By Peter Knegt | Indiewire March 4, 2010 at 11:14AM
indieWIRE conducted a poll of our own writers as well as many of our criticWIRE participants, asking two questions about this year's Film Independent Spirit Awards: Who will win, and who should win? In thirteen categories, our insiders suggested who might take home an award at the ceremony this Friday night in downtown Los Angeles.
If they're correct, look for a very "Precious" evening. The Oscar underdog looks to triumph with the Spirits, with the majority of our 28 voters saying it's set to win best feature, director, first screenplay, actress (Gabourey Sidibe) and supporting actress (Mo'Nique). In the categories where "Precious" wasn't nominated (it looks to win all of the ones where it is), our prognosticators suggested "Crazy Heart"'s Jeff Bridges might pick up a Spirit Award to go with his likely Oscar, Woody Harrelson should top Christopher Plummer for best supporting actor, and that Tom Ford's "A Single Man" and Oren Moverman's "The Messenger" will be battling it out for best first feature.
Our poll also suggested tight races in the documentary and foreign film categories, with "Food, Inc." and "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" dueling for the former and "A Prophet" and "An Education" the latter.
As for who should win, "Precious" again received considerable support, taking best feature and its two acting nominations, though support strayed to Joel and Ethan Coen for best director and Tom Ford and David Scearce for best first screenplay. Ford and Scearce's "Single Man" star, Colin Firth, also edged out Jeff Bridges in the best actor category, while Woody Harrelson got will and should honors for his "Messenger" work. The foreign film and doc categories also found clear frontrunners in their support from the poll as well, with "Anvil!" and "A Prophet"
Check out all the results below, followed by links to each individual ballot.
Who Will Win: A whopping 96% of those polled agree that this is "Precious: Based on the novel 'Push" by Sapphire"'s award to lose. Cary Joji Fukunaga's "Sin Nombre" is only suggested spoiler, with 4%.
Who Should Win: "Precious" leads again, although by a much slighter margin. 60% have Lee Daniels film their vote of approval, while "Sin Nombre" (20%), "Amreeka" (10%) and "(500) Days of Summer" (10%) each found their fair share of support.
Who Will Win: The lone nominee to also get an Oscar nod, "Precious"'s Lee Daniels got the majority of the predictions, with 74%. "A Serious Man"'s Joel & Ethan Coen are definitely a considerable dark horse though, taking 22%.
Who Should Win: 43% said that Joel & Ethan Coen deserved this award for "A Serious Man," topping Lee Daniels (30%), "Two Lovers" director James Gray (17%) and Cary Joji Fukunaga (9%).
Best Female Lead
Who Will Win: This looks like it could be "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe's big chance to get on stage this awards season, with 91% predicting her for the win here. "Two Lovers"'s Gwenyth Paltrow and "The Last Station"'s Helen Mirren split the remaining votes.
Who Should Win: Paltrow (26%) and Mirren (13%) factored in more significantly here, but our voters still supported Gabourey Sidibe with 61% of the vote.
Best Male Lead
Who Will Win: Two Oscar nominees were the only to receive votes here, though "Crazy Heart"'s Jeff Bridges was by far the leader, topping "A Single Man"'s Colin Firth 78% to 22%.
Who Should Win: The order reversed in regard to who voters thought should win, with Colin Firth taking 50% of the vote and Jeff Bridges close behind with 45%. "Goodbye Solo"'s Souléymane Sy Savané took the remaining support.
Best Supporting Female
Who Will Win: As one would expect, like they did with the Oscar poll, every single voter said Mo'Nique is set for the win for her work in "Precious."
Who Should Win: Though 9% of voters thought "The Messenger"'s Samantha Morton deserved to upset her, Mo'Nique was queen again with 91% of the support.
Best Supporting Male
Who Will Win: With Oscar favorite Christoph Waltz not eligible here, 83% think "The Messenger"'s Woody Harrelson will take this one, with the remaining votes suggesting it will be "The Last Station"'s Christopher Plummer.
Who Should Win: Woody Harrelson, taking 71% of the vote over "Me & Orson Welles"'s Christian McKay (24%) and Christopher Plummer (5%).
Who Will Win: One of the closest call of any of these races, with Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber's "(500) Days of Summer" script leading Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman's "The Messenger" script 50% to 46%. Greg Mottola's "Adventureland" got the remaining votes.
Who Should Win: Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman's work on "The Messenger" took 45% of the support, topping "(500) Days" (30%) and "Adventureland" (25%).
Best First Feature
Who Will Win: Tom Ford is potentially poised to go from fashion designer to Spirit Award-winning filmmaker, with "A Single Man" getting 45% of predictions here. Though "The Messenger' (32%) and "Crazy Heart" (24%) are both viable contenders as well.
Who Should Win: "The Messenger" narrowly topped "A Single Man"'s support by a 52%-48% margin.
John Cassavetes Award
Who Will Win: Last year's Someone To Watch Award winner looks poised to make good on that promise, with Lynn Shelton's "Humpday" winning 62% of predictions here. "Big Fan" (24%) and "Treeless Mountain" (14%) look like "Humpday"'s biggest competition.
Who Should Win: "Humpday" again, by an even wider margin. 71% voted for Shelton's film, while "Treeless Mountain" (14%), "Big Fan" (10%) and "Zero Bridge" (5%) each won support as well.
Best First Screenplay
Who Will Win: Oscar nominee Geoffrey Fletcher seems like a safe bet to win for "Precious," taking 62% of predictions. Tom Ford and David Scearce's "A Single Man" and Scott Cooper's "Crazy Heart" scripts each took 14%, while 10% thought the winner will be Cherien Dabis for "Amreeka."
Who Should Win: Tom Ford and David Scearce found more support in the "should win" column, taking 40% of the vote for "A Single Man." All of the remaining nominees got votes as well, with "Precious" taking 25%, "Amreeka" taking 20%, "Crazy Heart" 10% and "Cold Souls" 5%.
Who Will Win: Close call with 52% saying Food, Inc. and 43% saying "Anvil! The Story of Anvil." "October Country" additionally got a lone prediction.
Who Should Win: "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" was our poll's favorite, taking 48% of the vote, while "Food, Inc." and "October Country" each found 24% of the vote.
Best Foreign Film
Who Will Win: A tie? 49% of voters each said Lone Scherfig's An Education and Jacques Audiard's "A Prophet" are heading for wins here, suggestively guaranteeing Sony Pictures Classics glory. The remaining 2% said "The Maid."
Who Should Win: Audiard had no problem topping "An Education" here, taking 50% of the vote for "A Prophet". All of the remaining flms found support as well: "The Maid" took 25%, "Mother" took 20%, and "An Education" and "Everlasting Moments" each took 5%.
Who Will Win: While "Cold Souls" and "Sin Nombre" each found a sole prediction, a whopping 91% said Roger Deakins' work on "A Serious Man"
Who Should Win: "A Serious Man" again, with 73% of the support. "Sin Nombre" (14%), "Bad: Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" (9%) and "Treeless Mountain" (5%) all found votes as well.
Check out all of the individual ballots below, which also include their picks for the Academy Awards: