Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spirit Awards: "Winter's Bone" and "The Kids Are All Right" Lead.

Historically the Spirit Awards tend to honor a few of the major Oscar players each year but a win at the Spirits can sometimesLe be the last hurrah, a consolation prize as some would say, if the work is too "edgy" for lack of a less exhaustively employed word. Last year's big winner was Precious (refresh your memory?) It took home Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay. There were only three crossover winners from Spirits to Oscars last year : Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Mo'Nique (Precious) and the screenplay for Precious. (The Hurt Locker was considered a 2008 film.)

So what fared well this year? Black Swan got four nods including Best Actress for "sweet girl" Natalie Portman. But it could peak at the right time. Full list after the jump with Winter's Bone (7) and The Kids Are All Right (5) leading the pack.

Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner announced the nominees. And wow, it went by fast. My transcription speed, 75 wpm bitches, was not as fast as the larynxes of Eva & Jeremy... except when it came to Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul and Uncle Boonmee. But now I've caught up.

You could very well see 80% of the list in Oscar's expanded Best Picture field. Only Greenberg would be a hard Academy sell.
  • 127 Hours 
  • Black Swan
  • Greenberg
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Winter's Bone
It will be interesting to see who takes this prize. Winter's Bone probably has a leg up but will they really pass over someone visionary like Darren Aronofsky? Black Swan could well peak at the right time. Or will Kids supporters rally around Lisa Cholodenko who has been in that Spirit tent plenty of times.
  • 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)
  • Everything Strange and New (Frazer Bradshaw, Laura Techera Francia, A.D. Liano)
  • Get Low (Aaron Schneider, Dean Zanuck, David Gundlach)
  • Night Catches Us (Tanya Hamilton, Ronald Simon, Sean Costello, Jason Orans)
  • The Last Exorcism (Daniel Stamm, Eric Newman, Eli Roth, Marc Abraham, Thomas A Bliss)
  • Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham, Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering)
This is for the real indies. The super low- budget films.
  • Daddy Long Legs (Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, Casey Neistat, Tom Scott)
  • lbs. (Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famigletti)
  • Lovers of Hate (Bryan Poyser, Megan Gilbride)
  • Obsiledia (Diane Bell, Chris Byrne, Matthew Medlin)
  • The Exploding Girl (Bradley Rust Gray, So Yong Kim, Karen Chien, Ben Howe)


Hall, Guibert, Peet and Keener are lovely & amazing.
  • To the director, casting director and cast of Please Give. That's a fine choice actually. Just watched it again this week and it's quite a funny collection of characters with plenty of actor interaction. That interaction is sadly missing in many films which are honored for ensemble work simply by having large or starry casts. Does Please Give have any hope of a SAG Ensemble nod or is it just too small and unheralded in a category that always (wrongly) pretends it's a "best picture" award. This can't hurt at the very least.  
An unprecedented six nominees this year which must mean there was some sort of tie and no tie-breaker system. But all six are good choices, so we won't bitch too much. 
  • 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)
The Ryan Gosling snub for Blue Valentine smarts. He's just so terrific in it... and worthier than any of the performances selected save Bronstein (who I haven't yet seen so who knows.)
  • Ronald Bronstein (Daddy Longlegs)
  • Aaron Eckhart (Rabbit Hole)
  • James Franco (127 Hours)
  • John C Reilly (Cyrus)
  • Ben Stiller (Greenberg)
"Mimi" got a nomination. Take her ou-ooooot tonight. This lineup is very indie. Sometimes it's hard to tell the Spirits apart from more mainstream prizes but in the supporting categories, they're often true to their roots.
  • Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism)
  • Dale Dickey (Winter's Bone)
  • Alison Janney (Life During Wartime)
  • Daphne Rubin-Vega (Jack Goes Boating)
  • Naomi Watts (Mother and Child)
Interesting that Philip Seymour Hoffman did not get a nomination for Jack Goes Boating, a vanity project since he directed and starred, but the supporting cast did.
  • 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)
  • Adam Kimmel (Never Let Me Go)
  • Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)
  • (Tiny Furniture)
  • (Winter's Bone)
  • Harris Savides (Greenberg)
  • Exit Through The Gift Shop
  • Marwencal
  • Restrepo
  • Sweet Grass
  • Thunder Soul
  • The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg)
  • Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz)
  • Please Give (Nicole Holofcener)
  • Rabbit Hole (David Lindsey-Abaire)
  • Winter's Bone (Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini)
  • Jack Goes Boating (Robert Glaudini)
  • Lovely Still (Nik Fackler)
  • Monogamy (Dana Adam Shapiro and Evan M Wiener)
  • Obselidia (Diane Bell)
  • Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham)

