2016 Independent Spirit Award Nominees + my thoughts

Woooooooooooooooooo awards season is upon us! Let's start with the most laid back award show there is; The Spirit Awards. I love these because they put more indies on my radar, but the trade is I haven't gotten a chance to see a lot of these. Here's a list of the nominees, my thoughts as always follow in green.

Best Feature
Beasts of No Nation
My theater is getting Spotlight this week so I'll get to check it out soon. Carol's awards buzz isn't dying any time soon either. 

Best Director
Sean Baker - Tangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga - Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes - Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson - Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell - It Follows
I love that It Follows got so many nominations. It deserves them. I like seeing Fukanaga here even if Beasts lost its way towards the end.

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman - Anomalisa
Donald Margulies - The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy - Carol
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer - Spotlight
S. Craig Zahler - Bone Tomahawk
I'm happy to see End of the Tour here, such a wonderful little film. I'm psyched for Bone Tomahawk, I think it comes on Netflix in December.

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
James White
Manos Sucias
Songs My Brothers Taught Me
As creepy as Diary of a Teenage Girl was, it was shot wonderfully and I loved the animation parts of it. I'm happy for them. I haven't seen the rest.

Best First Screenplay
Jesse Andrews - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Jonas Carpignano - Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue - Room
Marielle Heller - The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph - The Mend
Nice nod for Me and Earl, and I can't wait to see Room.

Best Male Lead
Christopher Abbott - James White
Abraham Attah- Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn - Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel - The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon - Mediterranea
Attah was so great in Beasts, he absolutely deserves to be there. I love that Jason Segel got a nod too. 

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Rooney Mara - Carol
Bel Powley - The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez - Tangerine
This is a nice nod for Bel. I'm kind of torn on Tangerine now after reading reviews saying it's overrated. 

Best Supporting Male
Kevin Corrigan - Results
Paul Dano - Love & Mercy
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins - Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes
PAUL DANO!!!! MICHAEL SHANNON!!! They were great in their respected movies. I'm glad they're getting some love. Elba was not good in Beasts, but he's gorgeous, so I'm over it.

Best Supporting Female
Robin Bartlett - H.
Marin Ireland - Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh - Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon - James White
Mya Taylor - Tangerine
I have seen none of these. Whoops.

Best Documentary
Best of Enemies
Heart of a Dog
The Look of Silence
The Russian Woodpecker
Or these. 

Best International Film
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Embrace of the Serpent
Son of Saul
None here either, but I think Pigeon should win based on its title alone.

Best Cinematography
Beasts of No Nation
It Follows
Songs My Brothers Taught Me
So happy It Follows is in here. Same with Beasts.

Best Editing
Heaven Knows What
It Follows
Manos Sucias

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)
Christmas, Again
Heaven Knows What
Out of My Hand

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)
Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award
Chloe Zhao
Felix Thompson
Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

Piaget Producers Award 
Darren Dean
Mel Eslyn
Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith


  1. Also so happy to see Paul Dano nominated! I mean, I figured it would happen here, but I still crazily have him as my long shot nomination for Supporting Actor for the rest of the season. It could happen, right?

    My theatre also just got Spotlight starting this weekend, hopefully it's as good as everyone is making it out to be!

    Just generally excited for Beasts because I thought it was fantastic and I really want the buzz to pick back up.

    1. I would absolutely love if he got a supporting nom he was so amazing and he was robbed for There Will Be Blood in 2007. He's due.

  2. I'm so behind in award show season this year with the independent films. Brie Larson in Room looks amazing. I loved to see her get some attention this year. :)

    1. Same. My theater gets it in 2 weeks and I liked the book. I can't wait to see her.

  3. love that Attah is here too!!! But I HATED It Follows.

    1. Boo It Follows was great! You are the biggest reason I'm wary of Tangerine though. lol

  4. Totally here for everything Beasts of No Nation. I honestly think it's the best out of that bunch, although I haven't seen Anomalisa yet. Going to go watch Tangerine right now! Go indies!

    1. I hope you like Tangerine! Can't wait to hear what you think.

  5. I guess I really need to see Love & Mercy and Tangerine....and you hopefully get to see Tomahawk soon!

    1. I won't get to until Dec but I'm sure it will be worth it. Love & Mercy is so good. Especially Dano. I swear it's not just my fangirl talking.

  6. Room is a surprising miss here, yet to see it so cant say much on it, but the reviews have been very good. And Me and Earl and the Dying Girl too. I loved that movie and given the love it got at Sundance I thought it would get nominated.
    Really, really glad Segel got nominated, I thought he gave one of the best performances of this year in The End of the Tour

    1. He did. Eisenberg was very good in it as well, but Segel was definitely the heart of that film.

  7. Nice write-up here! I’ll be very surprised (pleasantly so) if Carol gets a lot of Oscar noms. It is such an understated film, which isn’t exactly the Academy’s style.

    All told, I really liked these nominations because I think there will be very little crossover with these noms and the Oscars this year. I always prefer that. The Indie Spirits should be about championing the smaller films!

    1. They really should, but I hope the Academy goes for some of these like Paul Dano, who really, really deserves it.

  8. Spotlight is well worth the hype. An absolutely brilliant picture. Carol looks pretty polished up for awards season. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Bone Tomahawk. Nothing polished about it and I LOVE seeing it getting some recognition.

    1. I just saw Spotlight today and it really is well worth the hype. Can't wait for Bone Tomahawk.

  9. I might actually prefer this Best Actor lineup to the Oscars. So happy for Attah, Segel, and Mendelsohn, who all make my Best Actor lineup right now.

    1. I like this too, especially Segel getting some love. End of the Tour was overlooked.


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