Film News: Nominations Announced For 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards

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CHICAGO – Award season is definitely in full swing and nominations for ceremonies are just starting to be released. For the fan of the indie film, today is a very significant date: the release of the nominations for the 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The Spirit Awards, which were created to provide praise and notoriety to the best in the year of independent film, announced their nominations when Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale read off the nominations at a presentation this morning. Leading the nominations were the films “The Artist” and “Take Shelter,” which both received five nominations.

Take Shelter
Take Shelter
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Clssics

The Spirit Awards are known for being a ceremony that can boost independent films in the Oscar race, as well as providing a larger audience and interest in some lesser known films. Out of the past eight winners of the Best Feature Award at the Spirit Awards, seven have received nominations for Best Picture at the Academy Awards (“Lost in Translation,” “Sideways,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Juno,” “Precious,” and “Black Swan” were all nominated; 2008’s Spirit Best Feature, “The Wrestler,” was not nominated…snubbed one writer might say).

The nominees for this year’s Best Feature at the Spirit Awards are: “50/50,” “Beginners,” “Drive,” “Take Shelter,” “The Artist,” and “The Descendants.” Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” which has received much praise from critics and festivals, along with four other films were nominated in the Best First Feature category, therefore, they were not in the running for a Best Feature nomination. Other notable nominations include: Demian Bichir (“A Better Life”), Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”), Ryan Gosling (“Drive”), Woody Harrelson (“Rampart”) and Michael Shannon (“Take Shelter”) for Best Male Lead and Lauren Ambrose (“Think of Me”), Rachel Harris (“Natural Selection”), Adepero Oduye (“Pariah”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), and Michelle Williams (“My Week with Marilyn”) for Best Female Lead.

The Artist
The Artist
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

It is interesting to note that “Shame” and Michael Fassbender were left off the Best Picture and Best Male Lead list. The film only shows up in the Best Foreign Film category. Fassbender had previously won the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for his role in “Shame” and was nominated for the role in the British Independent Film Awards, which will take place December 4. Perhaps another snub could be found in George Clooney not receiving a nomination for Best Male Lead for his role in “The Descendants.”

The Spirit Awards will be announced on February 25, a day before the Oscars. If you haven’t had the chance to take a look yet, a full list of nominees for this year’s awards can be found below:

Best Feature:
“Take Shelter”
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”

Best Director:
Mike Mills - “Beginners”
Nicolas Winding Refn - “Drive”
Jeff Nichols - “Take Shelter”
Michel Hazanavicius - “The Artist”
Alexander Payne - “The Descendants”

Best First Feature:
“Another Earth”
“In The Family”
“Margin Call”
“Martha Marcy May Marlene”
“Natural Selection”

Best Male Lead:
Demian Bichir - “A Better Life”
Jean Dujardin - “The Artist”
Ryan Gosling - “Drive”
Woody Harrelson - “Rampart”
Michael Shannon - “Take Shelter”

Best Female Lead:
Lauren Ambrose - “Think Of Me”
Rachel Harris - “Natural Selection”
Adepero Oduye - “Pariah”
Elizabeth Olsen - “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Michelle Williams - “My Week With Marilyn”

Best Supporting Male:
Albert Brooks - “Drive”
John Hawkes - “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Christopher Plummer - “Beginners”
John C. Reilly - “Cedar Rapids”
Corey Stoll - “Midnight In Paris”

Best Supporting Female:
Jessica Chastain - “Take Shelter”
Angelica Huston - “50/50”
Janet McTeer - “Albert Nobbs”
Harmony Santana - “Gun Hill Road”
Shaileen Woodley - “The Descendants”

John Cassavettes Award:
“Hello Lonesome”
“The Dynamiter

Best Documentary:
“An African Election”
“Bill Cunningham New York”
“The Interrupters”
“The Redemption of General Butt Naked”
“We Were Here”

Best International Film:
“A Separation”
“The Kid With A Bike”

Best Cinematography:
Joel Hodge - “Bellflower”
Benjamin Kasulke - “The Off Hours”
Darius Khondji - “Midnight In Paris”
Guillaume Schiffman “The Artist”
Jeffrey Waldron - “The Dynamiter”

Best Screenplay:
Joseph Cedar - “Footnote”
Michel Hazanivicius - “The Artist”
Tom McCarthy - “Win Win”
Mike Mills - “Beginners”
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash - “The Descendants”

Best First Screenplay:
Mike Cahill & Brit Marling - “Another Earth”
J.C. Chandor - “Margin Call”
Patreck DeWitt - “Terri”
Phil Johnston - “Cedar Rapids”
Will Reiser - “50/50”

Truer Than Fiction Award:
Heather Courtney
Danfung Dennis
Alma Har’El

Piaget Producers Award:
Chad Burris
Sophia Lin
Josh Mond

Someone To Watch:
Simon Arthur
Mark Jackson
Nicholas Ozeki

Robert Altman Award:
“Margin Call” staff writer Tim Martens

Staff Writer

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