5 predictions for the 2019 Indie Spirit Awards


What could happen at this Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards? We’re not psychic but here are five things we’re hoping will go down.

Every year the Independent Spirit Awards fly under the radar. Maybe it’s because they’re on IFC, a premium channel not every television viewer has access to. Or maybe because, as the name implies, the movies selected aren’t known by the people watching the Oscars. (Though, to be fair, the Oscars get slapped with the “arthouse” label every year.)

Since the Indie Spirits often have little overlap with the Oscars they’re also hardly used as a serious precursor award to help fill out your Oscar ballot, but their awards — like the fancier Golden Globes — are known for being fun and off-the-cuff.

It’s a formal awards show in name only, where humor runs high and it should be even higher this year considering the host is actress Aubrey Plaza. Culturess will be on the ground at the 2019 Indie Spirit Awards and we have a few predictions we hope come to pass.

Still from Hereditary trailer. Image via YouTube/A24.

Justice for Toni Collette

Hereditary was one of the most enduring movies of 2018. If you saw it then you’ll know why it stuck in your brain throughout the majority of the year. It’s weird, frightening, and downright haunting. And it features a lead performance by Australian chanteuse Toni Collette that should have been awards worthy. As Hereditary’s leading lady, Annie, she plays every emotion with peak sadness or terror, with various shades in-between. The fact that she wasn’t recognized at the Oscars is one of many travesties that’s happened, but it looks to be rectified at the Indie Spirits. Collette is up for Best Actress and while Oscar-nominee (and future winner I’m predicting) Glenn Close is also nominated, the Spirit Awards tend to vote differently so look for Collette to walk away with something for scaring the crap out of all of us.

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie and director Debra Granik on the set of Leave No Trace. Image from Bleecker Street.

A female Best Director winner

Speaking of what the Oscars got wrong, there’s already been plenty written about the absence of women in this year’s Best Director lineup, but the Indie Spirits have never shut out women directors. When Film Independent started handing out awards in 1985, one of their first Best Director nominees was Joyce Chopra for her feature Smooth Talk (a must-watch). Since then women have consistently found themselves in the category including Martha Coolidge, Alison Anders, Sofia Coppola, and Lisa Cholodenko. One of the most nominated directors is Debra Granik, receiving her fourth nomination this year for Leave No Trace. She joins a Best Director lineup this year that includes three women out of five nominees (the others being Tamara Jenkins for Private Life and Lynne Ramsay for You Were Never Really Here). Why can’t every year be like this? Granik is the odds on favorite to finally win and after the year we’ve had, she deserves it for a multitude of reasons.

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 02: Aubrey Plaza attends the premiere of FX’s ‘Legion’ Season 2 at DGA Theater on April 2, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Aubrey Plaza bringing the humor as host

Who doesn’t love Aubrey Plaza? The star of FX’s Legion and the Instagram dramedy Ingrid Goes West steals the spotlight in every feature she’s in and it’s about time someone gave her an opportunity to host something. Plaza’s deadpan and acerbic humor will go over great at Indie Spirits and it’ll be safe to assume some people will get roasted.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018). Photo Credit: Annapurna Pictures

A fairly diverse (and unpredictable) set of winners

We’ve already talked about the fact that women outnumber men in this year’s Best Director lineup, but there are amazing women honored all over the event, from Regina Hall and Regina King being nominated in Best Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively. You also have the likes of Daveed Diggs and Boots Riley nominated for Best Actor and Best Screenplay, respectively. Even the fact that smaller features like Blindspotting and Sorry to Bother You are popping up at all already sets them apart from the Oscars. These aren’t the same five films you’ve been hearing about all year. These are the movies you should be seeing. The Indie Spirit Awards are there to remind us of how small the Oscars think and ask you to cast your film viewing net a bit wider.

Photo Credit: A24

An award ceremony that won’t make you mad

Really, after the year we’ve had — both in film and in general — it’ll be refreshing to watch an award ceremony that won’t make us grimace. The movies here may have their flaws, but at least they aren’t directed by a pedophile (yeah, yeah, allegedly) or promote white savior complexes. The categories also aren’t strictly white and male — there’s true diversity here. Couple that with some humor and an award show that doesn’t plan for 90 minutes of filler and montages and I’ll be ready to sit down and enjoy myself.

The 34th Independent Spirit Awards take place this Saturday at 5:30pm on IFC