Reviews, Awards and Festival Coverage, Trailers, and miscellany from an industry outsider
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
2011 Independent Spirit Award Nominees
Not content to let the National Board of Review beat them to the punch, the ISA revealed their nominees for the current awards year, and results showcase the high number of indie films likely to make a splash when the Oscar nominations are announced in January. And the nominees are...
BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer) 127 Hours Black Swan Greenberg The Kids Are All Right Winter’s Bone
To steal from Nathaniel R over at the The Film Experience, 80% of this lineup is in strong contention for a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. From what I've seen, I'm not surprised. The only film I haven't seen is Black Swan(that changes tomorrow!), and for the most part I'm not crazy about any of the nominees. They certainly have their strengths, especially127 Hours, butGreenbergandWinter's Bonemostly left me cold. As it stands,Winter's BoneorThe Kids Are All Rightwill likely take this one. A shame thatPlease Give(1 nomination + an honorary award) was left out here.
BEST DIRECTOR Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan Danny Boyle, 127 Hours Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone John Cameron Mitchell, Rabbit Hole
The big surprise here is John Cameron Mitchell; he's the only director whose film isn't up for Best Feature. This makes me wonder how closeRabbit Holewas to edging into the Feature lineup, seeing as it's been gaining momentum ever since its premiere in Toronto. While Cholodenko or Granik would seem like obvious choices, there's always the chance the ISA will go with someone who can make independent films that are also striking visually, which would bode well for Aronofsky and Boyle.
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer) Daddy Longlegs The Exploding Girl Lbs. Lovers of Hate Obsedila
Only seenThe Exploding Girl, and I really hope that writer/director Bradley Rust takes this one. A limited film, but a successful one, and featuring a wonderful lead performance (a shame Kazan was snubbed).
BEST SCREENPLAY Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, Winter’s Bone Nicole Holofcener, Please Give David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole Todd Solondz, Life During Wartime
I love any love I see forPlease Give, which I'll gladly take overWinter's BoneorThe Kids Are All Rightany day. A shame the ISA couldn't have thrown it at least one acting nomination (one of these days, Rebecca Hall, one of these days...). The wild card here isLife During Wartime, who would be a pretty amazing upset. Unlikely though, considering how much people seem to love Granik and Cholodenko's films.
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY Diane Bell, Obselidia Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture Nik Fackler, Lovely, Still Bob Glaudini, Jack Goes Boating Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener, Monogamy
BEST FEMALE LEAD Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right Greta Gerwig, Greenberg Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone Natalie Portman, Black Swan Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
It's pretty amazing to think that everyone on this list (save Gerwig) is in some degree of contention for Best Actress at the Oscars. Indies really have been good to women this year. This is also a big move for Kidman, who rarely, if ever, receives recognition for her (usually very odd) indie film choices. And where on earth is Julianne Moore!?
BEST MALE LEAD Ronald Bronstein, Daddy Longlegs Aaron Eckhart, Rabbit Hole James Franco, 127 Hours John C. Reilly, Cyrus Ben Stiller, Greenberg
Disregarding the lack of nomination for Colin Firth, this makes sense considering the critical and audience standouts from the indie set this year. Eckhart could prove a surprising threat, and Stiller could even take it simply for playing against type, but the safe and obvious bet here is Franco. After all, he's not hosting the Spirit Awards...(heheheheh)
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism Dale Dickey, Winter’s Bone Allison Janney, Life During Wartime Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jack Goes Boating Naomi Watts, Mother and Child
I'm not sure I ever expectedThe Last Exorcismto be nominated for anything, but, hey, apparently the ISA crowd liked her enough (or just needed a fifth slot filler). Watts is probably gaining the most from this, as her film didn't make much of a wave when it hit indie theaters over the summer. Apparently the studio is attempting a campaign, and this could encourage them to really push Watts along with co-star Annette Bening.
BEST SUPPORTING MALE John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone Samuel L. Jackson, Mother and Child Bill Murray, Get Low John Ortiz, Jack Goes Boating Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
I still can't get on the John Hawkes bandwagon, but it's either him or Ruffalo who will likely walk away with the trophy. What's really puzzling here is how Bill Murray scored a nomination for sleeping through his role while co-star Robert Duvall wasn't even nominated.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Adam Kimmel, Never Let Me Go Matthew Libatique, Black Swan Jody Lee Lipes, Tiny Furniture Michael McDonough, Winter’s Bone Harris Savides, Greenberg
Here'sBlack Swan's easiest score of the night, with the only competition coming from Kimmel's lovely work on Never Let Me Go. I'm not sure what aboutGreenberg's cinematography was worthy of a nomination, but clearly the ISA liked that film a great deal more than I did.
BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director) Exit Through The Gift Shop Marwencol Restrepo Sweetgrass Thunder Soul
Exit Through the Gift ShoporRestrepofor the win here.
BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director) Kisses Mademoiselle Chambon Of Gods and Men The King’s Speech Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Unlike the Oscars, the category doesn't include the word "language" in the title, hence the inclusion ofThe King's Speech. Apparently this must take the film out of the running for other awards, because it's strange to think that Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush would be left out here.The King's Speech's status as an Oscar front-runner could propel it to a win, but Cannes entriesUncle Boonmee(which won the Palme) andOf Gods and Menwere generally well received and could provide some interesting competition.
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast) Please Give Director: Nicole Holofcener Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert,Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sara Steele
It's great that this little film is receiving a special honorary award, but I would rather this go to something else and havePlease Givescore nominations for Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress, and Supporting Actor instead. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers and all that jazz.
PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD In-Ah Lee, Au Revoir Taipei Adele Romanski, The Myth of the American Sleepover Anish Savjani, Meek’s Cutoff
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD Hossein Keshavarz, Dog Sweat Laurel Nakadate, The Wolf Knife Mike Ott, Littlerock
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Sweetgrass Jeff Malmberg, Marwencol Lynn True, Nelson Walker, Summer Pasture