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Got Spirit?

If last night’s newly-glamorized “Independent Spirit Awards” in their new venue in downtown Los Angeles were any indication, there are a couple of Oscar favorites who better get their speeches ready. Namely Jeff Bridges, who’s nominated by the Academy for Best Performance by a Actor in a Leading Role (against George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman and Jeremy Renner), and the previously mentioned favorite for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Mo’Nique (who is nominated alongside Vera Farmiga, Penelope Cruz, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick). Both Bridges and Mo’Nique won in their respective categories, further reinforcing the popular opinio (and prevailing Hollywood mood) that they will win the Oscar as well.

Congrats to both performers, and to the rest who are presumed to be on the inside track for their respective awards, from putative Best Supporting Actor Christophe Waltz to “Up,” which will probably take home the Best Animated Feature statuette. In addition, you can probably assume “The Hurt Locker” will bring home a number of Oscars, hopefully including the first Academy Award for Directing presented to a female director. As a man who has five sisters, I’ll have to admit a victory by Kathryn Bigelow for directing “The Hurt Locker” will be historic, but not really earth-shattering, since I’ve been aware all my life that boys and girls are equally capable of most things, especially those not controlled by physiognomy. It’s just bittersweet that so many fine female directors have gone without Academy Awards for their work, particularly groundbreakers like Ida Lupino, Lina Wertmuller or Agnieska Holland or even Jodie Foster…

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