Well, kinda.  Last year I predicted how the films picked for Sundance Dramatic Competition would fare at the Spirit Awards, based solely on the summary, cast, and crew provided.  Let’s see how I did on some of them.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: I have absolutely no idea what that description means, but I’m in.  And also considering naming my first-born Quvenzhane.  But sounds a little too out there for the Spirits.

GRADE:  F.  I kinda missed a little here, huh?

For Ellen

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: Has to be a favorite.  So Yong Kim has a directing credit on Spirit nominee The Exploding Girl, and Dano, Heder, Malone, and Levieva are chock full of indie cred.  Plus the description has “struggling”, “estranged”, and “custody” in it.

GRADE:  F.  Has received mixed reviews and zero traction.

Hello I Must Be Going

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: I’m smelling an Actress and/or Supporting Actress nomination.  Lynskey seems due (and deserving) and who doesn’t like Blythe Danner?  Louiso, if you don’t know, is the non-Jack Black guy from High Fidelity.  He also directed The Mark Pease Experience which was underwhelming but also about a teenager’s relationship with an adult, so that’s a creepy pattern.

GRADE:  C.  Lynskey was one of the biggest snubs this year, so I wasn’t too off the mark.

Keep the Lights On

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: Yes.  Even if they have to make up a new category, this film seems a shoo-in.  Savane already had a Spirit nomination, for Goodbye Solo.

GRADE: A+.  Good job, past Jared!

Middle Of Nowhere

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: Seems like a pretty good shot for something.

GRADE: B.  I didn’t quite call how well it would resonate, but this counts as a win.

Nobody Walks

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: Seems like it’d be silly to bet against anything Lena Dunham at this point.  Heck of a cast, by the way.  Two Grouch favorites in Thirlby and DeWitt probably means it’ll get shafted, though.


Safety Not Guaranteed

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: Nope.  Well, I would have said that about Another Earth, but nope.  That said, I’m already in line for the movie.

GRADE: F.  Spirit Awards like this film a lot more than I did.  A lot.

Save the Date

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: Not a chance, but ladies and gentleman, your front-runner for Jared’s favorite movie of 2012.

GRADE: B-.  I guessed right with the Spirits, but I found the film to be just OK.


SPIRIT OUTLOOK: This film sounds so good, right?  It isn’t just me?  I’m already excited.  If the film isn’t too funny, I could see it happening.  That’s a really talented cast right there.

GRADE: B.  I haven’t seen the film yet, but not being too funny doesn’t sound to be a problem.

The Surrogate

SPIRIT OUTLOOK: Is there somewhere I can put a bet on this movie winning the 2013 Spirit Awards?  I mean, come on.  This one has to be a joke, right?  I dare you to put together a more likely contender.

GRADE:  B-.  The film did pick up a few nominations, but didn’t quite make the splash I expected it to.


Not too shabby overall, especially considering the other Sundance selections I didn’t mention above that I correctly dismissed from Sundance consideration.  Anyone know a bookie that accepts Spirit Award bets?  If so, you can look forward to my 2014 picks coming up shortly.