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For Your Consideration: The 10 Biggest Surprises of the Spirit Award Nominations

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire November 26, 2013 at 2:30PM

The 10 biggest surprises of this morning's Spirit Award nominations.
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Gaby Hoffman with Michael Cera in "Crystal Fairy"
Gaby Hoffman with Michael Cera in "Crystal Fairy"

The 29th Annual Film Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced this morning, and as per usual they came with many a surprise and quite a few full-on shockers. Check out the full list of nominations here, with our choices for the 10 most notable nominations (or lack thereof) listed below:

1. Gaby Hoffman gets a best lead female nom over Greta Gerwig and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The Spirit Awards are known for their out-of-nowhere nominees (Linda Cardellini for "Return" last year, anyone?) but that makes it no less surprising that two of the most beloved indie performances of the year -- Greta Gerwig in "Frances Ha" and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in "Enough Said" -- were shut out of the lead female category in favor of... Gaby Hoffman in "Crystal Fairy." No disrespect to Ms. Hoffman (who is admittedly great in the film), but this is where Gerwig and Louis-Dreyfus were most likely to get their deserved due.

2. Meanwhile, best lead male expands to six nominees to accommodate its overcrowding.
The male lead category options were just as crowded, and there were no surprises in the nominees -- Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac, Michael B. Jordan, Matthew McConaughey and Robert Redford were widely seen as the frontrunners to make it in here. Except we all expected one of them to miss out. But the Spirits opted for six nominees instead, just like they did with lead female three years ago, when five eventual nominees for the best actress Oscar -- Natalie Portman, Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Williams -- were joined by none other than Greta Gerwig (for "Greenberg"). It seems likely that this category will see some serious Oscar crossover as well, with Dern, Ejiofor, McConaughey and Redford all looking very good to double dip.

"Before Midnight"
Sony Pictures Classics "Before Midnight"

3. "Before Midnight" misses out on best feature, completing a triple snub for the series.
Certainly one of the most acclaimed films of 2013 indie or otherwise, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke's third collaboration in the "Before" series was snubbed for best feature. At least it's in good company... "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" didn't make the cut either.

4. Melonie Diaz over Octavia Spencer in best supporting female.
The best hope for "Fruitvale Station" at the Oscars is a nomination for Octavia Spencer in best supporting actress, but while the film nabbed three nominations, Spencer wasn't one of them. Instead it was her co-star Melonie Diaz that was nominated for best supporting female.

5. No James Franco for "Spring Breakers."
Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" didn't do so well across the board, managing only one (very deserved) nomination for Benoit Debie's cinematography. Most shocking about that is that it meant that James Franco's already classic portrayal of corn-rowed Florida gangsta wannabe Alien may very well be shut out of awards season altogether.

This article is related to: Awards Season Roundup, Awards, Awards Season, Independent Spirit Awards, Spirit Awards, For Your Consideration





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