Here Are The Independent Spirit Award Winners!


Adam Sandler may not even be an Oscar winner but he is now officially an Independent Spirit Award winner.  Last night, at the Spirits annual ceremony, he won Best Actor for Uncut Gems.  Willem DaFoe picked up the Best Supporting Male award for The Lighthouse, another film that was largely overlooked by the Academy.  Best Feature went to The Farewell, another movie that was totally snubbed by the Academy.

In other words, the Spirits were incredibly awesome and probably had better taste this year than the Oscars.  Here’s a full list of what won:

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

  • Noah Jupe, “Honey Boy”
  • Shia LaBeouf, “Honey Boy”
  • Jonathan Majors, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”
  • Willem Dafoe, “The Lighthouse” (WINNER)
  • Wendell Pierce, “Burning Cane”

BEST EDITING

  • Ronald Bronstein, Bennie Safdie, “Uncut Gems” (WINNERS)
  • Julie Beziau, “The Third Wife”
  • Tyler L. Cook, “Sword of Trust”
  • Louise Ford, “The Lighthouse”
  • Kirill Mikhanovsky, “Give Me Liberty”

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • “American Factory” (WINNER)
  • “Apollo 11”
  • “For Sama”
  • “Honeyland”
  • “Island of the Hungry Ghosts”

BONNIE AWARD

  • Kelly Reichardt (WINNER)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Todd Banhazl, “Hustlers”
  • Jarin Blaschke, “The Lighthouse” (WINNER)
  • Natasha Braier, “Honey Boy”
  • Chananun Chotrungroj, “The Third Wife”
  • Pawel Pogorzelski, “Midsommar”

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

  • “Burning Cane”
  • “Colewell”
  • “Give Me Liberty” (WINNER)
  • “Premature”
  • “Wild Nights With Emily”

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

  • Andrew Patterson, Craig W. Sanger, “The Vast of Night”
  • Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy, “Blow the Man Down”
  • Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, “Greener Grass”
  • Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen, “Driveways”
  • Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol, “See You Yesterday” (WINNERS)

BEST FIRST FEATURE

  • “Booksmart” (WINNER)
  • “The Climb”
  • “Diane”
  • “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”
  • “The Mustang”
  • “See You Yesterday”

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

  • “Invisible Life” (Brazil)
  • “Les Miserables” (France)
  • “Parasite” (Korea) (WINNER)
  • “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (France)
  • “Retablo” (Peru)
  • “The Souvenir” (United Kingdom)

BEST SCREENPLAY

  • Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story” (WINNER)
  • Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, “Uncut Gems”
  • Chinonye Chukwu, “Clemency”
  • Tarell Alvin McCraney, “High Flying Bird”
  • Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder, “To Dust”

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

  • Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
  • Taylor Russell, “Waves”
  • Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell” (WINNER)
  • Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, “Give Me Liberty”
  • Octavia Spencer, “Luce”

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD: “Marriage Story”

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Robert Eggers, “The Lighthouse”
  • Alma Har’el, “Honey Boy”
  • Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, “Uncut Gems” (WINNER)
  • Julius Onah, “Luce”
  • Lorene Scafaria, “Hustlers”

BEST MALE LEAD

  • Chris Galust, “Give Me Liberty”
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr, “Luce”
  • Robert Pattinson, “The Lighthouse”
  • Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems” (WINNER)
  • Matthias Schoenaerts, “The Mustang”

BEST FEMALE LEAD

  • Karen Allen, “Colewell”
  • Hong Chau, “Driveways”
  • Elisabeth Moss, “Her Smell”
  • Mary Kay Place, “Diane”
  • Alfre Woodard, “Clemency”
  • Renee Zellweger, “Judy” (WINNER)

BEST FEATURE

  • “Clemency”
  • “The Farewell” (WINNER)
  • “A Hidden Life”
  • “Marriage Story”
  • “Uncut Gems”

Here Are The 2019 Independent Spirit Award Nominees!


Here are the 2019 Indie Spirit Award nominations!  These nominations are meant to honor the best independent films of 2019 and their announcement marks the official beginning of awards season (at least as far as this sight is concerned!)  I hate to say it but I still need to see quite a few of the films nominated below so, for now, I’ll hold off on any editorial commentary.

For those looking for some sort of evidence of how the Oscar nominations can go, the Independent Spirit Awards can be an iffy precursor, just because several of the expensive, major studio contenders aren’t eligible to nominated.  (For instance, neither The Irishman nor Once Upon A Time In Hollywood were eligible.)  That said, for the record, the two biggest Spirit nominees are The Lighthouse and Uncut Gems.  Waves and The Farewell, which have been the center of considerable Oscar speculation, did not do as strongly in the nominations as many people apparently expected.  Make of that what you will!

Here are the nominees!

Best Supporting Female

  • Jennifer Lopez – HUSTLERS
  • Taylor Russell – WAVES
  • Zhao Shuzhen – THE FAREWELL
  • Lauren “Lolo” Spencer – GIVE ME LIBERTY
  • Octavia Spencer – LUCE
  • Best Supporting Male
  • Willem Dafoe – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Noah Jupe – HONEY BOY
  • Shia Labeouf – HONEY BOY
  • Jonathan Majors – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
  • Wendell Pierce – BURNING CANE

Best Screenplay

  • Noah Baumbach – MARRIAGE STORY
  • Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder – TO DUST
  • Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
  • Chinonye Chukwu – CLEMENCY
  • Tarell Alvin Mccraney – HIGH FLYING BIRD

Best First Screenplay

  • Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol – SEE YOU YESTERDAY
  • Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen – DRIVEWAYS
  • Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy – BLOW THE MAN DOWN
  • Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe – GREENER GRASS
  • James Montague, Craig W. Sanger – THE VAST OF NIGHT

Best Cinematography

  • Todd Banhazl – HUSTLERS
  • Jarin Blaschke – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Natasha Braier – HONEY BOY
  • Chananun Chotrungroj – THE THIRD WIFE
  • Pawel Pogorzelski – MIDSOMMAR

Best Editing

  • Julie Béziau – THE THIRD WIFE
  • Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
  • Tyler L. Cook – SWORD OF TRUST
  • Louise Ford – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Kirill Mikhanovsky – GIVE ME LIBERTY

Best International Film

  • INVISIBLE LIFE, Brazil
  • LES MISERABLES, France
  • PARASITE, South Korea
  • PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, France
  • RETABLO, Peru
  • THE SOUVENIR, United Kingdom

Best Documentary (Award given to the director and producer)

  • AMERICAN FACTORY
  • APOLLO 11
  • FOR SAMA
  • HONEYLAND
  • ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS

The John Cassavetes Award is presented to the best feature made for under $500,000 and is given to the writer, director, and producer. 2020 #SpiritAwards Nominees are:

  • BURNING CANE
  • COLEWELL
  • GIVE ME LIBERTY
  • PREMATURE
  • WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY

Best Female Lead

  • Karen Allen – COLEWELL
  • Hong Chau – DRIVEWAYS
  • Elisabeth Moss – HER SMELL
  • Mary Kay Place – DIANE
  • Alfre Woodard – CLEMENCY
  • Renée Zellweger – JUDY

Best Male Lead 

  • Chris Galust – GIVE ME LIBERTY
  • Kelvin Harrison  Jr., – LUCE
  • Robert Pattinson – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Adam Sandler – UNCUT GEMS
  • Matthias Schoenaerts – THE MUSTANG

Best First Feature (Award given to the director and producer)

  • BOOKSMART
  • THE CLIMB
  • DIANE
  • THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
  • THE MUSTANG
  • SEE YOU YESTERDAY

Best Feature [award given to the producer(s)]

  • A HIDDEN LIFE
  • CLEMENCY
  • THE FAREWELL
  • MARRIAGE STORY
  • UNCUT GEMS

Best Director

  • Robert Eggers – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Alma Har’el – HONEY BOY
  • Julius Onah – LUCE
  • Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
  • Lorene Scafaria – HUSTLERS

The Robert Altman Award is given to the ensemble cast, director & casting director of one film: MARRIAGE STORY – Noah Baumbach, Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler, Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever

The Truer Than Fiction Award, in its 25th year, is for emerging directors of non-fiction features and includes an unrestricted grant. Finalists:
Khalik Allah – BLACK MOTHER
Davy Rothbart – 17 BLOCKS
Nadia Shihab – JADDOLAND
Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside – AMÉRICA

The Producers Award, now in its 23rd year, honors emerging producers who demonstrate creativity, tenacity and vision, despite highly limited resources. The award includes an unrestricted grant. These are the finalists:
Mollye Asher
Krista Parris
Ryan Zacarias

The Someone To Watch Award, in its 26th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision and includes an unrestricted grant. The finalists are:
Rashaad Ernesto Green – PREMATURE
Ash Mayfair – THE THIRD WIFE
Joe Talbot – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

The Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant. The 2020 Film Independent #SpiritAwards Bonnie Award finalists are:
MarielleHeller
KellyReichardt
LuluWang

Here Are The Independent Spirit Award Nominations!


american_honey_poster

Before I forget, The Independent Spirit Award Nominations were announced earlier today!  In a year that has yet to see a Spotlight, a Mad Max, or even a Big Short, the Oscar race remains undeniably murky.  Maybe the Spirit nominations will help to clarify things.

(Sad to say but I haven’t seen most of the films that were nominated.  They’ve either just opened down here in Dallas or they’ll be opening next month.  So, you’ll have to forgive me if I can’t provide much commentary beyond saying that I look forward to seeing and reviewing them all for myself!)

(I will say, however, that I’m happy to see that American Honey was nominated because, even though I missed seeing the film, it’s directed Andrea Arnold.  Arnold’s previous film, Fish Tank, is pretty much one of my essential movies.)

Here are the nominees!

BEST PICTURE
“American Honey”
“Chronic”
“Jackie”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”

BEST DIRECTOR
Andrea Arnold, “American Honey”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Pablo Larraín, “Jackie”
Jeff Nichols, “Loving”
Kelly Reichardt, “Certain Women”

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
David Harewood, “Free In Deed”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Jesse Plemons, “Other People”
Tim Roth, “Chronic”

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening, “20th Century Women”
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Sasha Lane, “American Honey”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ralph Fiennes,  “A Bigger Splash”
Ben Foster, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Shia LaBeouf, “American Honey”
Craig Robinson, “Morris from America”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Edwina Findley, “Free In Deed”
Paulina Garcia, “Little Men”
Lily Gladstone, “Certain Women”
Riley Keough, “American Honey”
Molly Shannon, “Other People”

BEST SCREENPLAY
“Hell or High Water”
“Little Men”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”
“20th Century Women”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ava Berkofsky, “Free In Deed”
Lol Crawley,”The Childhood of a Leader”
Zach Kuperstein,”The Eyes of My Mother”
James Laxton,”Moonlight”
Robbie Ryan,”American Honey”

BEST FILM EDITING
Matthew Hannam,”Swiss Army Man”
Jennifer Lame,” Manchester by the Sea”
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders, “Moonlight”
Jake Roberts, “Hell or High Water”
Sebastián Sepúlveda, “Jackie”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“13th”
“Cameraperson”
“I Am Not Your Negro”
“O.J.: Made in America”
“Sonita”
“Under the Sun”

BEST INTERNATIONAL PICTURE
“Aquarius” (Brazil)
“Chevalier” (Greece)
“My Golden Days” (France)
“Toni Erdmann” (Germany and Romania)
“Under the Shadow” (Iran and U.K.)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“The Childhood of a Leader”
“The Fits”
“Other People”
“Swiss Army Man”
“The Witch”

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
“Barry”
“Christine”
“Jean of the Joneses”
“Other People”
“The Witch”

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (best feature made for under $500,000)
“Free In Deed”
“Hunter Gatherer”
“Lovesong”
“Nakom”
“Spa Night”

The_Witch_poster

Here’s What Won At the 31st Independent Spirit Awards!


Spotlight

As always happens on the Saturday before the Oscars, the Independent Spirit Awards were handed out today.  Here’s what won!

Best Feature
Spotlight

Best Director
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Best Female Lead
Brie Larson, Room

Best Male Lead
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation

Best Supporting Female
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Best Cinematography
Ed Lachman, Carol

Best Screenplay
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight

Best Editing
Tom McArdle, Spotlight

Best International Film
Son of Saul

Best Documentary
The Look of Silence

Best First Screenplay
Emma Donoghue, Room

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Robert Altman Award
Spotlight

John Cassavettes Award
Krisha

I’m happy with these awards, largely because Sasha Stone of Awards Daily hates The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

The Oscars are tomorrow night!  And then, it’ll be time to start predicting what will be nominated next year!

Here Are The 2015 Independent Spirit Nominations!


mara_blanchett_carol

Here are the 2015 Independent Spirit Nominations!  That’s right — Oscar season is officially here!  Soon, we will reach the point where every day, another group will be announcing their picks for the best of 2015 and the Oscar race will start to become a lot less cloudy.  Until then, we can look at the Independent Spirit Nominations and try to figure out what they all mean in the big scheme of things.

The two big indie best picture contenders — Carol and Spotlight — were nominated for multiple awards.  That’s to be expected.  If any film is going to benefit from the Spirit nominations, it will probably be Anomalisawhich is starting to look more and more like it might be a dark horse to score a best picture nominations.  As well, the Spirit nominations may serve to remind Academy members that Beasts of No Nation is one of the best films of the year.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the Spirit nominations!

Best Feature

Anomalisa
Beasts of No Nation
Carol
Spotlight
Tangerine

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

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
James White
Manos Sucias
Mediterranea
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

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

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 Rodriguez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male

Kevin Corrigan, Results
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

(T)error
Best of Enemies
Heart of a Dog
The Look of Silence
Meru
The Russian Woodpecker

Best International Film

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Embrace of the Serpent
Girlhood
Mustang
Son of Saul

Best Cinematography

Beasts of No Nation
Carol
It Follows
Meadlowland
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best Editing

Heaven Knows What
It Follows
Manos Sucias

Room

Spotlight

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)

Advantageous
Christmas, Again
Heaven Knows What
Krisha
Out of My Hand

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)

Spotlight

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

BeastsofNoNation

Here Are The Independent Spirit Nominations!


o-BOYHOOD-facebook

The Independent Spirit Nominations were announced today!  Over the course of the last few years, the Spirit Awards have turned into a fairly accurate Oscar precursor.  That’s good news for Boyhood, Whiplash, and Selma.  (Birdman was also nominated for a lot of Spirit Awards but everyone’s known that it’s going to be a definite Oscar contender for several months now.)

I was happy to see both Ethan Hawke and Jake Gyllenhaal nominated.  Both of them are dark horses in the Oscar race and, hopefully, this will help both of them.

Among the more surprising snubs: The Imitation Game and Wild.

Also, please note that Foxcatcher, Inherent Vice, and The Grand Budapest Hotel were all ineligible for the Spirit Awards because of their budgets were deemed to be too high.  Foxcatcher and Inherent Vice both receive honorary awards.

Check out the nominees below!

BEST PICTURE
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“Love is Strange”
“Selma”
“Whiplash”

BEST DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
David Zellner, “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter”

BEST ACTOR
André Benjamin, “Jimi: All Is By My Side”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
John Lithgow, “Love is Strange”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”

BEST ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard, “The Immigrant”
Rinko Kikuchi, “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Jenny Slate, “Obvious Child”
Tilda Swinton, “Only Lovers Left Alive”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Riz Ahmed, “Nightcrawler”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Alfred Molina, “Love is Strange”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Carmen Ejogo, “Selma”
Andrea Suarez Paz, “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”

BEST SCREENPLAY
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, “Big Eyes”
J.C. Chandor, “A Most Violent Year”
Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Jim Jarmusch, “Only Lovers Left Alive”
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, “Love is Strange”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Darius Khondji, “The Immigrant”
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
Sean Porter, “It Felt Like Love”
Lyle Vincent, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Bradford Young, “Selma”

BEST EDITING
Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Tom Cross, “Whiplash”
John Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Ron Patane, “A Most Violent Year”
Adam Wingard, “The Guest”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“20,000 Days on Earth”
“CitizenFour”
“Stray Dog”
“The Salt of the Earth”
“Virunga”

BEST INTERNATIONAL PICTURE
“Force Majeure” (Sweden)
“Ida” (Poland)
“Leviathan” (Russia)
“Mommy” (Canada)
“Norte, the End of History” (Philippines)
“Under the Skin” (United Kingdom)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
“Dear White People”
“Nightcrawler”
“Obvious Child”
“She’s Lost Control”

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Desiree Akhavan, “Appropriate Behavior”
Sara Colangelo, “Little Accidents”
Justin Lader, “The One I Love”
Anja Marquardt, “She’s Lost Control”
Justin Simien, “Dear White People”

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (best feature made for under $500,000)
“Blue Ruin”
“It Felt Like Love”
“Land Ho!”
“Man From Reno”
“Test”

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Ana Lily Amirpour, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia, “H.”
Chris Eska, “The Retrieval”

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Amanda Rose Wilder, “Approaching the Elephant”
Darius Clark Monroe, “Evolution of a Criminal”
Dan Krauss, “The Kill Team”
Sara Dosa, “The Last Season”