Indie awards are the best Oscar predictors

By Duarte Garrido, Entertainment Reporter
With awards season in full force, Oscar predictions have grown increasingly dependent on a previously inconspicuous gong.
The Indie Spirit Awards have announced this year's list of nominees, which includes indie hits like Jordan Peele's race horror film Get Out and Luca Guadagnino's gay romance Call Me By Your Name.For the last four years, the ceremony has successfully predicted the Oscar for best feature, by awarding it one day before the Oscars.
Indie awards are the best Oscar predictors

Call Me By Your Name was the night's biggest nominee with six nods
In 2013, it was Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave; in 2014 it was Alejandro Inarritu's Birdman; in 2015 Tom McCarthy's Spotlight and last year the best feature prize went to Barry Jenkins' Moonlight.Once a sort of consolation prize for smaller productions either ignored or unnoticed by the Academy, these are now a perfectly-timed spoiler for what is becoming an overrated (and under-ratings) Oscars night.
Indie awards are the best Oscar predictors

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:: So what did we learn from this year's Spirit nominees?

This year, the biggest contender for the Indie Spirit Awards is Call Me By Your Name, scooping up six nominations, including nods for director Luca Guadagnino and actor Armie Hammer.Following closely with five nominations is Jordan Peele's Get Out, about a young black man who is trapped and brainwashed by his white girlfriend's family.
Indie awards are the best Oscar predictors

Good Time stars Robert Pattinson and Taliah Lennice Webster were nominated
Made for less than $5m, Peele's dark comedy has grossed $253m worldwide, making it one of the highest grossing indies of 2017.The Safdie Brothers' groundbreaking heist film Good Time earned four nominations, including best actor for Robert Pattinson, Taliah Lennice Webster and Benny Safdie - who acts in and co-directs the film.Greta Gerwig's hyped coming-of-age tale Lady Bird is also in the run for best picture, as is for best screenplay, best female lead for Saoirse Ronan and best supporting female for Laurie Metcalf.Left out of the race for best picture was Fox Searchlight's biggest Oscar hopeful Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starring Frances McDormand.
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Indie awards are the best Oscar predictors

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Big-budget Oscar contenders like Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk and Steven Spielberg's The Post exceeded the production cost to be qualified for the Indie Spirit Awards, but remain very much in the race.The biggest surprise of the night was the omission of Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape Of Water, which was budgeted just under the indie threshold of $20m and made a splash in Venice winning the coveted Golden Lion.Del Toro's fantasy drama was also left out of Spirit's east-shore sister-ceremony the Gotham Awards, another indie gong destined to predict the Oscar race.
Indie awards are the best Oscar predictors

Three Billboards Outside Epping, Missouri saw Frances McDormand nominated
Both Spirit and Gotham left out Dee Rees' Netflix drama Mudbound out of the best picture and best director race, chosing to nominate it for best assemble cast instead.Mudbound could still break Netflix's Oscar curse by being the first drama released in a streaming platform to win the statuette at the Dolby Theatre.Other nominations include James Franco's anticipated The Disaster Artist and The Florida Project, an indie production starring Willem Dafoe.
Indie awards are the best Oscar predictors

Saoirse Ronan got a nod for best female lead for her role in Lady Bird
The Spirit nominations are determined by anonymous voting committees, while the winners are determined by Film Independent's 6,200-strong membership.Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on 3 March, one day before the Oscars, at a ceremony co-hosted by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney.
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