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When examining the various pre-Oscar awards, one must look at them like single plays during a football game. No one single down has never won or lost a game. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either clueless or a sore loser. Award season, like a football game, is made up of dozens of very important, marginally important and somewhat important ceremonies. It’s only when you take a step back and look at them as a whole that the individual pieces take on more than arbitrary significance. For example: one guild could award Piranha 3D Best Picture, and the film would still have almost no chance to even be nominated by the Academy, but if three or four or ten different ceremonies did the same thing, eventually they would add up and likely secure a nomination. At least that’s what Winter’s Bone is banking on.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Debra Granik’s brilliant independent film has just picked up another two awards, this time from The Torino Film Festival. The Italian awards ceremony typically ignores studio films and only honors films from first, second or third time directors. As I said before, the two prizes are just more small honors building the framework for something larger. This time Jennifer Lawrence shared Best Actress, and the film itself won for Best Picture.

In just the last week, Winter’s Bone has picked up two Gotham Awards and a slew of Independent Spirit Nominations to go along with its Sundance Jury Prize. If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend you find a way of doing so. Cinema Blend’s Jessica Grabert gave the film 4 and a half stars in her review, and the movie itself, along with Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes seem primed for possible Oscar Nominations. It’ll take a few more ceremonies like The Torino Film Festival to get there, but if this momentum continues, it’ll be a real surprise to see it shut out.

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