'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.


BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not listed)
127 Hours. Producers: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, John Smithson
Black Swan. Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver
Greenberg.  Producers: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Rudin
The Kids Are All Right. Producers: Gary Gilbert, Philippe Hellmann, Jordan Horowitz, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg
Winter’s Bone Producers: Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Anne Rosellini

Darren Aronofsky Black Swan
Danny Boyle 127 Hours
Lisa Cholodenko The Kids Are All Right
Debra Granik Winter’s Bone
John Cameron Mitchell Rabbit Hole

Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko The Kids Are All Right
Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini Winter’s Bone
Nicole Holofcener Please Give
David Lindsay-Abaire Rabbit Hole
Todd Solondz Life During Wartime

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
Everything Strange and New Director: Frazer Bradshaw Producers: A.D. Liano,
Laura Techera Francia
Get Low Director: Aaron Schneider
Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck
Night Catches Us Director: Tanya Hamilton
Producers: Sean Costello, Jason Orans, Ronald Simons
The Last Exorcism Director: Daniel Stamm
Producers: Marc Abraham, Tom Bliss, Eric Newman, Eli Roth
Tiny Furniture Director: Lena Dunham
Producers: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering

Diane Bell Obselidia
Lena Dunham Tiny Furniture
Nik Fackler Lovely, Still
Bob Glaudini Jack Goes Boating
Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener Monogamy

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director, and producer. Executive Producers are not listed
Daddy Longlegs Writer/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott
Lbs. Director: Matthew Bonifacio Writer/Producers: Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famiglietti
Lovers of Hate Writer/Director: Bryan PoyserProducer: Megan Gilbride
ObselidiaWriter/Director: Diane Bell Producers: Chris Byrne, Mathew Medlin
The Exploding Girl Writer/Director: Bradley Rust Gray Producers: Karin Chien, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim

Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right
Greta Gerwig Greenberg
Nicole Kidman Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman Black Swan
Michelle Williams Blue Valentine

Ronald Bronstein Daddy Longlegs
Aaron Eckhart Rabbit Hole
James Franco 127 Hours
John C. Reilly Cyrus
Ben Stiller Greenberg

Ashley Bell The Last Exorcism
Dale Dickey Winter’s Bone
Allison Janney Life During Wartime
Daphne Rubin-Vega Jack Goes Boating
Naomi Watts Mother and Child

John Hawkes Winter’s Bone
Samuel L. Jackson Mother and Child
Bill Murray Get Low
John Ortiz Jack Goes Boating
Mark Ruffalo The Kids Are All Right

Adam Kimmel Never Let Me Go
Matthew Libatique Black Swan
Jody Lee Lipes Tiny Furniture
Michael McDonough Winter’s Bone
Harris Savides Greenberg

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)
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

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)
(Ireland) Director: Lance Daly
Mademoiselle Chambon
(France) Director: Stéphane Brizé
Of Gods and Men
(Morocco) Director: Xavier Beauvois
The King’s Speech (United Kingdom) Director: Tom Hooper
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
(Thailand)Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 17th annual Acura Someone to Watch Award
recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received
appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant
funded by Acura.

Hossein Keshavarz Dog Sweat
Laurel Nakadate The Wolf Knife
Mike Ott Littlerock

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 14th annual Piaget Producers Award honors
emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the
creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent
films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

In-Ah Lee Au Revoir Taipei
Adele Romanski The Myth of the American Sleepover
Anish Savjani Meek’s Cutoff

Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features
who has not yet received significant recognition.  The award includes a
$25,000 unrestricted grant funded by AVEENO®.

Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor Sweetgrass
Jeff Malmberg Marwencol
Lynn True, Nelson Walker Summer Pasture

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and
its ensemble cast)
Please GiveDirector: Nicole Holofcener
Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy
Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet,
Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele