5 Big Surprises From Early Awards

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

With the Indie Spirits, Gothams and New York Film Critics Circle weighing in, awards season is officially under way. THR's prognosticator surveys the winners and losers among some unexpected selections.

Midnight in Paris Snubbed by the Spirits

Woody Allen's crowd-pleasing time-travel hit is considered a shoo-in for a best picture Academy Award nomination,  but it received Spirit noms only for supporting actor (Corey Stoll for playing Ernest Hemingway) and cinematography. The slights for feature, director and screenplay could be enough to make Allen a little neurotic about his Oscar chances.

Felicity Jones Wins Breakthrough Actor

The Like Crazy star trumped favorites Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Shailene Woodley (Descendants) for the Gothams honor. Five of the past seven winners went on to score Oscar noms: Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), Amy Adams (Junebug), Rinko Kikuchi (Babel), Ellen Page (Juno) and Melissa Leo (Frozen River).

Beginners Becomes a Serious Contender

The small Ewan McGregor-Christopher Plummer drama beat The Descendants to win best feature (tying with The Tree of Life) and best ensemble at the Gothams. The past two films to win both, The Hurt Locker (2009) and Winter's Bone (2010), went on to score best picture Oscar noms.

The Tree of Life Surges to Life

With a $32 million budget, Terrence Malick's poetic, polarizing drama stretches the definition of an "indie." But it scored a win for best feature at the Gothams (tying with Beginners), and the New York Film Critics named Brad Pitt best actor and Jessica Chastain best supporting actress. (Tree wasn't eligible for Spirits.)

No Love for George Clooney or Glenn Close

The stars were shut out of the Spirits despite the fact that Clooney's Descendants was nominated for feature, director (Alexander Payne) and screenplay (Payne and Nat Faxon) and that Close's Albert Nobbs co-star Janet McTeer scored a supporting nom.

 
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