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Spirit Awards Nominations Announced, ‘Take Shelter’ And ‘The Artist’ Lead The Pack

Spirit Awards Nominations Announced, 'Take Shelter' And 'The Artist' Lead The Pack

You know it’s the start of the awards season when two big groups are announcing their awards simultaneously, and despite the NYFCC‘s attempts to gain attention of late, the big news of the day is the nominations for the 27th Film Independent’s Spirit Awards, which were unveiled by Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale this morning.

Despite focusing on independent film, with (relatively) strict budgetary cut-offs, it’s not a bad signifier to certain degrees as to how the Oscars might be heading, and it’s certainly given a few films a boost, while being something of a blow to other hopefuls. Awards front-runner “The Artist,” which despite the assumptions of some, was eligible, leads the pack with five nominations, including Best Feature, but it was matched by Jeff Nichols‘ “Take Shelter,” more traditional Spirit fare, which also scored five, including acting nods for Jessica Chastain and lead Michael Shannon

Just behind were “Beginners,” which is having an excellent week, having been the joint winner of Best Film at the Gotham Awards last night, and Alexander Payne‘s “The Descendants,” both of which received four, although in the case of the latter, interestingly not for George Clooney in the Best Actor category. “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Drive” also managed four nods, although Sean Durkin‘s film was nominated, as is tradition, only in the Best First Feature category, rather than the main prize.

Obviously, the Spirits march to the beat of their own drum somewhat — hence nominations for the teeny-tiny likes of “Gun Hill Road,” “In The Family” and “Think of Me,” further down the list, and we wouldn’t want it to any other way. But “Take Shelter“‘s success does bode well for Michael Shannon’s Best Actor chances in more mainstream ceremonies, while conversely Michael Fassbender‘s absence (and indeed, the almost total lack of attention for “Shame,” bar a token Best International Film nod, seems to be a poor signifier for that film, and for its star (although we wonder if it was eligible, although if “The Artist” was, surely it would be too?)

We’ll get more into these picks, and the NYFCC awards, in our Amazing Race column later in the week. But in the meantime, check out the full list of awards below. The winners will be announced just ahead of the Oscars, on February 25th.

Best Feature
“Take Shelter”
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”

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

Best First Feature
“Another Earth”
“In The Family”
“Margin Call”
“Martha Marcy May Marlene”
“Natural Selection”

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”
Rachel 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”

Best Supporting Female
Jessica Chastain – “Take Shelter”
Angelica Huston – “50/50”
Janet McTeer – “Albert Nobbs”
Harmony Santana – “Gun Hill Road”
Shaileen Woodley – “The Descendants”

John Cassavettes Award
“Hello Lonesome”
“The Dynamiter

Best Documentary
“An African Election”
“Bill Cunningham New York”
“The Interrupters”
“The Redemption of General Butt Naked”
“We Were Here”

Best International Film
“A Separation”
“The Kid With A Bike”

Best Cinematography
Joel Hodge – “Bellflower”
Benjamin Kasulke – “The Off Hours”
Darius Khondji – “Midnight In Paris”
Guillaume Schiffman “The Artist”
Jeffrey Waldron – “The Dynamiter”

Best Screenplay
Joseph Cedar – “Footnote”
Michel Hazanivicius – “The Artist”
Tom McCarthy – “Win Win”
Mike Mills – “Beginners”
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash – “The Descendants”

Best First Screenplay
Mike Cahill & Brit Marling – “Another Earth”
J.C. Chandor – “Margin Call”
Patreck DeWitt – “Terri”
Phil Johnston – “Cedar Rapids”
Will Reiser – “50/50”

Truer Than Fiction Award
Heather Courtney
Danfung Dennis
Alma Har’El

Piaget Producers Award
Chad Burris
Sophia Lin
Josh Mond

Someone To Watch
Simon Arthur
Mark Jackson
Nicholas Ozeki

Robert Altman Award – “Margin Call”

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from a rudimentary IMDb search, seems like one of shame's producers is american, so if it was eligible, i'd be very interested in why it was shut out


Almost covers all the awesome films currently. Margin Call is really cool, good to see it wins Robert Altman Award. Elizabeth Olsen deserves a nomination, at least. Hope Lars Von Trier and Steve Mcqueen are gonna share something. 50/50 also deserves some praise.


I'm just happy that the REAL best film of the year got nominated – GO BOMBAY BEACH!!!


Is there a 'Best Music' from a film category? If so, I recommend the music from the musical saw scene in 'Another Earth'. You can hear it on the composer's website


Best Feature – Drive
Best Director – Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)
Best First Feature – Margin Call
Best Male Lead – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Best Female Lead – Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Best Supporting Male – Albert Brooks (Drive)
Best Supporting Female – Shaileen Woodley (The Descendants)
John Cassavettes Award – Pariah
Best Documentary – The Interrupters
Best International Film – Melancholia
Best Cinematography – Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist)
Best Screenplay – Michel Hazanivicius (The Artist)
Best First Screenplay – Patreck DeWitt (Terri)
Truer Than Fiction Award – No Clue
Piaget Producers Award – No Clue
Someone To Watch – No Clue

Oliver Lyttelton

F0r the record, a film has to be made for under $20 million to qualify, and be by at least one U.S. producer. Tree of Life fell down on the former, I suspect Kevin fell down on the latter.


A lot of these are good noms, I'd prefer Anna Kendrick and JGL in 50/50. I'm confused about Kevin, Tree of Life.


Why was Pariah nominated for the John Cassavettes Award? Doesn't the film have to be made for under $500,000 to be eligible. The film was made for way more than that, I'm sure.


Some great picks, though I'm pretty bummed they didn't nominate Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he gave my favorite male performance of the year so far. Also, is The Tree of Life not "independent" in their minds?

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