’12 Years a Slave’ Leads Spirit Nominations with 7; ‘Nebraska’ Takes 6
High-profile studios pics mingled with small-scale indies as Fox Searchlight’s “12 Years a Slave” led nominations for the 29th Independent Spirit Awards with seven followed by Paramount Vantage’s “Nebraska” with six.
In a year chock full of worth films, Film Indpendent voters spread the wealth among titles that are serious Oscar contenders as well as true indies with minimal budgets and a lack of marquee names.
“12 Years” was tapped for best feature, director for Steve McQueen, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofer, supporting actress for Lupita Nyong’o, supporting actor for Michael Fassbender, cinematography for Sean Bobbit and screenplay by John Ridley. Nominated “12 Years” producers are Dede Gardner, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Brad Pitt and Bill Pohlad.
“12 Years” has grossed $29 million in the U.S. since its launch on Oct. 18.
“Nebraska” received noms for best feature, director Alexander Payne, best actor for Bruce Dern, supporting actress for June Squibb, supporting actor for Will Forte and best first screenplay for Bob Nelson. Producers are Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa. Dern won the Best Actor award at Cannes for his work in the dark comedy.
Besides “12 Years” and “Nebraska,” the best feature nominations went to Lionsgate’s “All Is Lost,” IFC’s “Frances Ha” and CBS Films’ “Inside Llewyn Davis.” That meant two nominations for Scott Rudin, a producer on “Frances Ha” with Noah Baumbach, Rodrigo Texeira and Lila Yacoub and a producer with Joel and Ethan Coen on “Llewyn Davis.” “All Is Lost” is produced by Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb.
“All Is Lost” was also nominated for best director for J.C. Chandor, best actor for Robert Redford and best cinematography for Frank DeMarco for a total of four noms. “Blue Jasmine,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Short Term 12” each garnered three nominations.
Octavia Spencer and Paula Patton announced the nominations Tuesday morning at the W Hotel. The awards ceremonies will take place March 1 – the day before the Oscars – at the usual location in a massive white tent on Santa Monica beach.
Spencer, who starred in “Fruitvale Station,” teared up for all three of its noms — best first feature for Ryan Coogler, best actor for Michael B. Jordan and Melonie Diaz for supporting actress. “Fruitvale Station” won the Sundance grand jury prize.
Only films with budgets of $20 million or less are eligible for the Spirits. Focus Features’ “Dallas Buyers Club” took two noms for Matthew McConaughey for best actor and Jared Leto for supporting actor. McConaughey won the Spirit’s supporting actor trophy in February for “Magic Mike.”
McConaughey was overlooked for his lead role in “Mud,” which snagged a nod for director Jeff Nichols. The drama also won the Robert Altman award — bestowed upon a director, cast and casting director.
Other films with two noms included”Before Midnight,” “Computer Chess,” “Crystal Fairy,” “Enough Said,” “Frances Ha,” “The Spectacular Now,” “Una Noche” and “Upstream Color.”
The late James Gandolfini was nominated for a supporting performance in “Enough Said.” Joseph Gordon-Levitt was tapped as a nominee in the first screenplay category for “Don Jon” as was Lake Bell for her script for “In a World.”