Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom (last night's big winner at the Gotham Awards) led today's Independent Spirit Award nomination announcement with five nods each, including Best Feature.

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.
This is usually the Oscar jumping off place for whatever happens to be the "it" indie (read - small budgeted by Hollywood standards) movie of the moment, and right now Silver Linings Playbook looks most likely to benefit from a win here, although Beasts of the Southern Wild is still a strong possibility.

Ava DuVernay's self-financed Middle of Nowhere continues its impressive success with a whopping four nominations, including the John Cassavetes award (which features an unusually strong lineup including Sean Baker's Starlet and Alex Ross Perry's The Color Wheel) and Emayatzy Corinealdi for Best Female Lead.

I'm also thrilled to see some love for Jonathan Lisecki's charming Gayby and Ira Sachs' moving Keep the Lights On, which scored nods for Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Male Lead. It's also good to see Mary Elizabeth Winstead's extraordinary performance in Smashed get recognized. I would love to see it translate into bigger buzz, but I kind of doubt it.

That being said, if they wanted to nominate REAL independents - they would be honoring stuff like Middle of Nowhere and Starlet for Best Feature. Just because Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom are specialty releases by major studios doesn't make them independent films. Sean Baker and Ava DuVernay represent the best in true American independent filmmaking, and are the very essence of what the Spirits should be honoring for Best Feature.

Here is the complete list of nominees:

BEST FEATURE
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Bernie
Keep the Lights On
Moonrise Kingdom
Silver Linings Playbook

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
Julia Loktev (The Loneliest Planet)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Fill the Void
Gimme the Loot
Safety Not Guaranteed
Sound of My Voice
Perks of Being a Wallflower

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
Breakfast With Curtis (Laura Colella)
Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay)
Mosquita y Mari (Aurora Guerrero)
Starlet (Sean Baker)
The Color Wheel (Alex Ross Perry)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom)
Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks)
Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias (Keep the Lights On)

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Rama Burshtein (Fill the Void)
Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed)
Nicholas Jarecki (Arbitrage)
Rashida Jones & Will McCormack (Celeste and Jesse Forever)
Jonathan Lisecki (Gayby)

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Linda Cardellini (Return)
Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed)

BEST MALE LEAD
Jack Black (Bernie)
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
John Hawkes (The Sessions)
Thure Lindhardt (Keep the Lights On)
Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe)
Wendell Pierce (Four)

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Rosemarie DeWitt (Your Sister’s Sister)
Ann Dowd (Compliance)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Brit Marling (Sound of My Voice)
Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere)

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)
David Oyelowo (Middle of Nowhere)
Michael Pena (End of Watch)
Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths)
Bruce Willis (Moonrise Kingdom)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Beasts of the Southern Wild
End of Watch
Here
Moonrise Kingdom
Valley of Saints

BEST DOCUMENTARY
The Central Park Five
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
The Waiting Room

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Amour
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Rust and Bone
Sister
War Witch

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
Starlet

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Alicia Van Couvering (Nobody Walks)
Mynette Louie (Stones in the Sun)
Derrick Tseng (Prince Avalanche)

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
David Fenster (Pincus)
Adam Leon (Gimme the Loot)
Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children)

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel)
Only the Young (Jasonyyee Tippet and Elizabeth Mimms)
The Waiting Room (Peter Nicks)

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