Spirit Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday!  Common, Anna Kendrick, and Zoe Saldana will be reading them off at a press conference at 1 pm (east coast time).  I, for one, am glad that awards season is upon us.

Predicting the Spirit Award nominations is a fool’s errand for a few reasons.  The primary reason, perhaps, is that it isn’t entirely clear which films are eligible.  The rules, basically, are that the film’s budget has to be under $20 million, it has to be an American production outside the studio system, it has to have screened this year, and the producers have to have submitted the film (and not submitted it any prior year).  So we have an educated guess, but no set list.  The other big reason is that there aren’t any meaningful precursors, or really very many established prognosticators that I’m aware of (other than Indiewire’s Peter Knegt).

So, with those caveats in mind, here’s my predicted slate:

BEST FEATURE

  • End of Watch
  • Middle of Nowhere
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Sessions
  • Smashed

BEST LEAD FEMALE

  • Ann Dowd, Compliance
  • Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks
  • Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed
  • A performance in a movie I’ve never heard of

BEST LEAD MALE

  • Mike Birbiglia, Sleepwalk with Me
  • Paul Dano, Ruby Sparks
  • Richard Gere, Arbitrage
  • John Hawkes, The Sessions
  • Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

  • Lauren Ambrose, Sleepwalk with Me
  • Helen Hunt, The Sessions
  • Shirley MacLaine, Bernie
  • Octavia Spencer, Smashed
  • Juno Temple, Killer Joe

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

  • Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • William H. Macy, The Sessions
  • 3 surprises

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
  • Ava DuVernay, Middle of Nowhere
  • Ben Lewin, The Sessions
  • Lynn Shelton, Your Sister’s Sister
  • Whit Stillman, Damsels in Distress

BEST FIRST FEATURE

  • Zal Batmanglij, The Sound of My Voice
  • Mike Birbiglia, Sleepwalk with Me
  • Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Colin Treverrow, Safety Not Guaranteed
  • Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
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