‘Precious’ and ‘Last Station’ lead Spirit nominees

Posted by · 8:38 am · December 1st, 2009

Helen Mirren in The Last StationIt won’t come as a surprise to anyone to “Precious” landed atop the list of Independent Spirit Award nominations this morning. Lee Daniels’ indie smash earned 5 mentions including Best Feature, Director and Actress, and looks like the one to beat in every category where it features.

Fewer people, however, might have expected Michael Hoffman’s “The Last Station” to tie that total, landing Best Feature and Director nods alongside more predictable citations for stars Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. Many pundits (myself included) have been suggesting that this placid, kindly regarded film could be a threat for a Best Picture Oscar nod — this lends further weight to the idea.

Surprises include the comparatively low profile of “A Serious Man” on the list, which some thought a shoo-in for a Best Feature nod. It missed in the top category, as did Michael Stuhlbarg for Best Actor, though the film managed mentions in the Best Director and Best Cinematography races. Further compensation for the film arrives in the shape of the Robert Altman Award for ensemble work.

Other surprises include the snubbing of Hal Holbrook, despite the inclusion of his “That Evening Sun” co-stars, while the Best Actress race unexpectedly includes Gwyneth Paltrow and Maria Bello at the expense of, say, Maggie Gyllenhaal. Fans of Paltrow’s vehicle “Two Lovers” will be also be delighted by the Best Director nod for James Gray, which I certainly didn’t see coming — one might speculate that Joaquin Phoenix only just missed the Best Actor list.

My personal favorite nod? Natalie Press for Best Supporting Actress. My biggest headscratcher? “Bad Lieutenant” for Best Cinematography, of all things. What makes (or mars) your day on the list below? (I suspect there will be a lot of happy “(500) Days of Summer” fans out there.)

Best Feature
“Amreeka”
“(500) Days of Summer”
“The Last Station”
“Precious”
“Sin Nombre”

Best Director
Michael Hoffman, “The Last Station”
Lee Daniels, “Precious”
Joel and Ethan Coen, “A Serious Man”
Cary Fukunaga, “Sin Nombre”
James Gray, “Two Lovers”

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “(500) Days of Summer”
Souleymane Sy Savane, “Goodbye Solo”
Adam Scott, “The Vicious Kind”

Best Actress
Maria Bello, “Downloading Nancy”
Nisreen Faour, “Amreeka”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Gwyneth Paltrow, “Two Lovers”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”

Best Supporting Actor
Jemaine Clement, “Gentlemen Broncos”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christian McKay, “Me and Orson Welles”
Ray McKinnon, “That Evening Sun”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”

Best Supporting Actress
Dina Korzun, “Cold Souls”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”
Samantha Morton, “The Messenger”
Natalie Press, “Fifty Dead Men Walking”
Mia Wasikowska, “That Evening Sun”

Best Screenplay
“Adventureland”
“(500) Days of Summer”
“The Last Station”
“The Messenger”
“The Vicious Kind”

Best First Feature
“Crazy Heart”
“Easier With Practice”
“The Messenger”
“Paranormal Activity”
“A Single Man”

Best First Screenplay
“Amreeka”
“Cold Souls”
“Crazy Heart”
“Precious”
“A Single Man”

Best Foreign Film
“An Education”
“Everlasting Moments”
“The Maid”
“Mother”
“A Prophet”

Best Documentary
“Anvil! The Story of Anvil”
“Food, Inc.”
“More Than a Game”
“October Country”
“Which Way Home”

Best Cinematography
“The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”
“Cold Souls”
“A Serious Man”
“Sin Nombre”
“Treeless Mountain”

John Cassavetes Award
“Big Fan”
“Humpday”
“New Year Parade”
“Treeless Mountain”
“Zero Bridge”

Robert Altman Award
“A Serious Man”




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61 responses so far

  • 1 12-01-2009 at 7:01 pm

    Zach said...

    (Kind of obvious) predictions:

    Feature – “Precious”
    Actress – Gabby Sidibe
    Actor – Jeff Bridges
    Supporting Actress – Mo’nique
    Supporting Actor – Woody Harrelson
    Director – Lee Daniels
    Screenplay – “(500) Days of Summer”
    First Screenplay – “Precious”
    Cinematography – “A Serious Man”
    First Feature – “Crazy Heart”
    Foreign Film – “A Prophet”
    Documentary – “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”
    John Cassavetes – “Treeless Mountain”

  • 2 12-01-2009 at 9:20 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    I was hoping Paula Patton would get some love at least once during this season, and I was thinking if at all it’d be from the Spirits.

  • 3 12-01-2009 at 9:26 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Don’t worry Burma, I’m sure she’ll get in with the NAACP Image Awards.

  • 4 12-01-2009 at 9:45 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    (500) Days of Summer is the Annie Hall of our generation in the same way The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the Gone With the Wind of our generation. Which is to say, fuck you.

  • 5 12-02-2009 at 4:25 am

    Alex said...

    I’m very happy about Mia Wasikowska. She should be nominated in Best Supporting Actress in around 4-5. She was very impressive in That Evening Sun.

  • 6 12-02-2009 at 4:31 am

    Alex said...

    By 4-5 I mean 4th to 5th position.

    Judi Dench deserved her Oscar for Shakespeare in Love more than she deserves a nomination of for Nine.

  • 7 12-02-2009 at 9:19 am

    Me. said...

    “(500) Days of Summer is the Annie Hall of our generation in the same way The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the Gone With the Wind of our generation. Which is to say, fuck you.”

    Thanks for the compliment.
    And to be honest, it is. I’m not saying “Summer” is better than “Annie Hall”, because it’s not but they’re very similarly constructed and many couples of my generation which I know personally can identify to this film. It feels real, not like those crap rom-coms that have been made.

  • 8 12-02-2009 at 9:33 am

    The Other James D. said...

    @SHAAAARK: But kudos to your TCCOBB diss =). Bitchin’.

  • 9 12-02-2009 at 10:07 am

    Brian said...

    Love the photo of Kate Hudson that goes with this post, but she does look a bit older without makeup….and what does it have to do with the Spirit Awards?

  • 10 12-02-2009 at 10:23 am

    Speaking English said...

    Actually, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” might as well be the “Gone with the Wind” of this generation. If you mean grand sweeping romance in a big, beautiful production, then totally. Or “Australia.”

  • 11 12-02-2009 at 10:24 am

    Speaking English said...

    Ahhh… nevermind. “Titanic” already claimed it 12 years ago.