From ‘Carol’ to ‘Tangerine’: This Year’s Independent Spirit Award Nominees

This morning, Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced, boasting a diverse group of emerging artists and acclaimed filmmakers from Todd Haynes and Ed Lachman to Sean Baker and Cary Joji Fukunaga. The awards will be presented on February 27st so check out a selection of the nominees below and for the full list head here.

Best Feature
Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts of No Nation
Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley

Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou

Best Director
Sean BakerTangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

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

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Director: Marielle Heller
Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

James White
Director: Josh Mond
Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schultz

Manos Sucias
Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka
Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes

Director: Jonas Carpignano
Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias

Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao
Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker

Best First Screenplay
Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Joseph Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

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

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male
Kevin Corrigan
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female
Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Documentary
Directors/Producers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
Producer: Christopher St. John
Best of Enemies
Directors/Producers: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

Heart of Dog
Director/Producer: Laurie Anderson
Producer: Dan Janvey

The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen

Directors/Producers: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Producer: Shannon Ethridge

The Russian Woodpecker
Director/Producer: Chad Gracia
Producers: Ram Devineni, Mike Lerner

Best International Film
Embrace the Serpent
Director: Ciro Guerra

Director: Céline Sciamma

(France, Turkey)
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Director: Roy Andersson

Son of Saul
Director: László Nemes 

Best Cinematography
Beasts of No Nation, Cary Joji Fukunaga
Carol, Ed Lachman
It Follows, Michael Gioulakis
Meadlowland, Reed Morano
Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Joshua James Richards

Seth Rogen Preps Dirty Jokes & The Independent Spirit Awards Red Carpet Live Stream

The Oscars aren’t the only awards show happening this weekend.  The Independent Spirit Awards take place today to honor, as the name suggests, independent films.  While you probably don’t need another opportunity to see The Artist win everything, this is a much less stiff affair.  The always funny Seth Rogen is slated to host, meaning there will probably be a lot of drug and fart jokes, and as he confirmed in an interview, a ton of dick jokes.  More on that below and a livestream of the red carpet starting at 2pm.

Rogen sat down with the Hollywood Reporter to give them a preview on what to expect, saying he doesn’t need to see Shame "to make a lot of dick jokes about Michael Fassbender.” He also complimented George Clooney’s joke on the matter, but thinks he might have stolen it from him. “I had actually done one at the National Board of Review a couple weeks earlier that was maybe even better. He was there. So my theory is, he saw me and tried to improve on what I had done.”

And finally, when asked "How much will attendees hear about your erection during the Spirits show?” he respondedFor once, I hope to turn the attention on other people’s dicks.”  So there you have it. The whole interview can be found here.

Check out the live stream:

Non-‘Precious’ Bests of the Independent Spirit Award Nominations

It’s rare that for every ominous sign in the film world that a day like today comes along, grabs us by the lapels of our coats and throws us headlong into a goldmine of excellent developments. But that’s why before the Oscars have a chance to come and sour our taste buds with their heavily politicized lists, there’s the Independent Spirit Awards, the bizarro-world Oscars, where little-seen films are given their dues. And while all anyone seems to be rasping, in the indie circuit or otherwise is, “Myyyy Precioussss …” this year’s list of Spirit Award hopefuls offers a promising glimpse into some dark horses that could gain significant ground by the time Oscar nominations are released, thereby cutting short Precious’ time in the hearts of critics. A few post-Precious picks after the jump.

In Best Feature, two films stand out. (500) Days of Summer, while not possessing the sweeping pretense for which critics typically melt, makes for a welcome addition. Especially considering Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel’s sparkling chemistry, with JGL picking up another nod for Best Male Lead.

Also a surprise contender within Best Feature is Cherien Dabis’ Amreeka, which at its heart features a story about a divorcée who goes from West Bank to White Castle in her pursuit of the American Dream. Which while sounding overdone and trite is anything but, especially thanks to a sharp supporting turn by Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat. Nisreen Faour picks up a nod for Best Female Lead while Dabis earns one for Best First Screenplay.

Meanwhile, Tom Ford’s debut feature A Single Man collects nominations in Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, and Best Male Lead for Colin Firth.

Other welcome surprises include Paranormal Activity for Best First Feature if only for its marketing prowess, Adam Scott’s acting nom in The Vicious Kind, and oddly enough, Humpday‘s nomination for the John Cassavetes Award.

Sadly this is all to say that of the picks from the complete list, most likely to translate into Oscar contenders are Helen Mirren, Maria Bello, Colin Firth and if our fingers are crossed hard enough, Mo’Nique.

Independent Spirit Award Musical Numbers: We All Win

imageEvery year, on the eve of the Oscars, the Independent Spirit Awards go down in Santa Monica in a tent near the beach. The Spirit Awards do a great job of pretty much awarding all the films Academy members don’t feel okay about voting for, either because they’re not mainstream enough/didn’t make enough money, or because they’re going to give said films the “indie consolation prize,” aka, the Best Original Screenplay award. Either way, they have far more fun at their ceremony than the Academy ever will at the Oscars. The ongoing tradition of the Spirit Awards that really makes it worth watching though (besides the inevitably profanity-laced acceptance speeches) are the musical numbers: all of the films nominated for Best Independent Feature get sing-along numbers performed by special presenters at the live ceremony. And this year’s best of the crop was, naturally, Rainn Wilson’s take on The Wrestler.

Our other two favorite Spirit Award singalongs from previous years: Steve Zahn’s awesome take on the (out-of-context) ridiculousness that is I’m Not There from last year’s ceremony was pretty stellar:

… as was this live music performance by Jesse Bradford and Michelle Trachtenberg about the (awesome) Best Independent Feature, Primer, an uber-low-budget Sundance darling about two friends who invent a time-travel machine.

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