'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Moonrise Kingdom' Dominate Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

The Weinstein Company

The Wes Anderson film and the David O. Russell dramedy will compete against "Keep the Lights On," "Bernie" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" for best picture.


Comedy was king as Film Independent  announced the nominees for its 2013 Spirit Awards today as Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, a winsome tale of young lovers on the run, and David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, a mentally-unbalanced romantic comedy, dominating the field with five nominations each.

They will compete for best feature award alongside Beasts of the Southern Wild, an imaginative look at the occupants of a Louisiana delta community; Bernie, a dark comedy about a small-town funeral director; and the gay relationship story Keep the Lights On.

Moonrise, which also scored noms for director Wes Anderson, its screenplay by Anderson and Roman Coppola, supporting actor Bruce Willis and Robert Yeoman's cinematography, is on something of a roll. The Focus Features release, which debuted at May's Cannes Film Festival, was also named best feature at the 22nd Gotham Independent Film Awards, which were held Monday night in New York.

STORY: Gotham Awards: 'Moonrise Kingdom' Wins Best Feature

Four of the Spirit best feature nominees also popped up in the best director category. In addition to Moonrise's Anderson, they included Playbook's David O. Russell, Beasts' Benh Zeitlin and Lights' Ira Sachs. Bernie's director Richard Linklater was odd man out. Instead, the fifth directing slot went to The Loneliest Planet's Julia Loktev.

Playbook's two lead actors -- Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence -- both earned nominations in the acting categories. The Sessions, the account of a man, living with an iron lung, who seeks out his first sexual experience, also picked up two acting noms -- one for lead actor John Hawkes and another for supporting actress Helen Hunt. And the marital drama, Middle of Nowhere, was represented by three acting nominations, with Emayatzy Corinealdi in the best actress category, Lorraine Toussaint in supporting actress and David Oyelowo in supporting actor. Another of the big acting surprises proved to be Matthew McConaughey, who was not only nominated as lead actor for playing the title role in the crime pic Killer Joe but also as supporting male for emceeing a club full of male strippers in Magic Mike

Rounding out the list of lead actors were Bernie's Jack Black; Lights' Thure Lindhardt; and Four's Wendell Pierce. The lead actress contingent also included Return's Linda Cardellini, Smashed's Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Beasts' young Quvenzhane Wallis.

VIDEO: 'Moonrise Kingdom' Director Wes Anderson on 'Stealing' From Kubrick, Polanski

On the documentary front, the Spirit noms singled out David France's How to Survive a Plague, which looks at the gay community's response to the AIDS crisis; Matthew Akers' Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, a portrait of the Serbian performance artist; The Central Park Five, an account of injustice in New York City from Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon; Kirby Dick's The Invisible War, which investigates rape within the military; and Peter Nicks' The Waiting Room, which examines the health crisis by focusing on one public hospital.


In the best international film category, two of this year's most celebrated films from Cannes -- Michael Haneke's Amour and Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone -- will compete with Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, from Turkey; Ursula Meier's Sister, from Switzerland; and Kim Nguyen's War Witch, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which also happens to be Canada's submission for the foreign-language film Oscar.

Film Independent also announced that it will give its annual Robert Altman Award, which recognizes a film's director, casting director and ensemble cast, to Sean Baker's Starlet.

Among distributors, Fox Searchlight could boast of the most nominations. It collected nine nominations for Beasts, Sessions, Ruby Sparks and Sound of My Voice. Music Box Films also had surprisingly strong showing with seven noms spread among Lights, Abramovic and Starlet. IFC Films, Focus and Sony Pictures Classics each collected six nominations.

Winners of the Spirit Awards will be announced Feb. 23 at the annual awards luncheon held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. The ceremony will be broadcast that evening at 10 p.m. ET/PT on IFC.  


