST/5PM EST.

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