'Winter's Bone' Dominates Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

Sebastian Mylnarski/Roadside Attractions

The backwoods drama – the best feature winner at Monday’s Gotham Awards – will compete against "127 Hours," "Black Swan," "Greenberg" and "The Kids Are All Right" for best picture.


With seven nominations, Debra Granik's Winter's Bone dominated the noms for Film Independent's Spirit Awards, announced Tuesday.

An austere backwoods drama about a young woman's search for her father, Winter's Bone -- which took the best feature award Monday night at the rival Gotham Awards -- will compete in the Spirit Awards best picture race against 127 Hours, Black Swan, Greenberg and The Kids Are All Right.

Bone, released by Roadside Attractions, also picked up nominations for Granik; lead actress Jennifer Lawrence; supporting actor and actress John Hawkes and Dale Dickey; cinematographer Michael McDonough; and screenplay (by Granik and Anne Rosellini).

While the Spirits focus on American indie films, many of the titles spotlighted this year also are expected to figure in the more mainstream Academy Awards race as Kids, Hours, Swan and Rabbit Hole picked up multiple nominations as well.

In the female lead actress category, Lawrence's fellow nominees include Nicole Kidman, who plays a grieving mother in Rabbit; Annette Bening, who stars as a lesbian mom in Kids; Greta Gerwig, who plays a family's assistant in Greenberg; Natalie Portman, who stars as a neurotic ballet dancer in Swan; and Michelle Williams, who plays one-half of a broken marriage in Blue Valentine.

Although the category expanded this year to include six nominees, one obvious omission was Julianne Moore, who also stars in Kids.

The contenders for best male lead are Ronald Bronstein of Daddy Longlegs, another Gotham winner for his performance as a part-time dad; Rabbit's Aaron Eckhart, who plays a father mourning the loss of a child; James Franco, the trapped adventurer of 127 Hours (he'll have a busy weekend in late February since he's also the newly named Oscar co-host); John C. Reilly, who appears as an uncomfortable suitor in Cyrus; and Greenberg's Ben Stiller, who stars in the title role as a man adrift in Los Angeles.

In addition to Dickey, the lineup of those nominated as best supporting actress consists of Ashley Bell of The Last Exorcism; Allison Janney of Life During Wartime; Daphne Rubin-Vega of Jack Goes Boating; and Naomi Watts of Mother and Child.

Robert Duvall was not nominated in the lead actor category for Get Low, but co-star Bill Murray secured a spot as best supporting actor for his stint as a laconic undertaker. That category also includes Hawkes; Samuel L. Jackson in Mother; John Ortiz in Boating; and Mark Ruffalo in Kids.

The Spirits also announced that its Robert Altman Award, given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast, will be given to Please Give, directed by Nicole Holofcener. Jeanne McCarthy served as casting director on the film, whose cast includes Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith and Sarah Steele.

Granik is one of two women nominated in the best director race. Lisa Cholodenko, who helmed Kids, also earned a nom. Their competition is Swan's Darren Aronofsky, Hours' Danny Boyle and John Cameron Mitchell, who directed Rabbit.

Granik (along with Rosellini), Cholodenko (along with Stuart Blumberg) and Holofcener also earned noms for best screenplay, where they are joined by Rabbit's David Lindsay-Abaire and Wartime's Todd Solondz.

The British-accented The King's Speech, another presumed Oscar front-runner, was consigned by Spirit rules to the best foreign film category. There, it will compete with Lance Daly's Kisses, Stephane Brize's Mademoiselle Chambon, Xavier Beauvois' Of Gods and Men and Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, the Palme d'Or winner at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

In the documentary category, the Spirit noms opted for only two films that are also shortlisted for Academy Awards consideration -- Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop and Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger's Restrepo -- and ignored such other Oscar contenders as Inside Job and Waiting for Superman.

Rounding out the doc nominees are Jeff Malmberg's Marwencol, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor's Sweetgrass and Mark Landsman's Thunder Soul.

The awards will be handed out Feb. 26 on the eve of the Academy Awards as the Spirits return to their traditional seaside ceremony in Santa Monica. The show, hosted by Joel McHale, will be broadcast by IFC.

 A complete list of nominees can be found on the next page.

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