Saturday, February 25, 2012

27th Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners

Following the awards by twitter has become one of the most fascinating activities in this award season as you can really laugh hard with all the things people write; this time I followed #spiritawards and the best tweet just happened a few seconds ago and reads "Complete list of Harvey Weinstein Award winners" (LMAO) Oh Gosh, HW is either loved or hated (more the later) but is so funny all the stuff (industry) people say in twitter about him. No, will not watch tonight as jokes are too gross for me (don't enjoy American humor) so this will be all for me and the Spirit awards. Winners are in *BLUE and will be at official site here soon.



A few minutes ago organizers announced the nominees selected from 277 submissions; this annual celebration honors artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Here are the nominees.

Best Feature
Take Shelter
*The Artist
The Descendants

Best Director
*Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Mike Mills for Beginners
Jeff Nichols for Take Shelter
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive

Best First Feature
Another Earth, Mike Cahill
In the Family, Patrick Wang
*Margin Call, J. C. Chandor
Martha Marcy May Marlene, Sean Durkin
Natural Selection, Robbie Pickering

John Cassavetes Award (given to best feature for under US$500,000)
Bellflower, Evan Glodell
Circumstance, Maryam Keshavarz
Hello Lonesome, Adam Reid
*Pariah, Dee Rees
The Dynamiter, Brad Inglesby

Best Female Lead
Lauren Ambrose in Think of Me
Rachael Harris in Natural Selection
Adepero Oduye in Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene
*Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn

Best Male Lead
Demián Bichir in A Better Life
*Jean Dujardin in The Artist
Ryan Gosling in Drive
Woody Harrelson in Rampart
Michael Shannon in Take Shelter

Best Supporting Female
Jessica Chastain in Take Shelter
Anjelica Huston in 50/50
Janet McTeer Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana in Gun Hill Road
*Shailene Woodley in The Descendats

Best Supporting Male
Albert Brooks in Drive
John Hawkes in Martha Marcy May Marlene
*Christopher Plummer in Beginners
John C. Reilly in Cedar Rapids
Corey Stoll in Midnight in Paris

Best Screenplay
Joseph Cedar for Footnote
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Tom McCarthy for Win Win
Mike Millsfor Beginners
*Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash for The Descendants

Best First Screenplay
Mike Cahill, Brit Marling for Another Earth
J.C. Chandor for Margin Call
Patrick deWitt for Terri
Phil Johnston for Cedar Rapids
*Will Reiser for 50/50

Best Cinematography
Joel Hodge for Bellflower
Benjamin Kasulke for The Off Hours
Darius Khondji for Midnight in Paris
*Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist
Jeffrey Waldron for The Dynamiter

Best Documentary
An African Election, Jarreth Merz
Bill Cunningham New York, Richard Press
*The Interrupters, Steve James
The Redemption of General Butt Naked, Eric Strauss and Danielle Anastation
We Were Here, David Weissman

Best International Film
*A Separation, Asghar Farhadi, Iran
Melancholia, Lars von Trier, Denmark, Sweden, France and Germany
Shame, Steve McQueen, UK
The Kid With a Bike, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium, France and Italy
Tyrannosaur, Paddy Considine, UK

To check the official announcement go here and to check nominees in all categories download file at the bottom of announcement. As a summary, leading the pack Take Shelter and The Artist with 5 nominations each; Fox Searchlight takes 14 nods followed by Sony Pictures Classics with 9.

My biggest surprise is Glenn Close NOT being nominated for Best Actress, which makes me wonder IF she’ll make it to an Oscar nod; still Janet McTeer got a nomination for a supporting role. A lot less surprising as Hollywood does not really “like” Woody Allen is the absence of top nominations for Midnight in Paris as film gets nods for cinematography and best supporting male. Last, I’m VERY surprised that Malick’s latest got no nominations at all, but as I’ve been saying, I didn’t enjoyed much his latest movie; still is very surprising that NY did nominate film while LA did not. Okay also not nominated, George Clooney but somehow I’m glad as gives opportunity to more interesting actors to be nominated.

There are several –if we compare nominees to previous years- Cannes films in this year Spirit nominations starting with a French movie (ok, has some USA producers) The Artist, followed by Drive, Hearat Shulayim (Footnote) and Take Shelter; plus four more in the Best International Film category. As we know Cannes credentials mean a lot in the cinema world, with the exception of the American industry, so believe that this credential doesn’t assure much in American Indies awards.

Most interesting for me are the nominees in the John Cassavetes Award as there are two lesbian interest films that have become notorious not only because story/performances but also for "unexpected" quality that seldom populates the genre. Circumstance is must be seen for me as story, performances, situation, cinematography, and more seem to be quite out-of-the-ordinary and let's hope gets this honor.

Awards ceremony will be on February 25, 2012 as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica and the premiere broadcast will air later that evening at 10:00pm ET/PT on IFC.

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