This is the first of two posts today about awards season, as it all comes to the grand finale tonight with the 87th Annual Academy Awards. They can be viewed on a dedicated Sky Movies channel in the UK and on ABC in the US.
There's just the small matter of a few award results to get through first.
WRITERS GUILD AWARDS (WGA)
The Writers' Guild Awards were handed out on Saturday 14th February. The film winners were:
Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game
Documentary Screenplay: The Internet's Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz
Both The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game are nominated in their respective categories at the Oscars, so this might bode well. However, neither Birdman nor The Theory Of Everything were eligible for consideration for the WGAs (due to WGA rules) but are nominated for an Oscar. It might be a different story come tonight.
INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
Best Feature: Birdman
Best Female Lead: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Best Male Lead: Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Best Supporting Female: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Best Supporting Male: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Director: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Best Screenplay: Nightcrawler
Best First Screenplay: Dear White People
Best Cinematography: Birdman
Best First Feature: Nightcrawler
Best International Film: Ida
Best Documentary: Citizenfour
John Cassavetes Award: Land Ho!
The John Cassavetes Award is given to the creative team of a film budgeted at less than $500,000. The full list of winners can be found here.
With the exception of Dear White People and Land Ho!, the remaining films have Oscar recognition as well. It's interesting that the Spirits have given Birdman Best Picture and Linklater Best Director. Wins for Moore, Arquette and Simmons were no surprise, and- to be honest- neither was Keaton's win.
Here's the full 'winners' list:
Worst Picture: Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas
Worst Director: Michael Bay (Transformers: Age Of Extinction)
Worst Actor: Kirk Cameron (Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas)
Worst Actress: Cameron Diaz (The Other Woman, Sex Tape)
Worst Supporting Actor: Kelsey Grammer (Expendables 3, Legends Of Oz, Think Like A Man Too, Transformers 4)
Worst Supporting Actress: Megan Fox (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Worst Remake, Sequel Or Rip-Off: Annie
Worst Screen Combo: Kirk Cameron & His Ego (Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas)
Worst Screenplay: Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas
Razzie Redeemer: Ben Affleck
No complaints from me about Bay's or Fox's wins. At the time of writing, Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas is STILL at the bottom of IMDb's Bottom 100. And whuilst it's nice to have this annual puncturing of the self-congratulatory awards season, it's also nice that the Razzies can recognise that actors can change and can improve. Gigli is undoubtedly the nadir of Affleck's career, but his work in films like Argo and Gone Girl almost makes up for it.
So that's awards season almost wrapped up. All that remains is the big one: the Oscars. So I'd better get off the fence and finally decide on my predictions for Best Picture, Best Director and the four acting categories.