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Matthew McConaughey, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ score big in the Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations

Movie Talk

Matthew McConaughey, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ score big in the Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations

Photo: Jonathan Crow

As hosts Anna Kendrick, Common, and Zoe Saldana rattled off the nominees for the Film Independent Spirit Awards this morning at the W Hotel in Hollywood, it became clear that Matthew McConaughey was going to have a good day.

The 43-year-old actor nabbed not one but two acting nominations.

McConaughey received Best Supporting Male nom for his turn as Dallas, the roguish male strip club owner in "Magic Mike."  This came as little surprise.  In a movie that featured a lot of strong performances, not to mention perfectly sculpted pecs, McConaughy's magnetic performance was widely seen as the stand out of the movie.

The real shocker came when McConaughey also landed Best Male Lead for the little-seen NC-17 movie "Killer Joe."  The movie, directed by William Friedkin, divided critics with its lurid sex and extremely graphic violence but most were impressed by McConaughey's terrifying charisma as the titular contract killer.

[Related: Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' earns raves at Cannes]

The other big winner of the day was Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," which along with "Silver Linings Playbook," garnered the most nominations, five of them. While David O. Russell's crowd-pleasing comedy-drama was already seen as a sure Oscar contender, "Moonrise" seemed more like a long shot before today. Between these Spirit noms and a win for Best Picture at the Gotham Awards yesterday, it seems more likely that Anderson's tale of childhood love will make it to the best-picture top ten.

Also, along with Best Feature and Best Director, "Moonrise" landed a Best Supporting Male nom for Bruce Willis, who played a depressed rural cop. Should we start considering him a contender for the Oscars?

Perhaps the biggest snub was of Frank Langella whose terrific performance as an irascible retired thief in "Robot and Frank" did not score a nomination. There were whispers that he might be a dark horse candidate for best actor, but given the snub from Indieland, that seems very unlikely now. Rachel Weisz's turn as a love-struck aristocrat in "The Deep Blue Sea" was also sadly ignored.

The Independent Spirit Awards are considered the Academy Awards of the indie world. The awards have in the past proved to be clear indication of which way the Oscar winds might be blowing — last year's best-picture Academy Award winner "The Artist" also won the Spirit Awards' top prize.

The Independent Spirit Awards take place on Feb. 23 in Santa Monica.

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 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"

Follow me on Twitter (@jonccrow)

See the trailer for 'Killer Joe':

'Killer Joe' Theatrical Trailer