I’ll be driving over to the Patton Oswalt-hosted Spirit Awards in Santa Monica around 10:15 am. Chilly temps and rainy weather obviously mean suppression as far as the outdoor schmoozy stuff is concerned. (Phase One is a 150-minute party starting at 11 am; Phase Two is the show’s taping from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.) Alexander Payne, Cate Blanchett Jeff Nichols, Bruce Dern, Matthew McConaughey, J.C. Chandor, Steve McQueen, Lupita Nyong’o, Richard Linklater, Robert Redford and dozens of other distinguished coolios will be milling around. The show will air on IFC tonight.
My know-nothing predictions:
Best Feature: 12 Years A Slave, All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska. Predicted Winner: 12 Years A Slave. This seems certain as the Spirits will want to set themselves apart from the old-fart Academy members who either don’t “like” Slave (largely due to resentment of the film’s mostly negative portrayal of whites) or haven’t even watched the screener.
Best Director: Shane Carruth (Upstream Color); J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost); Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave); Jeff Nichols (Mud), Alexander Payne (Nebraska). Predicted Winner: Most likely McQueen but possibly Payne.
Best Female Lead: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Gaby Hoffmann (Crystal Fairy), Brie Larson (Short Term 12), Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now). Predicted Winner: Will the Spirits copycat the Oscars by awarding Blanchett, or will they do the better identity thing and give the award to Brie Larson? Fearing the former, hoping for the latter.
Columbia film professor Annette Insdorf, New York critic David Edelstein and Wall Street Journal/”Speakeasy” editor Christopher John Farley spoke about the Oscars last night on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.” Hayes asked them to discuss (a) an actual Oscar ballot released by an anonymous, smug-minded Academy member to The Hollywood Reporter, and (b) the relatively low bar that tests a film’s gender bias.