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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Independent Spirit Awards really liked The Artist and also Drive

Illustration for article titled The Independent Spirit Awards really liked The Artist and also Drive

As occurs every year, the Gotham Independent Film Awards barely had a moment to bask in the blog sunshine before they’re swept away by the Independent Spirit Awards, a list of nominees that is far more sweeping and way more independent—independent right down to its very spirit. Because independence is a spiritual thing, and maybe the Gotham Awards are just spiritually empty, and in that case the Independent Spirit Awards just feel sad for them. This year their divide is even greater, with big Gotham winner The Tree Of Life completely shut out—though its “companion” Beginners did score four nods in all, including Best Screenplay and Best Actor for Christopher Plummer’s performance (which definitely seems like a lock come Oscar time).

If you were to pick a clear favorite at the Spiritsies, as we call them just to be irritating, The Artist and Take Shelter would definitely be in the lead, scoring five nominations apiece, including Best Feature. And naturally, The Artist’s strong showing has already provoked early controversy, as normally the Spiritsies go to films made by Americans, and both its writer-director and principal stars are French. However, a Film Independent spokesperson has already argued that it qualifies because, in addition to being filmed in America, director Michel Hazanavicius is a permanent U.S. resident. Also, The Artist is awesome, so shut up, everyone. (Note: Take Shelter is also awesome.)

Also awesome, mostly, or at least high on the list, given that they all scored four nominations apiece: The Descendants, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Drive, with the lattermost film not only scoring in the Best Feature category but also both Best Actor for Ryan Gosling and Best Supporting Actor for Albert Brooks. Given some Oscar prognosticators’ feelings about Drive’s chances of being shut out completely, it should probably enjoy these little moments. Other surprises included a Best Feature nomination for 50/50 and a Supporting Actor nomination for John C. Reilly’s role in Cedar Rapids, about which we’re pretty sure even John C. Reilly is like, “What?” Meanwhile, the Best Documentary category features a nod for The Redemption Of General Butt Naked, a movie that is definitely not as fun as it sounds. Here’s the complete list of nominees. [h/t to Movieline for compiling these]


Best Feature
Take Shelter
The Artist
The Descendants

Best Director
Mike Mills, Beginners
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Best First Feature
Another Earth
In The Family
Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natural Selection

Best Male Lead
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter


Best Female Lead
Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me
Rachel Harris, Natural Selection
Adepero Oduye, Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Supporting Male
Albert Brooks, Drive
John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
John C. Reilly, Cedar Rapids
Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris


Best Supporting Female
Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
Anjelica Huston, 50/50
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

John Cassavetes Award for films made under $500,000
Hello Lonesome
The Dynamiter


Best Documentary
An African Selection
Bill Cunningham New York
The Interrupters
The Redemption of General Butt Naked
We Were Here

Best Cinematography
Joel Hodge, Bellflower
Benjamin Kasulke, The Off Hours
Darius Khondji, Midnight in Paris
Guillaume Shiffman, The Artist
Jeffrey Waldron, The Dynamiter


Best First Screenplay
Mike Cahill & Brit Marling, Another Earth
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Patrick DeWitt, Terri
Phil Johnston, Cedar Rapids
Will Reiser, 50/50

Best Screenplay
Joseph Cedar, Footnote
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Tom McCarthy, Win Win
Mike Mills, Beginners
Alexander Payne, The Descendants


Best International Film
A Separation
The Kid With a Bike

Piaget Producer’s Award
Chad Burris, Mosquita y Mari
Sophia Lin, Take Shelter
Josh Mond, Martha Marcy May Marlene


Someone to Watch Award
Simon Arthur, Silver Tongues
Mark Jackson, Without
Nicholas Ozeki, Mamitas

Truer Than Fiction Award
Heather Courtney, Where Soldiers Come From
Danfung Dennis, Hell and Back Again
Alma Ha’rel, Bombay Beach


Robert Altman Award for ensemble
Margin Call (Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci)

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