The full list of nominees:

Best Feature


Beasts of the Southern Wild- Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey and Josh Penn

Bernie - Producers: Liz Glotzer, Richard Linklater, David McFadzeanDete Meserve, Judd Payne, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Ginger Sledge, Matt Williams

Keep the Lights On Producers: Marie Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin, Ira Sachs

Moonrise Kingdom - Producers: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin

Silver Linings Playbook -- Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon

Best Director

Wes Anderson - Moonrise Kingdom

David O. Russell - Silver Linings Playbook

Julia Loktev- The Loneliest Planet

Ira Sachs -- Keep the Lights On

Benh Zeitlin -- Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Screenplay

Wes Anderson - Moonrise Kingdom

David O. Russell - Silver Linings Playbook

Ira Sachs -- Keep the Lights On

Zoe Kazan -- Ruby Sparks

Martin McDonagh - Seven Psychopaths

Best First Feature

Fill the Void -- Director: Rama Burshtein; Producer: Assaf Amir

Gimme the Loot -- Director: Adam Leon; Producers: Dominic Buchanan, Natalie Difford, Jamund Washington

Safety Not Guaranteed -- Director: Colin Trevorrow; Producer: Derek Connolly, Stephanie Langhoff, Peter Saraf, Colin Trevorrow, MarcTurtletaub

Sound of My Voice -- Director: Zal Batmanglij; Producers: Brit Marling, Hans Ritter, Shelley Surpin

The Perks of Being a Wallfower -- Director: Stephen Chbosky; Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith

Best First Screenplay


Rama Burshtein
Fill the Void 
Derek Connolly -- Safety Not Guaranteed

Christopher Ford -- Robot & Frank 

Rashida Jones and Will McCormack -- Celeste and Jesse Forever
Jonathan Lisecki -- Gayby
John Cassavetes Award (given to best picture made for under $500K)

Breakfast with Curtis -- Writer/Director/Producer: Laura Colella

Middle of Nowhere -- Writer/Director/Producer: Ava DuVernay; Producers: Howard Barish, Paul Garnes

Mosquita y Mari -- Writer/Director:  Aurora Guerrero; Producer: Chad Burris

Starlet -- Writer/Director: Sean Baker; Producers: Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, FrancescaSilvestri

The Color Wheel -- Writer/Director/Producer: Alex Ross Perry; Writer: Carlen Altman Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith

Best Female Lead

Linda Cardinelli - Return

Emayatzy Corinealdi- Middle of Nowhere

Jennifer Lawrence- Silver Linings Playbook

Quvenzhane Wallis -- Beasts of the Southern Wild

Mary Elizabeth Winstead -- Smashed

Best Male Lead

Jack Black- Bernie

Bradley Cooper- Silver Linings Playbook

John Hawkes- The Sessions

Matthew McConaughey -- Killer Joe

Wendell Pierce -- Four

Thure Lindhardt -- Keep the Lights On

Best Supporting Female

Rosemarie DeWitt -- Your Sister's Sister

Ann Dowd -- Compliance

Helen Hunt -- The Sessions

Brit Marling -- Sound of My Voice

Lorraine Toussant -- Middle of Nowhere

Best Supporting Male

Matthew McConaughey -- Magic Mike

David Oyelowo -- Middle of Nowhere

Michael Pena -- End of Watch

Sam Rockwell -- Seven Psychopaths

Bruce Willis -- Moonrise Kingdom

Best Cinematography

Yoni Brook -- Valley of Saints

Lol Crawley -- Here

Ben Richardson -- Beasts of the Southern Wild

Roman Vasyanov -- End of Watch

Robert Yeoman -- Moonrise Kingdom

Best Documentary

How to Survive a Plague -- Director: David France; Producers: David France, Howard Gertler

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present -- Director: Matthew Akers; Producers: Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre

The Central Park Five -- Directors/Producers: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon

The Invisible War -- Director: Kirby Dick; Producers: Tanner King Barklow, Amy Ziering

The Waiting Room -- Director/Producer: Peter Nicks; Producers: Linda Davis, William B. Hirsch

Best International Film

Amour -- Director: Michael Haneke

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia -- Director:  Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Rust and Bone -- Director: Jacques Audiard

Sister -- Director: Ursula Meier

War Witch -- Director: Kim Nguyen

Piaget Producers Award

Nobody Walks -- Producer: Alicia Van Couvering

Prince Avalanche -- Producer: Derrick Tseng

Stones in the Sun -- Producer: Mynette Louie

Someone to Watch Award

Pincus -- Director: David Fenster

Gimme the Loot -- Director: Adam Leon

Electrick Children -- Director: Rebecca Thomas

Truer Than Fiction Award

Leviathan -- Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel

The Waiting Room -- Director: Peter Nicks

Only the Young -- Directors: Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims 

Robert Altman Award

Starlet -- Director: Sean Baker; Casting Director: Julia Kim; Ensemble Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone