‘Carol’ leads indie movie Spirit Awards nominations

25 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Carol,’ ‘Beasts of No Nation’ lead Independent Spirit nods.

LOS ANGELES — The 1950s-set romance “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara collected the most nominations Tuesday for the 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards. “Beasts of No Nation,” a fictional drama about a child soldier, received five nominations including best feature, best cinematography and best director for Cary Joji Fukunaga.Film Independent announced its nominees for its 31st Spirit Awards — which honors American films made for $20 million or less for “uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter” — on Tuesday morning and included among its five best feature nominees a stop-motion animated film (Anomalisa), a Netflix production (Beasts of No Nation) and a film shot entirely on iPhones (Tangerine), as well as two films directed by favorites of the indie community, Todd Haynes’ Carol and Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight. Films receiving four nominations each, including beat feature, were “Anomalisa,” a dark, animated love story; “Spotlight,” about The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the abuses of the Catholic Church; and “Tangerine,” about sex workers in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.

But the energy this morning inside the W Hotel where Film Independent rolled out 2016 roster of Independent Spirit Award nominees was muted and even a bit depressed. The nominations — determined by nominating committees comprised of “writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, critics, casting directors, film festival programmers and other working film professionals” — brought especially encouraging news for Carol, the great hope of The Weinstein Co. this awards season (along with, perhaps, the as-yet-unseen The Hateful Eight). While diversity in choices prevailed in most categories, the nominees for best director were all males — Fukunaga, Haynes, Baker (“Tangerine”), Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman (“Anomalisa”), Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”) and David Robert Mitchell (“It Follows”).

Two women — Marielle Heller (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”) and Chloé Zhao (“Songs My Brothers Taught Me”) — were, however, both recognized for their direction in the best first feature category. It is noteworthy that the nom-coms categorized both leading ladies as lead actresses, as TWC has, somewhat controversially, been pushing Mara as a supporting actress. Last year, Indie Spirit winners mimicked the Oscar winners in categories such as best feature (“Birdman”), actress (Julianne Moore for “Still Alice”), and supporting actor (J.K. Even though word of the nominations began circulating on social media, Film Independent president Josh Welsh still joined actors Elizabeth Olsen and John Boyega for the official announcement in front of invited press and photographers. Collectively, this is precisely the sort of badge-of-legitimacy that this day-and-date release needs to convince skeptical voters from other awards groups that the pic, despite being gruesomely violent and released in an unusual way, is worthy of their consideration.

The Spirit Awards nominees leaking prematurely is becoming an annual tradition: In 2014, PR Newswire broke an embargo and posted the nominees ahead of the announcement. Spotlight, Open Road’s big contender this season, was recognized not only as a feature, but also for its direction, screenplay, film editing — and with the Robert Altman Award, which, since 2008, has gone to a single film in recognition of its director, casting director and ensemble. In explaining what happened this year, Welsh blamed it on a “back-end technical issue,” adding that the list was up only briefly and immediately taken down. “These things happen and you have to roll with it,” Welsh said later on the red carpet. “We wish it hadn’t happened, but it’s not that big of a deal.

No film this year has a more impressive ensemble than this one, which is the only Altman honoree ever to also land an editing nom (a nom that is seen as crucial for a film with best picture Oscar hopes). 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 Zacaria Ensemble Cast: Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle, Neal Huff, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci (Recognizing a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. Brie Larson, expected to be a front-runner for the best actress Oscar for her performance as a mother held captive in “Room,” got a best female lead nomination. “Room” also picked up a best first screenplay for Emma Donoghue as well but didn’t get a best feature nod.

We’re just so excited to be here today announcing all of the nominees and getting this out to the world.” As the news did make its way into the world, Olsen and Boyega did deliver a jolt of positivity to the festivities by playfully going off-script a few times. Magnolia’s Tangerine, meanwhile, made history in its own way: in addition to its feature and directing noms, it also landed noms for its two leading ladies (lead actress Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and supporting actress Mya Taylor), who happen to be transgender.

Nominations are chosen by members of Film Independent, which include critics, filmmakers, actors, festival programmers, past winners and nominees, and members of Film Independent’s board of directors. Welsh said that it will be the same tent and the same piece of real estate, just a new location. “Due to changes in regulations and zoning laws south of the Pier, we’re moving.

Michael Shannon (99 Homes) and Paul Dano (Love & Mercy) managed to dodge a Segel-like recategorization — but their films otherwise registered rather disappointingly. English-language productions of a small-scale that were not eligible for any noms because of their national affiliation included 45 Years, Brooklyn, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, Suffragette and Youth, among others. (The eligibility of Room, which has an Irish director and English screenwriter, was reportedly approved late in the process, which may have hurt its overall performance.) The Spirit Award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Santa Monica on Saturday, Feb. 27.

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