Tuesday, December 01, 2009

(95) Days of Spirit

The Spirit Awards are coming! In 95 days. The nominees have a long time to decide which pair of jeans or casual designer wear would best suit the event. Though the Spirits have traditionally passed out their ever-so-slightly off mainstream prizes the day before the Oscars this year they’re moving to a Friday night situation on March 5th. All the better for partying? Still time to use those hangover cures before the Oscars on Sunday.

Sin Nombre, a 3 time nominee
Here are the nominees

Best Feature
(500) Days Of Summer | Amreeka |Precious | Sin Nombre | The Last Station
  • I warned y'all that The Last Station would have more awards strength than many pundits are indicating. I must get around to Sin Nombre before the end of this year. I suspect Precious is your winner since the Spirits generally award the actual Oscar hopefuls.

Best Director
The Coen Bros A Serious Man | Lee Daniels Precious | Cary Joji Fukunaga Sin Nombre | James Gray Two Lovers | Michael Hoffman The Last Station

Best First Feature
Crazy Heart | Easier With Practice | The Messenger | Paranormal Activity | A Single Man

John Cassavettes Award (this is for the really low budget efforts)
Big Fan | Humpday | The New Year Parade |Treeless Mountain | Zero Bridge

Anvil! The Story of Anvil | Food, Inc. | More Than a Game |October Country |Which Way Home
  • If the Spirits want to make an anti-Oscar statement, you might see some rallying for Anvil!
Foreign Film
A Prophet (France) | An Education (UK/France) | Everlasting Moments (Sweden) | Mother (South Korea) | The Maid (Chile)
  • I find this category quite curious in that 3 of its 5 competitors are most often lauded for the lead actress at the heart of the film and yet none of the three actresses are nominated in the Best Actress category. But apparently is a rule. It's a very dumb rule if you ask me... Since when should acting prizes not apply to foreign languages... or even the English language? (see Carey Mulligan) I guess this means Bright Star was also a foreign film since its director Jane Campion not American.
Best Screenplay
(500) Days of Summer | Adventureland | The Messenger | The Last Station | The Vicious Kind

First Screenplay
Amreeka | Cold Souls | Crazy Heart | Precious | A Single Man


Roger Deakins A Serious Man | Adriano Goldman Sin Nombre | Anne Misawa Treeless Mountain | Andrij Parekh Cold Souls | Peter Zeitlinger Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

And now the acting categories...

Female Lead
Maria Bello Downloading Nancy | Helen Mirren The Last Station | Gwyneth Paltrow Two Lovers | Gabourey Sidibe Precious | Nisreen Faour Amreeka
  • No Mulligan, huh? Hmmm. Sidibe has this locked up. Though if you're dubbed a "foreign film" apparently you're not eligible. And An Education was... even though The Last Station (also British) was not. People are Awards groups are strange.
Male Lead
Jeff Bridges Crazy Heart | Colin Firth A Single Man |Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500) Days Of Summer |Souléymane Sy Savané Goodbye Solo | Adam Scott The Vicious Kind
  • The curious omission here is Hal Holbrook since his vehicle, That Evening Sun received two acting nominations. It's worth noting here that the Spirits reversed the (500) Days Satellite nominees and left out Zooey Deschanel's fantasy girl for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's wounded boy. I suspect this contest between Bridges and Firth will be tighter at the Spirit Awards than at the Oscars.
Supporting Female
Dina Korzun Cold Souls | Mo’Nique Precious | Samantha Morton The Messenger | Natalie Press Fifty Dead Men Walking | Mia Wasikowska That Evening Sun
  • I can totally get behind Mo'Nique and Morton nods. I liked Wasikowska (Tim Burton's Alice) in ...Sun but I think her screen mother Carrie Preston gives a more impressive and more complicated performance. So... I don't get it.
Supporting Male
Jemain Clement Gentleman Broncos | Woody Harrelson The Messenger | Christian McKay Me and Orson Welles | Raymond McKinnon That Evening Sun | Christopher Plummer The Last Station
  • Even if McKay don't gain any Oscar traction, that Orson Welles performance sure is turning into a resume builder.
Then there’s a few categories that don’t get a lot of attention. The Robert Altman prize, which goes to one films director, casting director and ensemble is going to A Serious Man, The “Piaget Producers Award” will go to either Karin Chien (The Exploding Girl, Santa Mesa), Larry Fessenden (I Sell the Dead, The House of the Devil) or Dia Sokol (Beeswax, Nights & Weekends). The “Someone to Watch” Award will go to either Kyle Patrick Alvarez (Easier With Practice), Asiel Norton (Redland) or Tariq Tapa (Zero Bridge) and the “Truer Than Fiction” prize to either Natalia Alamda (El General), Jessica Orek (Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo) or Bill and Turner Ross (45365)

The Take Away
Should be a fun night for (500) Days of Summer and a trophy gathering night for Precious. The Spirit's nominating team wants you to see Amreeka and Sin Nombre. Will you?


billybil said...

Fascinating about Mulligan - could it possibly be a real indicator?

My gut tells me you may be right about THE LAST STATION - it does capture that Oscary aura, doesn't it?

Let's see if it keeps picking up steam! Certainly Art Direction and Score seem to be likely and if you add Actress and S. Actor you've already got 4 nominations! What about the screenplay? And any chance for Cinematography? And Costumes?

J.L said...

So Happy for the Everlasting Moments nod! :)

Rob said...

Wasn't AN EDUCATION ineligible for most of these awards due to it being designated a 'Foreign Film' a la SLUMDOG?

Ryan T. said...

Yeah, I think Carey Mulligan wasn't eligible. At least that's probably the most likely reason why she wasn't in the Best Actress shortlist.

I'm a bit bummed that they didn't choose to honor James McAvoy. I'd like to think he was in their top 10. It'll be "his" year one of these days.

I've already seen Sin Nombre. Quite good.

ticklepickleme said...

This doesn't bode well for Julianne Moore. :(

Michael said...

Lee Daniels should not be allowed near ANY Best Director shortlist.

cal roth said...

Mulligan was not elligible, because, you know, any person who sees this performance will love her forever.

Wait and see. She'll sweep.

Ashley said...

I'm shocked and disappointed that they failed to include Whip It for something. I think it can officially be said that Whip It will be locked out and neglected for the rest of this year's award season. Sad :(

BrianZ said...

All sorts of good stuff. I am just delighted Goodbye Solo got some love.

Jim T said...

I don't understand why "(500) Days of Summer" is so well recieved. I wasn't impressed at all although Joseph Gordon-Levitt is always a pleasure.

Confession: I saw "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" and I liked it but didn't love it! What's wrong with meeee??? there were some great parts but overall it felt like just another good movie. Is my taste terrible? I liked "4 nights with Anna" more.

Hilary Swank said...

Mulligan wasn't even eligible for the spirit awards....seriously people, quit acting surprised that she didn't make it.

Rob said...

Just saw A SINGLE MAN last night, and if the category wasn't so weak, I don't think people would even be talking about Julianne Moore as a potential nominee. She's barely in the film.

She's terrific in what she has to do, but it's really not much, and it's certainly not a hugely showy/emotional part.

BrianZ said...

Why is An Education listed in foreign film and not allowed to be nominated elsewhere? Am I reading this wrong?

Side note, am ecstatic to see Adriano Goldman's superb cinematography in Sin Nombre get a nod. It's the best part of that film.


yeah i'm no guru on INDIE SPIRIT nominations (excuse me "SPIRIT" only I guess) but why would AN EDUCATION be a foreign film and thus ineligible everywhere but SIN NOMBRE not be a foreign film... or even The Last Station which isn't a US film.

it makes very little sense.

RobUK said...

I think Christian McKay is a fairly likely Oscar nominee by this point.

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I don't think Mulligan's snub here means anything. She's in. Remember that Halle Berry was snubbed by the Indie Spirits, even though "Monster's Ball" got a nomination for its screenplay and she still went on to win.

Anonymous said...

no nominations for THE STONING OF SORAYA M.? I shouldn't write this, since I haven't watched it but I was beginning to accustom myself to the idea Shoreh could be a real contender. Pity!!! It's time some talents from Asia be rewarded!


Kev said...

How is "The Last Station" less foreign than "An Education"? If they're excluding foreign productions across-the-board in the acting categories, then something's not right there.

Hal Holbrook was snubbed? That's surprising. And they seemed to like "A Single Man" enough to nominate it in multiple categories, so Julianne Moore's snub has to be seen as a major snub.

It should be a big night for "Precious", unless some strong alternative gains momentum at the home stretch. Doubtful since the show mainly picks its Oscar nominees as winners now.

mrripley said...

Whoever wins best actress will loose the oscar so that's gabby out for the win,look back at indie vs oscar.

mrripley said...

Oh yeah i never thought moore was in just good will on forum boards.
i'll say this the law of frances mcdormand


FIG said...

Hell yeah Joseph Gordon-Levitt!
Hell yeah (500) Days of Summer!

well deserved. Here's to hoping there is more to come!

kent said...

it's very difficult for me to imagine gabourey sidibe winning the oscar even if she manages to rally in awards. i feel like the nomination is enough of a reward. plus, the academy has a history of NOT rewarding colored actress in the best actress category with great performances (see also: Bassett, Carroll, Dandridge)

Ben said...

Gwyneth but not Joaquin for Two Lovers?? Gwyneth was good, but Joaquin was great.

Michael W. said...

Seriously (some of you) people, we do this every year! ;-) It's no mystery that Mulligan and An Education wasn't eligible in the main categories. It has something to to with Americans involved in the production.

Sin Nombre and The Last Station have American directors. That's why they were eligible. Think also The Diving Bell and the Butterfy and Maria Full of Grace in recent years.

lx3 said...

Ashley- Whip It was one of the worst movies of 2009. The only awards that movie will be getting are Razzies. Such a horrible movie!! Carey Mulligan will hopefully run Ellen Page out of Hollywood.

I'm so glad that Gwyneth got nominated for Two Lovers!! She really deserved the nod.

Kev said...

I don't do anything "every year." This is my first time here, and I really didn't know how their eligibility system works. Don't be an ass.

adelutza said...

As entertaining as it was, I don't think 500 Days of Summer should be nominated for anything, except maybe, maybe best actor. Since when box office success translates in nominations for Film Independent?
I love that The Maid is getting the attention it deserves. Here's an example of a film that is entertaining and very good at the same time.

Michael W. said...

Kev@ Nobody is trying to be an ass. Why do you think I included this one:


and then gave an explanation.

Don't be an ass.

eduardo said...

I'm so happy for the Sin Nombre nominations, too bad it's the only recognition it will get because it's one of the best films of the year.

just to clarify: isn't An education a british film? that makes it eligible only in the foreign film categoryu


i have a real problem with their idea that an american director makes for an american film and any foreign director makes for a foreign film...

but i'd have less of ahard time with that distinction if they didn't stupidly disrespect actors who happen to be directed by people who aren't American. That's so silly. And it's weirdly even more xenophobic than Oscar!

Arkaan said...

As Michael said, it has to do with the big names behind the scenes (director, writer, producer). If those guys are Americans (or at least some of them), than the film can be considered.

I'm fine with 500 Days of Summer getting recognized. It's quite a good movie.

Kev said...

Some people are new here and don't like to be condescended to just b/c they aren't as familiar with eligibility rules as others are. That's the point I was making there Michael.


@Kev... i don't think Michael meant any harm and if it makes you feel any better I'm NOT NEW (hell, i run this place) and even I still get confused at all the weird rules these awards bodies have.

i think i forget this particular rule each and every year because it makes next to zero sense.

@lx3 you hated WHIP IT? how could anyone hate that movie. it's so charming!? I'm perplexed by your hate

@RobUK u think so on McKay? That category is still pretty crowded. I see about 8 men having a real mostly equal shot at it (including McKay) with a few more as feasible longshots should the precursors surprise us.

Anonymous said...

Your delusional. Whip it was great and just so much fun. And why would Carey Mulligan run out Ellen Page? Whatever, I'm sad to see Whip it get nothing. I love that Amreeka is getting attention and I'm also happy for The Maid.

Anonymous said...

The Last Station will be huge after its theatrical release. The impact of the film will grow bigger and bigger during January and February. Do not be surprised if it will receive 5-6 oscars.

amir_uk said...

Gwyneth! Woop woop! Outside of her Shakespeare in Love year, this is only her third awards citation - after nominations for Best Actress for Proof (Globes) and Best Supporting Actress for The Royal Tenenbaums (Satellites).

Oh no, another snub for Julianne. Ah...

Michael W. said...

Kev@ I wasn't trying to be condescending towards anyone. I was trying to make a joke.

Apparently that didn't went so well with you, so let's just leave it at that. We're all welcome here. New or old to the game.