2015 Independent Spirit Award Nominees

The Independent Spirit Award nominees were announced yesterday. These awards are incredibly hard to call for me. A lot of these films don't get a ton of exposure and they have the weirdest eligibility rules. (That's why you're not seeing any individual awards for Foxcatcher here and why Magic Mike of all movies got nominated before.) 

Here's a rundown of the nominees. My thoughts as always follow in green.



BEST FEATURE 

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Boyhood
Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland

Love is Strange
Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy

Selma
Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey

Whiplash
Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

The only film I've seen here is Birdman, hopefully that changes before the actual award show rolls around. No Imitation Game is a surprise to me. Especially with all the Oscar buzz surrounding it. Begin Again and I Origins not being here is disappointing too. 

BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle
Whiplash

Ava DuVernay
Selma

Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater
Boyhood

David Zellner
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

BEST SCREENPLAY

Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Big Eyes

J.C. Chandor
A Most Violent Year

Dan Gilroy
Nightcrawler

Jim Jarmusch
Only Lovers Left Alive

Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
Love is Strange

Nightcrawler! I'm so afraid this will get ignored by the Oscars, so these Indie Spirit nominations will help. I thought The Skeleton Twins would get a screenplay nomination, but what do I know?

BEST FIRST FEATURE 

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah

Dear White People
Director/Producer: Justin Simien
Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe

Nightcrawler
Director: Dan Gilroy
Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

Obvious Child
Director: Gillian Robespierre
Producer: Elisabeth Holm

She’s Lost Control
Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt
Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones

I love that Obvious Child got in here too.

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Desiree Akhavan
Appropriate Behavior

Sara Colangelo
Little Accidents

Justin Lader
The One I Love

Anja Marquardt
She’s Lost Control

Justin Simien
Dear White People


JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer; executive producers are not awarded.

Blue Ruin
Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Producers:Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani

It Felt Like Love
Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman
Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner

Land Ho!
Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens
Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy

Man From Reno
Writer/Director: Dave Boyle
Writers: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman
Producer: Ko Mori

Test
Writer/Director/Producer: Chris Mason Johnson
Producer: Chris Martin


BEST FEMALE LEAD

Marion Cotillard
The Immigrant

Rinko Kikuchi
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

Julianne Moore
Still Alice

Jenny Slate
Obvious Child

Tilda Swinton
Only Lovers Left Alive

I'm happy for Jenny Slate, especially. Though I wish Keira Knightley would've gotten in for Begin Again.


BEST MALE LEAD

André Benjamin
Jimi: All Is By My Side

Jake Gyllenhaal
Nightcrawler

Michael Keaton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

John Lithgow
Love is Strange

David Oyelowo
Selma

Gyllenhaal and Keaton were both tremendous. Oyelowo is good in everything and Lithgow looks promising in Love is Strange, but Andre 3000? Really? Over Ruffalo for Begin Again, Pitt for I Orgins, and Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game?

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Patricia Arquette
Boyhood

Jessica Chastain
A Most Violent Year

Carmen Ejogo
Selma

Andrea Suarez Paz
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Emma Stone
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Chastain's nomination surprises me for that film. I didn't think it was getting that strong of reviews. Then again, neither did Junebug and Amy Adams deservingly got those nominations.


BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Riz Ahmed
Nightcrawler

Ethan Hawke
Boyhood

Alfred Molina
Love is Strange

Edward Norton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

J.K. Simmons
Whiplash

I'm glad to see Norton and Ahmed here. Simmons seems like a lock for an Oscar nom at this point.


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Darius Khondji
The Immigrant

Emmanuel Lubezki
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Sean Porter
It Felt Like Love

Lyle Vincent
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Bradford Young
Selma



BEST EDITING

Sandra Adair
Boyhood

Tom Cross
Whiplash

John Gilroy
Nightcrawler

Ron Patane
A Most Violent Year

Adam Wingard
The Guest



BEST DOCUMENTARY 

20,000 Days on Earth
Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson

CITIZENFOUR
Director/Producer: Laura Poitras
Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

Stray Dog
Director: Debra Granik
Producer: Anne Rosellini

The Salt of the Earth
Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders
Producer: David Rosier

Virunga
Director/Producer: Orlando Von Einsiedel
Producer: Joanna Natasegara



BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM 

Force Majeure
(Sweden)
Director: Ruben Östlund

Ida
(Poland)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

Leviathan
(Russia)
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Mommy
(Canada)
Director: Xavier Dolan

Norte, the End of History
(Philippines)
Director: Lav Diaz

Under the Skin
(United Kingdom)
Director: Jonathan Glazer

I can't wait to check out Xavier Dolan's newest. 

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast.)

Inherent Vice
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis
Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon



SPECIAL DISTINCTION AWARD

Foxcatcher
Director/Producer: Bennett Miller
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik
Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum


18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD - The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson



21st ANNUAL KIEHL'S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD - The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl's Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl's Since 1851.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

H.
Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia

The Retrieval
Director:Chris Eska


20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD - The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.

Approaching the Elephant
Director: Amanda Rose Wilder

Evolution of a Criminal
Director: Darius Clark Monroe

The Kill Team
Director: Dan Krauss

The Last Season
Director: Sara Dosa

8 comments:

  1. This is so nuts with those special awards for Foxcatcher - what is this? We cannot decide who to award so we will just give you guys a collective prize? Well hopefully it means Mark will be there :) But he should have been nominated for Begin Again!

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    1. Hopefully the Globes give Begin Again the love it deserves.

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  2. I love that Obvious Child is there as well. I just thought The Skeleton Twins was decent, not great. I can't wait to see nightcrawler and i LOVE boyhood. I haven't seen Begin Again, but it sounds like you're a fan of it! the premise isn't pulling me in though...but i can confirm that jimi: all is by my side (and andre benjamin) is AWFUL. i still need to see selma. didn't like i, origins...

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    1. I know Skeleton Twins didn't get the best reviews, but I still thought it would be there. I can't wait to hear what you think of Nightcrawler! Begin Again was very good. I definitely recommend.

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  3. There were some snubs, but I'm happy with most of the nominations. Dying to see Whiplash, Leviathan and Mommy. I just joined Film Independent, so I'm hoping for some good screeners next month. :)

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    1. Ohhh nice! I'm really annoyed, my local indie theater had Whiplash for two weeks and already got rid of it, so I missed it.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.