Independent Spirit Award Nominees.

Here's a list of the 2011 Spirit Awards, my comments & predictions will be in blue. I haven't seen a lot of these films yet, so this is more of a preliminary predictions list. I'll update it once we get closer to the broadcast and compare.

"127 Hours"
"Black Swan"
"The Kids Are All Right"
"Winter’s Bone"

I'm a little surprised Greenberg is in there, reviews seemed so mixed. I haven't caught Black Swan or 127 Hours yet, but I absolutely loved The Kids Are All Right. It's been one of my favorite films all year. I'm going with them for the win at this point.

Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"
Danny Boyle, "127 Hours"
Lisa Cholodenko, "The Kids Are All Right"
Debra Granik, "Winter’s Bone"
John Cameron Mitchell, "Rabbit Hole"
Cholodenko did a fantastic job, but I'm going to go with Danny Boyle taking the win, just because I love that guy so much.

Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, "The Kids Are All Right"
Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, "Winter’s Bone"
Nicole Holofcener, "Please Give"
David Lindsay-Abaire, "Rabbit Hole"
Todd Solondz, "Life During Wartime"

I've only seen Kids and Winter's Bone, and I definitely think the former is the better film. At this point, I'm going for Kids.

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
"Everything Strange and New"
Director: Frazer Bradshaw
Producers: A.D. Liano, Laura Techera Francia
"Get Low"
Director: Aaron Schneider
Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck
"Night Catches Us"
Director: Tanya Hamilton
Producers: Sean Costello, Jason Orans, Ronald Simons
"The Last Exorcism"
Director: Daniel Stamm
Producers: Marc Abraham, Tom Bliss, Eric Newman, Eli Roth
"Tiny Furniture"
Director: Lena Dunham
Producers: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering

I enjoyed Get Low, but I'm really digging The Last Exorcism nominations. They feel like the underdog, but I'm all for the underdog winning. You could tell by the way they promoted this film that they were passionate about it.

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 listed.
"Daddy Longlegs"
Writer/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott
Director: Matthew Bonifacio
Writer/Producers: Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famiglietti
"Lovers of Hate"
Writer/Director: Bryan Poyser
Producer: Megan Gilbride
Writer/Director: Diane Bell
Producers: Chris Byrne, Mathew Medlin
"The Exploding Girl"
Writer/Director: Bradley Rust Gray
Producers: Karin Chien, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim
Again, I haven't caught any of these. Based on reviews I'll go with Daddy Long Legs for now.

BEST FEMALE LEAD Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Greta Gerwig, "Greenberg"
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter’s Bone"
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine"
Glad to see Michelle Williams in here! Overturn that damn rating. Bening was great. Even if I didn't like Winter's Bone Jennifer Lawrence still owned her performance. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Natalie Portman takes home the award.

BEST MALE LEADRonald Bronstein "Daddy Longlegs"
Aaron Eckhart, "Rabbit Hole"
James Franco, "127 Hours"
John C. Reilly, "Cyrus"
Ben Stiller, "Greenberg"
Glad to see John C. Reilly in there, I enjoyed Cyrus. Even though it was marketed completely wrong. I've got go to with the wonderful James Franco though.

Ashley Bell, "The Last Exorcism"
Dale Dickey, "Winter’s Bone"
Allison Janney, "Life During Wartime"
Daphne Rubin-Vega, "Jack Goes Boating"
Naomi Watts, "Mother and Child"
I love Naomi Watts, but I'm sticking with my Last Exorcism love. Ashley Bell did a great job!

John Hawkes "Winter’s Bone"
Samuel L. Jackson, "Mother and Child"
Bill Murray, "Get Low"
John Ortiz, "Jack Goes Boating"
Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right"

The Kids Are All Right is the first movie I've ever liked Mark Ruffalo in, but Bill Murray killed Get Low. I see him winning here.

Adam Kimmel, "Never Let Me Go"
Matthew Libatique, "Black Swan"
Jody Lee Lipes "Tiny Furniture"
Michael McDonough, "Winter’s Bone"
Harris Savides, "Greenberg"
Never Let Me Go was such a beautiful movie. It deserves all the cinematography props it can get.

 to the director)
"Exit Through the Gift Shop," Director: Banksy
"Marwencol," Director: Jeff Malmberg
"Restrepo," Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger
"Sweetgrass," Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor
"Thunder Soul," Director: Mark Landsman

I'm not much of a documentary person, so I'd feel bad even trying to guess here.

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)
Director: Lance Daly

"Mademoiselle Chambo"(France)
Director: Stéphane Brizé
"Of Gods and Men" 
Director: Xavier Beauvois
"The King’s Speech"
(United Kingdom)
Director: Tom Hooper
"Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
" (Thailand)
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
I've been hearing wonderful things about The King's Speech. So I'll go with that for now.

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 17th annual Acura Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Acura.
Hossein Keshavarz
Dog Sweat
Laurel Nakadate
The Wolf Knife
Mike Ott

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 14th annual Piaget Producers Award 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.
In-Ah Lee
Au Revoir Taipei
Adele Romanski
The Myth of the American Sleepover
Anish Savjani
Meek’s Cutoff

AVEENO® TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 16th annual AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award 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 AVEENO®.
Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, "Sweetgrass"
Jeff Malmberg, "Marwencol"
Lynn True, Nelson Walker, "Summer Pasture"

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
"Please Give"
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy

Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele

Diane Bell, "Obselidia"
Lena Dunham, "Tiny Furniture"
Nik Fackler, "Lovely, Still"
Bob Glaudini, "Jack Goes Boating"
Dana Adam
Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener, "Monogamy"


  1. i really don't even understand why Greenberg is here. i thought that movie was terrible, as i did for Winter's Bone. Happy for Natalie Portman and the Kids gang (surprised to see Ruffalo here--i liked him in everthing but surprised, and surprised to see that Julianne Moore was not even looked at). When will Julianne get her due???

  2. I agree. I thought Greenberg was terrible. I could barely sit through that movie. Winter's Bone I still haven't seen (it's still sitting on top of my DVD player, maybe tonight or tomorrow I'll get to it). Though I've heard nothing but good things about it really.

    Again, Greenberg? Seriously? Wow. At this point, I can't assume anything but Black Swan would get Best Film. 127 Hours is good, but it's not a Best Film type of movie. Best Director? Much MUCH more likely.

    As cool as it is to see The Last Exorcist get a nod, I think it has about zero percent chance of winning. Those types of movies just don't get that kind of acclaim. Not to mention, it's going against better movies like Get Low.


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