Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name just jumped to the head of the Oscars awards race after dominating the nominations to one of the industry's early bellwethers of critical success, the Independent Spirit Awards, where the film is up for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Male Lead and Best Supporting Male, Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
Get Out, Lady Bird, The Florida Project and The Rider joined the sensual coming of age story in the Best Feature category. Last year, Moonlight won five Spirit Awards, and then won Best Picture at the Oscars, but it is not the only big film win at the Indies in recent history to correspond with the Oscars.
Spotlight, Birdman and 12 Years A Slave each won Best Picture at the Oscars, after winning Best Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards. Looking at the trend of Spirit Award winners that went on to become Oscar winning pictures, Call Me By Your Name has a good chance of bringing home the Oscar for Best Picture if it wins the Spirit Award for Best Feature.
The Independent Spirit Awards is not always the most accurate predictor of which films will take home Academy Awards, especially since many of the films’ foreign provenance tend to make them ineligible for Oscars, but it is typically a good starting point for predicting the upcoming Oscar nominations. Last year a handful of Independent Spirit Award nominees were also nominated for Academy Awards, and some of them even won. Ruth Negga, Isabelle Huppert, Lucas Hedges, Natalie Portman and Viggo Mortensen were each nominated for Independent Spirit Awards and subsequently achieved nominee status at the 2017 Oscars, and Casey Affleck was nominated and eventually won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Manchester by the Sea. Both Hammer and Chalamet are shoo-ins for Academy Award nominations in 2018.
What is unique about Spotlight, Moonlight, 12 Years a Slave and Birdman is that they won not only the Oscar for Best Picture, but took home at least three Spirit Awards. Spotlight won a Spirit Award for each of the five categories in which it was nominated, as did Moonlight for each of its six categories. This means that with six nominations, Call Me By Your Name could effectively sweep the Independent Spirit Awards, which will air on March 3, 2018, just one night before the 90th Academy Awards. The Academy Awards nominations will not be announced until early 2018, but if the Independent Spirit Awards are any indication, Call Me By Your Name is probably the best bet as a submission to your Oscar shortlist.