I wish they'd stop including British films in this category. They have such an unfair advantage. Sad that I Am Love didn't make this list. So much more worthy of respect paid than The King's Speech, you know?
  • Kisses
  • Mademoiselle Chambon
  • Of Gods and Men (Apichatpong Weerasethasakul
  • The King's Speech (Tom Hooper)
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Someone should do a study of how many of these nominees each year ever get another crack at the movies. It's such a brutal business.
  • Mike Ott (Littlerock)
  • Laurel Nakadate (The Wolf Knife)
  • Hossein Keshavarz (Dog Sweat)
Another documentary prize.
  • Sweetgrass (Ilisa Barbarsh, Lucien Castaing-Taylor)
  • Marwencol (Jeff Malmberg)
  • Summer Pasture (Lynn True, Nelson Walker)

Does this mean Meek's Cutoff will not be eligible next year when it's released? The Spirits have different eligibility rules than Oscar but it seemed like such a likely Spirit Awards contender.
  • In-Ah Lee (Au Revoir Tapei)
  • Adele Romanski (The Myth of the American Sleepover)
  • Anish Savjani (Meek's Cutoff)


Lucky said...

Ryan Gosling and Blue Valentine got snubbed, but that Actress lineup is amazing, could very well be the 5 Oscar nominees (with the exception of Gerwig)

Joe Reid said...

Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner are probably going to catch some shit for pronunciation troubles, but they were clearly not briefed beforehand like the Oscar nom readers seem to be. Felt bad for them up there.

As for the nominees: way fewer left field curveballs this year, right? A testament to how the major indies ("The Kids..." "Black Swan" "127 Hours" "Rabbit Hole") all seem to have delivered, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Nicole Kidman!!!

Clover said...

that reporter was funny, but not in a good way.

James T said...

Uncle Boomie, WHO can recall???? Lol
It's not a question, Eva.

Yeah, that reporter was unlucky.

Missy said...

YES! Winter's Bone and The Kids Are All Right lead the nominations!

It's too bad Moore was snubbed, I think she's going to struggle for the Oscar nom now.

Here is the full list of nominees:

Agustin said...

I felt so embarrassed with that reporter, I suffer with other peoples mistakes and oddities, but that was too much!

stjeans said...

Bravo, Todd Solondz, Nicole Kidman & ...DALE DICKEY!!!!!!!

cal roth said...

Must love Samuel L. Jackson's nomination. This category is up for grabs, go SLJ!

Unknown said...

very happy for Nicole Kidman, very very happy.

Good to see Mark Ruffalo and Dale Dickey on the list as well.

James McNally said...

How can Daniel Stamm's Last Exorcism qualify as a first feature? He directed A Necessary Death in 2008.

James McNally said...

For that matter, Lena Dunham made Creative Nonfiction last year. I don't get the First Feature category at all.

Bryan said...

@Nathaniel: If Julianne was going to make some headway in the awards race, was it imperative that she be nominated here? Or is this perhaps not as huge a blow as I feel it is?

Good to see Aaron Eckhart here.


James -- it's my understanding that documentaries don't count as "first features" with the Spirits. anyone know for sure?

Samson said...

No Julianne Moore? Ruh-roh!

Equally surprised that there's no Ryan Gosling or Robert Duvall. And for Ben Stiller and John C. Reilly! Wow.

I'm rooting for "Winter's Bone" all the way! Still my favorite film of the year (give or take "The Social Network," but these are for the indies!).


Samson -- i know. even with six nominees she didn't make it.


she could make the globe list though given the musical/comedy field.

adelutza said...

Disappointed with the lack of a nom for Julianne Moore. I mean, they nominate 6 and still no room for her?

Stefano said...

Very happy about "The Kids Are All Right" getting five nominations, although they snubbed Julianne (at least this will improve Annette's chances for Best Actress). Very surprised that Robert Duvall and Ryan Gosling didn't make the cut for Best Actor.
PS: No nomination for "Let Me In"? Was it considered elegible for the Independent Spirit Awards or not? (It had a $20 million budget, maybe it was too much?) I really think it's one of the finest movies of the year...

Silencio said...

Glad for Reilly. Jonah Hill deserves notice, too.

Devin D said...

John Hawkes gave such a tremendously subtle performance that he'd make an excellent follow-up to Heath Ledger and Christoph Waltz as this year's Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards. A bookend, if you will, to the four years of violent terror with Javier Bardem on the other side.

stjeans said...

Boooo! No Julianne! No Barbara Hershey!! No Dianne Wiest!!!
(but they find room for N.Watts who couldn't act herself out of a paper bag...)

Amy said...

Nicole Kidman!!!!!!

Aaron Eckhart, John Cameron Mitchell and David Lindsay Abaire!!!!

So pleased, I can uncross my fingers, now :).

jbaker475 said...

Always nice to see recognition for Please Give. That said, I'd rather have it receive nominations for Picture, Director, Actress (Hall), Supporting Actor (Platt), and Supporting Actress (Guilbert, Peet) over the Robert Altman Award (not to dismiss it, though). Hopefully it can start to gain a little bit of momentum. I'm not even going to begin predicting it for any Oscar nominations, but if it scored a surprise SAG nomination, I'd be ecstatic.

Ian C. said...

Wishful thinking perhaps, but I'm hoping that Julianne Moore goes the Laura Linney/"Savages" route this year...Linney didn't get nominated for anything all year (even the Indie Spirits, where her co-star won Best Actor), and still got the Oscar nod

Ian C. said...

What is it with the Indie Spirits and their totally random exclusions? I feel like every year they have truly inexplicable omissions. What is their voting system like?

Bill_the_Bear said...

I'm happy to see some recognition for "Mademoiselle Chambon," which is one of my favourite films of the year.

Secondly, I don't quite understand the love for "Greenberg"...and the screenplay nomination for "Life During Wartime" simply baffles me!

dinasztie said...

Well, I'm not that upset about the Moore snub. She was very good, but Annette was fantastic and she just stole the show. That's it. And we just got the Best Actress nominees I think (minus Gerwig). Michelle is going to get a nom after all I guess.

tff said...

too bad barbara hershey doesn't seem to be getting any awards traction for Black Swan.... i though she was absolutely terrifying in the best way, and hit every creep-note just right. maybe too sinister for awards steam?


bill -- i'd never heard of that one before!

dinasztie -- hmmm. can there really be that much overlap? I'm guessing Lesley, Sally or Julianne (Bening coattails?) gets the Michelle Williams spot. but maybe i'm wrong.


tff -- well maybe it will remind Hollywood that Hersehy is actually, you know, TALENTED. Why don't they use all these great women. argh.

Lang said...

And here I thought Robert Duvall would win lead actor fairly easily. James Franco FTW I guess. He's already had quite the week.

I think this this is a sign of the future for Julianne Moore's chances. Not that she can't still be nodded, but it's being set up as a clear Bening/Portman race now, and Moore's going to be a distant fiddle to all of that.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA No Julianne! No Barbara Hershey!! No Dianne Wiest!!!
(but they find room for NAOMI WATTS who IS FUCKING GREAT!!!)

Unknown said...

Very few have probably seen it (I only caught it randomly at my local festival) but Lovers of Hate for the Cassavettes award? The movie looked terrible and had some pretty abysmal acting performances. It really thought it was funnier than it was. The Exploding Girl deserves that award I think.

Mirko said...

I'm sorry they are going on considering Manville as leading, when she could go supporting...
anyway I'm ok with Williams in the best actress line-up...even if, of course, I'd like watching Moore nominated again (possibly as a frontrunner, not just a longshot...)

AR said...

I was hoping Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench would get some recognition from the Spirits. Alas!

cinephile said...

No Ryan Gosling? No Robert Duvall?
And no Julianne Moore?

Terrible snubs. Especially Moore who will turn 50 this week. It would be so nice to see some celebration for her in terms of awards nominations the next weeks... And also a "Moore @ 50" on here would be great! :) But I'm starting to give up hoping (for that Oscar nom)...

Anonymous said...

Julianne Moore should have been nominated instead of Greta Gerwig. Shame.

adam k. said...

Oops, totally just posted this on the wrong thread:

I don't think this affects Moore's chances much at all, frankly. Yes, it is weird that she missed out and the chick from Greenberg made it, but does anyone from the academy look to the Spirit awards when thinking about how to vote? No. It's useful for the serious indie stars who are not well known, but that's about it. Like, if Jennifer Lawrence had been snubbed, I'd be worried for her.

If Moore somehow misses the globe comedy list, that will be much more damaging. I think it'd be hard for her to recover from that... but not impossible (see Linney in the Savages).

The key with Moore is that she's in a popular film that everyone will see, she's very famous, she's very overdue, she's well liked, has momentum from last year's snub, and is very much complementary to Bening in that I find it hard to imagine a ton of people marking down Bening and ignoring her (though I guess people already are). For all those reasons, I think she could still pop up in oscar noms no matter what happens to her in the precursors, especially if the 5th slot stays quite volatile.

A globe nod is key, though, so the Bening train doesn't just totally take off without her. The globe nod SHOULD be an easy get. But she will have to deal with Gwyneth, and Julia, and Reese, and Anne, and both Burlesque women. So we'll see...

What's good, though, is that outside of the unlikely chance at a Swank nom, it looks like I'll be REALLY happy with whomever the final five turn out to be (even though Tilda won't be there... *sniffle*)

Volvagia said...

Never mind that The Kids Are All Right has 4 leads. (Ruffalo has, easily, the most screentime of the four. (Around 60%, compared to Wasikowska's 35% (not that she has any chance at Oscar), Moore's 50% and Bening's 45%. Wasikowska is the only one who stretches into what I term my "arguable" range. But her decision kicks off the whole plot arc. Hutcherson would be an honest supporting citation.)) Like Sarsgaard (in about 35% (arguable status, but oh so active) of An Education) last year, I can't call this a supporting turn like everyone else is. Movie: A-. (You hit it out of the park on how fun this movie is.) Oscar Campaign: If they're pushing Ruffalo as supporting, I can't go above B. Here, he's blatantly THE LEAD.

Glenn said...

No Animal Kingdom in "Foreign Film". Lots of love for Rabbit Hole yet no Best Picture? No Robert Duvall or Ryan Gosling in Best Actor?

...Hmmm. I'd say more, but I have to go out.


adam -- sound reasoning. I do think a surprise Julianne nomination is possible even if she misses everything.

volvagia -- you and your obsession with screentime. Buffalo Bill has more screentime than Hannibal the Cannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs I'd wager but it's certainly not a bigger part. screentime is not the be all end all. i can see an argument for Ruffalo as lead but i can also see an argumen that they're all supporting because it's a true ensemble (like another year or boogie nights or what not)

Volvagia said...

Based on the reviews of LAOD, Burlesque and Eat, Pray, Love (and Nat's review of Burlesque) Moore is in. Considering the fact that Critical Bodies Don't Like Fictional Broken Down American Women, that ousts Paltrow. So really she's the additional citations are Reese Witherspoon (really don't get James L. Brooks at all by the way, because if anything's a sitcom version of Woody Allen it's Broadcast News, As Good As it Gets and Spanglish, as opposed to the good When Harry Met Sally...) and Cher. Whoever else gets in is a clear 5th place.

George P. said...

I'm happy for the nom to Nik Fackler (First Screenplay - "Lovely, Still")!

Volvagia said...

I understand that. But in regards to Silence of the Lambs they're really both supporting. (Lecter, 15%. Buffalo Bill, 20%. Each out of what I've said my arguable range is. (25-40% for anyone just coming in. I only ask the question of "what do you do in this story" for roles that have a percentage of screentime in between the debatable portions. I class Peter Lorre as a support in M because he is a human MacGuffin until the very last scene.)

Mike M. said...

Bening in Mother & Child trumps Bening in The Kids Are All Right, so I would love for her awards attention to be for the former film.

I never thought Julianne would get a nomination in lead for The Kids Are All Right, and I'm sticking to my guns. Love her, but the performance left me underwhelmed, and there are too many raved actresses this year for a good- but-not-great performance to sneak in.

So happy for Dale Dickey, my fave actor in Winter's Bone. The female acting categories are very strong, but Watts in supporting is such category fraud :/


Mike M -- agreed on the Watts is category fraud thing and also love Dale Dickey in that movie (better than Lawrence, I wager)

adam k. said...

I actually don't see Ruffalo as lead at all. Notice how he SPOILER conveniently drops out of the film for the whole final few scenes, without any real resolution to the story arc. It was borderline to me until then, but it became clear in the end that the movie really wasn't interested in him. He was there as an instigator/vehicle for tumult in the Moore/Bening relationship, and in the family at large.

I suppose there is an argument for Bening/Moore/Ruffalo as leads, but how are there more leads in the primary cast than supporting characters? I think that argument is mostly based on their fame level relative to the kids.

The other (better, imo) argument is that Bening and Moore are the leads, and Ruffalo has a big supporting role.

The other argument which I actually could see is that they're all supporting, but I don't think it's a big enough ensemble for that to really make sense. It's about the couple primarily.

And I'll be the first to admit that part of the reason I think Moore will be nominated is that I really think she deserves it as much as Bening does. I don't see why everyone thought Bening was so much better. I think it's A) that Bening is more lesbiannic, and B) that Moore's perf sits in a bigger shadow of her loftier early work, and hence you get these "career best" comments for Bening but not for Moore... but I think that says more about their careers than about these individual perfs. I thought the qualitative difference was minute. They both deserve it. I'd be much happier with both being nommed and losing than with Bening being nommed alone and winning.

adam k. said...

And for the record, I think the comedy nominees will be Bening, Moore, Paltrow, Witherspoon, and Cher.

Roberts is very possible, as though her movie didn't get great reviews, it did succeed on its own terms. Not top-tier Roberts but not bad for this point in her career. That said, I'd stick with Paltrow and Witherspoon since their films are unknown quantities but are a musical and a James L. Brooks comedy, respectively. And Cher is Cher.

I think Hathaway goes down with her ship, sadly.

James T said...

I love Moore but wouldn't want to see her get a nod for this performance. I thought she was just good.

BUT I think that people who liked the perf a lot should also not want her to get the nod. There is no way she'll win (and might even make Bening not win because of vote-splitting) and a nomination might make the Academy feel less guilty about not having given her an Oscar.

If she gets snubbed, next time she has a buzzy perf the Academy might feel ready not only to give her a nod but also a win. My opinion, of course.

Volvagia said...

We just have different opinions on what "Lead" means. The supports would be: Ruffalo's outside the family friend with benefits, Hutcherson (Not all the family are leading) and the kids friends. And as for dropping a character without real resolution: It also happened with Thelma Ritter in The Misfits, the only 5 lead movie I've EVER seen. To call someone "support" at 60% of the total screentime is INSANE. To call nominate someone in Lead with 5-8% of the screentime (Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society) is also INSANE.

Bryan said...

Actresses who star in comedies can be kind of tricky to predict; I agree with others above that a Globe nomination for Moore is likely, which might renew her buzz (assuming it has been lost by then).

It will also be interesting to see if critics groups cite Moore in Lead Actress, or if they "make room" for her elsewhere, like in the Supporting category. Maybe this will indicate affection for the performance, even if they didn't feel there was room for her in Lead? And does anyone know what category the studio will be campaigning her in?

Alex said...

I'm kind of dissapointed "Somewhere" couldn't get any play here, especially for Elle Fanning and Stephen Dorff. I guess that film is officially dead in the water for Oscars.

The Supporting Actress category is so strange, Dale Dickey aside. Allison Janney is a very pleasant surprise, as is Daphne Rubin-Vega. I can't believe they stuck Naomi Watts in supporting; that's more category fraud than had they put Bening there. Very surprised at the exclusion of Dianne Wiest and Barbara Hershey.

Joe said...

Go Nicole! She's never been nominated for an Independent Spirit award, so that is great.

Happy to see Watts get a nod. I thought she was terrific in Mother and Child.

Ian said...

I'm not broken up over Julianne Moore's snub. Frankly I think she was better in "A Single Man" last year than "The Kids Are All Right." If this becomes the Annette Bening show this year, that's fine with me (that is until I see my girl Natalie Portman rock it in "Black Swan"). I'm more disappointed that Robert Duvall missed out for "Get Low," especially since Bill Murray made the cut in supporting actor. And for Ben Stiler and John C. Reilly? For shame. But then this group always has those surprising snubs, so I guess it's not that big a deal. I'll be rooting for a "Winter's Bone" sweep!


Ian -- ugh, i hate sweeps. I wonder if Winter's Bone will fall to Black Swan, though.

I'm just hoping that The Kids Are All Right doesn't emerge emptyhanded from awards season. I could see it as one fo those films nominated everywhere that doesn't win anything. grrrr.

Movies with Abe said...

I've seen "Daddy Longlegs" (http://movieswithabe.com/2010/05/movie-with-abe-daddy-longlegs.html) and I can't understand its inclusion here, especially in the Best Actor race. The same goes for "Lbs."

The live streaming announcement for this was botched in so many ways, like when they still had the camera on the reporter while they were playing in audio from somewhere else and she didn't realize she was still on camera. And Renner and especially Mendes did do a terrible job announcing. Oh well.

Volvagia said...

I said four lead (Bening, Moore, Ruffalo, Wasikowska) not three lead. It all comes back to screentime. Hutcherson, YaYa Dacosta, Eddie Hassell and Zosia Mamet are the supports in THIS story. Kunal Sharma and Tamara Witmer are tertiary.

Total = 10 Characters: 4 leads, 4 supports, 2 tertiaries.

The Misfits Total = 19 characters = 5 Leads, 3 supports, 11 tertiaries.

Ian said...

It's not like "Winter's Bone" is going to sweep at the Oscars or anywhere else. Give Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, and Dale Dickey their chances to shine here. And even here Lawrence will have a fight on her hands with her category so stacked.

"TKAAR" might have to suffice with that original screenplay Oscar unless Annette Bening goes all the way. That's better than most films get. It's biggest competition is "Inception" and "The King's Speech." I don't expect the film to go completely emptyhanded this season.