'Winter's Bone' and 'The Kids Are All Right' top the Spirit Award nominations
Oscar favorites "127 Hours," "Black Swan," "The Kids Are All Right" and "Winter's Bone" all received multiple nods Tuesday morning at the nominations for Film Independent's 2011 Spirit Awards, which will take place on Feb. 26. One suprise of the day was Noah Baumbach's "Greenberg," which received a best picture nomination, a best actor nod for star Ben Stiller and best actress recognition for Greta Gerwig.
The Spirit Awards in its 26th year recognized what a crowded field it is for actresses this year, nominating a record six women in the category. In addition to Gerwig, Annette Bening for "The Kids Are All Right" received a nomination as did Nicole Kidman for "Rabbit Hole," Jennifer Lawrence for "Winter's Bone," Natalie Portman for "Black Swan" and Michelle Williams for "Blue Valentine."
In a suprising move, Williams' "Blue Valentine" co-star Ryan Gosling was not recognized for his performance in the marriage drama from director Derek Cianfrance. Rather, the best actor nominations went to Ronald Bronstein from the teeny indie "Daddy Longlegs," Aaron Eckhart from "Rabbit Hole," James Franco from "127 Hours," John C. Reilly from "Cyrus" and Stiller.
In the directing category, Film Independent recognized two female directors among the five nominees including Lisa Cholodenko for "The Kids Are All Right" and Debra Granik for "Winter's Bone." The other three slots included Darren Aronofsky for "Black Swan," Danny Boyle for "127 Hours" and John Cameron Mitchell for "Rabbit Hole." Although Eckhart, Kidman and Mitchell were all nominated, "Rabbit Hole" itself was left off the indie awards' best picture list.
But the Spirit nods are good news for both "Kids" and "Black Swan," which were shut out of Monday night's Gotham Awards. The Film Independent committee evaluated 220 movies, all of which had a budget under $20 million.
In the supporting actor category, Bill Murray was recognized for his role in "Get Low" from director Aaron Schneider, who picked up a first feature nomination. Samuel Jackson was nominated for "Mother and Child" as was John Ortiz for "Jack Goes Boating," Mark Ruffalo for "The Kids Are All Right" and John Hawkes for "Winter's Bone."
For supporting actress, Ashley Bell picked up a surprise nomination for "The Last Exorcism," Dale Dickey was nominated for "Winter's Bone," Allison Janney picked up a nod for her role in Todd Solondz' "Life During Wartime," Naomi Watts for "Mother and Child" and Daphne Rubin-Vega for "Jack Goes Boating."
Nicole Holofcener's "Please Give" received the Robert Altman award, which is given to one film for director, casting director and ensemble cast.
The rest of the nominees are listed below:
"The Kids Are All Right," by Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko
"Winter's Bone," by Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini
"Please Give," by Nicole Holofcener
"Rabbit Hole," by David Lindsay-Abaire
"Life During Wartime," by Todd Solondz
Best First Feature
"Everything Strange and New," director Frazer Bradshaw
"Get Low," director Aaron Schneider
"Night Catches Us," director Tanya Hamilton
"The Last Exorcism," director Daniel Stamm
"Tiny Furniture," director Lena Dunham
John Cassavetes Award, given to the best feature made for under $500,000
"Daddy Longlegs," director Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
"Lbs.," director Matthew Bonifacio
"Lovers of Hate," director Bryan Poyser
"Obselidia," director Diane Bell
"The Exploding Girl," director Bradley Rust Gray
Best Foreign Film
"Mademoiselle Chambon," France
"Of Gods and Men," Morocco
"The King's Speech," United Kingdom
"Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," Thailand
Adam Kimmel, "Never Let Me Go"
Matthew Libatique, "Black Swan
Jody Lee Lipes, "Tiny Furniture"
Michael McDonough, "Winter's Bone"
Harris Savides, "Greenberg"
"Exit Through the Gift Shop," director Banksy
"Marwencol," director Jeff Malmberg
"Restrepo," directors Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger
"Sweetgrass," directors Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor
"Thunder Soul," director Mark Landsman
Last year's Spirit Award top nominees were "Precious" and "The Last Station." "Precious" went on to win two Academy Awards, one for adapted screenplay and one for supporting actress. The academy nominated Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren for supporting actor and actress awards but neither walked away with a statue. Oscar's 2010 big winner "The Hurt Locker" was shut out of last year's Spirit Awards since it was put forward the previous year prior to securing a distributor.
[For the Record: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that Christopher Plummer was nominated for lead actor Oscar.]
Photo: Ashlee Thompson as Ashlee, Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly and Isaiah Stone as Sonny in "Winter's Bone." Credit: Sebastian Mlynarski/Roadside Attractions