Previously on the Independent Spirit Awards...last year 2 of the 5 nominees were Best Feature Film winners, they were Silver Linings Playbook, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Playbook ended up winning this award along with Best Director, Female Lead, and Screenplay. Beasts only won Cinematography. Meanwhile Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom lead the nominations. Kingdom did not win a single award. Playbook cost 21 million, Kingdom cost 16 million, and Beasts cost 1.8 million. The question I asked after the winners/nominees were announced is how do you define independent? Film Independent has set a capt at 21 million dollars, but I would argue this takes away the "spirit" of true independent film making.
Last year of the 9 categories which exist at both the Oscars and Spirit Awards only 14 nominees matched, out of 50. That is just slightly under 30, or 28 percent to be precise. One of the great things about these awards is that they do not match and their nominees stray from the films recognized from the Academy. The winners of their awards tend to be folks who are nominated for Oscar, like Jennifer Lawrence and the Silver Linings train last year. Film Independent broke this pattern as well last year. Last year they awarded John Hawkes Best Male Lead for The Sessions and and Matthew McConaughey for Best Male Supporting.
This year 12 Years a Slave leads the pack with 7 nominations, and Nebraska is not far behind with 6 nominations. Rounding out the Best Feature Film nominees All is Lost has 4 nominations,but the real head scratchers are with the final two nominees Inside Llewyn Davis has 3 nominations, but no screenplay or directing nomination for Coens. Frances Ha has only 2 nominations, but no nomination for screenplay, or the star Greta Gerwig.
One snub that stuck out like a sore thumb to me was no Before Midnight in Best Feature, it was one of the best films of the year. The other interesting fact is that the Spirit Awards have 6 nominees in the Best Male Lead category, Oscar should follow suit with 6 at least. Excited for The Spectacular Now, the film was great, and glad to see they spread the wealth for films like Enough Said, and Mud.
Overall a solid group of nominees, the biggest benefactor here is Nebraska, this will bring a lot of awards attention, and hopefully launch it to more nominations at the Oscars.
How do the nominees look this year? Here is the full list
Best Feature Film
12 Years a Slave
All is Lost
Inside Llewyn Davis
Best First Feature
Shane Carruth-Upstream Color
JC Chandor-All is Lost
Steve McQueen-12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave-John Ridley
Before Midnight-Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater
Blue Jasmine-Woody Allen
Enough Said-Nicole Holofcnener and Scott Neustadter
The Spectacular Now-Michael H. Weber
Best First Screenplay
In a World
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Julie Delpy, "Before Midnight"
Gaby Hoffman, "Crystal Fairy"
Brie Larson, "Short Term 12"
Shailene Woodley, "The Spectacular Now"
Best Male Lead
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"
Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Robert Redford, "All is Lost"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
Best Supporting Female
Melonie Diaz, "Fruitvale Station"
Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"
Yolonda Ross, "Go For Sisters"
June Squibb, "Nebraska"
Best Supporting Male
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"
Will Forte, "Nebraska"
James Gandolfini, "Enough Said"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Keith Stanfield, "Short Term 12"
"All is Lost"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"12 Years a Slave"
"Short Term 12"
"The Act of Killing"
"20 Feet from Stardom"
Best International Film
"Blue is the Warmest Color"
"The Great Beauty"
"A Touch of Sin"
Robert Altman Award
John Cassavetes Award
"This is Martin Bonner"
Piaget Producers Award
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston
Someone to Watch Award
Aaron Douglas Johnston, "My Sisters Quinceañera"
Shaka King, "Newlyweeds"
Madeline Olnek, "The Foxy Merkins"
Truer Than Fiction Award
Kalyanee Mam, "A River Changes Course"
Jason Osder, "Let the Fire Burn"
Stephanie Spray & Pacho Valez, "Manakamana"