Spirit Award Nominations Are All About ‘Take Shelter’ and ‘The Artist’
Sony Pictures Classics
The two movies each collected five nominations, including Best Feature. They will be squaring off against "Beginners," "The Descendants," "Drive" and "50/50." Other than "50/50," all those films have been part of the Oscar conversation, although not all of them are seen to be Best Picture possibilities.
The biggest absence in the Best Feature category would appear to be "Martha Marcy May Marlene," but because it's director Sean Durkin's first feature, it's relegated to the Best First Feature category, where it'll be taking on "Another Earth," "In the Family," "Margin Call" and "Natural Selection." Still, the dark drama managed to snag four Spirit Award nods, including Best Female Lead (for Elizabeth Olsen) and Best Supporting Male (for John Hawkes). The other movies to grab four nominations were "Beginners," "Drive," and "The Descendants." If you saw only a few indie films this year, there's a very good chance you saw these movies: They're the most popular and well-liked indies of the year. (Most obvious indie missing entirely from the Spirit Award nominations: "The Tree of Life." Again, what counts and what doesn't as an "indie" these days completely confuses us.)
Anything else of note? Just this: We're glad the Spirit Awards finally changed the name of their Best Foreign Film category to Best International Film. The way they do their awards, this prize goes to a film financed overseas, but not necessarily one in a foreign language. (Last year's award went to "The King's Speech.") This year, three of the five nominees are in English -- and one of them, "Shame," actually takes place in New York. Like we said, these indie designations are very complicated.
2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations (partial list)
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Mike Mills, "Beginners"
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Nicolas Winding Refn, "Drive"
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"
Rachael 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"