2011 Independent Spirit Awards Recognize ‘The Artist,’ ‘Beginners’

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It is quite a busy day with the New York Film Critics Circle announcing their winners the same day that the Independent Spirit Awards announce their nominations. It is also a very relevant day for awards watchers as both groups contribute significant perspective to the annual Oscar race. The Independent Spirit Awards announced their awards with more immediacy than the New York Film Critics Circle as they were voted on prior to today’s announcement. Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale will be announcing the nominees in a live press conference that was also announced via the @FilmIndependent Twitter account.

The biggest winner of the day was Michael Hazanavicius’ The Artist, which lead the field with 5 nominations. Beginners, The Descendants, Drive, and Take Shelter were right behind with 4 nominations each. Alexander Payne’s The Descendants received nominations for Best Film, Director, Supporting Actress, and Screenplay, but no nod was given to George Clooney for his leading performance. The voters skewed younger in the lead actor and actress categories with nominations for newcomers like Elizabeth Olsen and Adepero Oyude.

I am very happy to see that micr0-budget films Bellflower and Another Earth received attention in some of the first time categories. I was a big personal fan of both films and had the wonderful opportunity to interview both Evan Glodell of Bellflower and Brit Marling and Mike Cahill of Another Earth earlier this year. I am also very excited that Drive received lots of attention from the Spirit Awards as it is likely to get completely snubbed by the Academy.

The winners of the 2011 Spirit Awards will be announced at a live ceremony on Saturday, February 25, 2011.

Independent Spirit Award
Nominations 2011

Best Film

50/50
Beginners
Drive
The Artist
The Descendants

Best Director

Mike Mills, Beginners
Nichols Winding Refn, Drive
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Best First Feature

Another Earth
In the Family
Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natural Selection

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 Male Lead

Demian Bichar, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Best Supporting Female

Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
Anjelica Huston, 50/50
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

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 Screenplay

Joseph Cedar, Footnote
Michael Hazanvicius, The Artist
Tom McCarthy, Win Win
Mike Mills, Beginners
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rasch, The Descendants

Best First Screenplay

Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, Another Earth
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Patrick DeWitt, Terri
Phil Jonhston, Cedar Rapids
Will Reiser, 50/50

Best International Film

A Separation
Melancholia
Shame
The Kid With a Bike
Tyrannosaur

Best Documentary Feature

An African Selection
Bill Cunningham New York
The Interrupters
The Redemption of General Butt Naked
We Were Here

Best Cinematography

Joel Hodge, Bellflower
Benjamin Kasulke, The Off Hours
Darius Khondji, Midnight in Paris
Guillaume Shiffman, The Artist
Jeffrey Waldron, The Dynamiter

John Cassavettes Award (Made for Under $500,000)

Bellflower
Circumstance
Hello Lonesome
Pariah
The Dynamiter

Don’t forget to check out the full precursor charts for the latest updates!

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  • Calvin

    Beginners seems like it could be the year’s surprise contender. That said, this is the first year I follow the precursors religiously, so I am basing this solely off of observation.

  • again .. i should see Another Earth and Margin Call soon. will be watching Rampart next week but can’t wait to watch Take Shelter and Moneyball. happy for Beginners and 50/50.

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