2012 Independent Spirit Award Nominations

The nominations for the 2012 Independent Spirit Award were announced this morning. Though often unpredictable, these awards are never a strong indicator for the Oscars or other awards shows, and there are many nominees who never even wind up in discussion at any other point during awards season. (Exception to the rule: Last year’s Best Actress category. All five eventual Oscar nominees got nominated for the Independent Spirit Award, along with Greta Gerwig from Greenberg. Portman won.) But it is a great opportunity to honour some small films that would otherwise be largely ignored, as well as some of the breakthrough indie projects. This year is no different, and nominees range from the indiest of the independent to larger projects that even received wide release.

The Artist and Take Shelter were the big winners here, with five nominations apiece. Here’s a look at some of the larger categories, and who got snubbed (via The Wrap):

Best Feature

The Artist


The Descendants



Take Shelter

This category definitely favours the bigger films. I believe 50/50 and Drive were the only eligible films to get an immediate wide release, so it’s telling that they both got nominated. A little surprised that Midnight in Paris didn’t get in here.

Lead Actress

Lauren Ambrose, “Think of Me”

Rachael Harris, “Natural Selection”

Adepero Oduye, “Pariah”

Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”

The most surprising omission is Felicity Jones (who just won the Empire Award) for Like Crazy. In fact, that film seems to be entirely absent (did I miss something?).

Lead Actor

Demian Bechir, “A Better Life”

Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

Ryan Gosling, “Drive”

Woody Harrelson, “Rampart”

Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter”

Surprised by the lack of Clooney. It definitely won’t hurt his Oscar chances, but it does seem strange. Perhaps voters were more in favour of smaller names that they thought wouldn’t be recognized otherwise. Nice to see Shannon and Harrelson (two Oscar dark horses) getting at least a bit of love this awards season.

Supporting Actress

Jessica Chastain, “Take Shelter”

Anjelica Huston, “50/50”

Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”

Harmony Santana, “Gun Hill Road”

Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”

Woodley has cemented herself as someone who will at least be seriously in the discussion during this year’s awards season. I’m off to see The Descendants today, so perhaps I’ll report back with my thoughts on her. Also nice to see Chastain get some love. No huge surprises, though the omission of Berenice Bejo for The Artist isn’t a great indicator of her Oscar prospects (I’ve never predicted her for a nom, but many people think she’s a strong possibility.)

Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks, “Drive”

John Hawkes, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

John C. Reilly, “Cedar Rapids”

Corey Stoll, “Midnight in Paris”

I love that Reilly and Stoll got nominated. Two great, small comedic performances. Plummer is of course the frontrunner for awards season in general, but I suppose Hawkes was a no-brainer for a nom here, since he is an indie hero (and also last year’s winner for Winter’s Bone).

Elsewhere, I’m glad to see Tom McCarthy get some love for his screenplay for Win Win and to see Cedar Rapids show up in the Best First Screenplay category (I actually didn’t know it was a first-time screenwriter, and that kind of makes the film even more impressive to me now.)

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