The 12 Years a Slave producers + Lupita

Rain and wind soaked the proceedings at yesterday’s Spirit Awards, held inside a tent right on the beach. Massive, folding waves twisted themselves around before pounding the shoreline. For the first time in my 15 years on the Oscar beat I was covering the Independent Spirit Awards in person. For this, I’d been given a red carpet spot, a seat in the press room, and a ticket inside the tent. But inside the tent I was not assured wi-fi and a plugin for my computer so I figured the press room was the better place to be. I don’t normally work the red carpet — actually I never have. For some reason I thought it would be fun to try it out this time. I would later learn that you must high tail it to the press room upon arrival to find a spot to plugin, otherwise you have to depend on the kindness of strangers to let you snuggle in and share an ethernet connection.
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Our friend Sam Juliano at Wonders in the Dark and AD’s Pierre de Plume.

Well my dear Oscarwatchers, as Iggy Pop would say, “it’ll all be over soon.” And indeed, 2013 is almost over. What a year for movies. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s results have been worth the blood, sweat and tears. Many of us think there will be upsets but we don’t know yet what those upsets will be. Here is your chance, without messing up your predictions, to predict those upsets.

The rules – please pick only three and make them actual upsets, not alternatives. Martin Scorsese winning Director would be considered an upset. Even American Hustle winning Best Picture isn’t really an upset since Best Picture is really down to three.

I will start.

1. Steve McQueen wins Best Director
2. 12 Years a Slave wins Editing
3. All is Lost wins Sound Editing

Your turn!


Best Film: 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Best Lead Female: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Lead Male: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Female: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Best Supporting Male: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave
Best Screenplay: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Best Editing: Nat Sanders, Short Term 12
Best International Film: Blue Is The Warmest Color
Best Documentary: 20 Feet from Stardom
Best First Feature: Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station
Best First Screenplay: Bob Nelson, Nebraska
John Cassavetes Award: This Is Martin Bonner
Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble: Mud


Tomorrow, on a rainy midday afternoon, the Independent Spirit Awards will host their own version of the year’s best.  In year’s past, the Spirit Awards have been sort of the anti-Oscars in a way, the alternative to what is the moneyed world of the popularity contest that takes place on Sunday.  This will be an interesting year because it will put the Spirit Awards possibly in line with the Oscars for Best Picture for the third time in their history. Only Platoon and The Artist have won both.

I am attending the Spirit Awards for the first time tomorrow.  While the weather has made it a tad less than ideal (beachside awards on a beautiful day is probably divine) but I will be happy to see what I hope is a good day for 12 Years a Slave.

Let’s take a look at the nominees, shall we?

Best Picture
12 Years  Slave <–Predicted Winner
All is Lost
Frances Ha
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska <–but maybe

It isn’t as easy a call as you’d think.  Inside Llewyn Davis could easily win this, as could Nebraska. Probably not Frances Ha or All is Lost.  Still, I’ll put my chips behind 12 Years a Slave.

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Contender Tracker


Best PicturEBirth of a Nation
Manchester by the Sea

Best ActoRCasey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Nate Parker, Birth of a Nation

Best ActresS

Supporting ActoR

Supporting ActresS

Nate Parker, Birth of a Nation
Kenneth Lonergan,

Original Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay



Production Design

Sound Mixing

Sound Editing

Costume Design

Original Score

Foreign Language Feature

Documentary Feature

Animated featureZootopia

Visual Effects



Live Action Short

Animated Short

Documentary Short


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