‘Winter’s Bone’ leads Indie Spirits with 7 nods

Posted by · 10:37 am · November 30th, 2010

Well, quelle surprise. I’ve been saying for months now that Debra Granik’s solemn Ozark thriller is — even more so than the sunnier, starrier “The Kids Are All Right” — this year’s annointed indie cause in the Oscar race, and this only cements that belief. The film’s impressive showing this morning, coming on the heels of last night’s Gotham Awards triumph, has me more confident than ever that the tiny pic is set to repeat the trajectory “Precious” made last year from Sundance champ to Best Picture nominee.

A number of its companions in the Best Feature race could join in there too, as the Spirits largely favored big-name fare in the top categories: “The Kids Are All Right” took second place in the nomination count, with five, while “Black Swan” and “Rabbit Hole” (which clearly just missed the cut in the feature race) are just behind with four apiece.

Continuing the Oscar-contender parade, “127 Hours” nabbed a Best Feature nomination too, as did director Danny Boyle and star James Franco. Indeed, in a  list that features most of the year’s most-touted indie features, the biggest surprise is the near-total blanking of Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine,” the kind of challenging, critically championed kitchen-sink piece that is usually catnip to these voters. Harvey Weinstein will be disappointed with the film’s solitary nod for Best Actress, as am I — at the very least, the omission of Ryan Gosling (who only gave my favorite male performance of 2010) from the Best Actor category is inexplicable.

Equally conspicuous by his absence (though less missed by yours truly) in the Best Actor category is one Robert Duvall; in both cases, however, it’s wise to remember the Spirits’ history of eccentric off-beam snubs before making too many connections with the Oscar race. (In recent years, Josh Brolin, Marisa Tomei, Laura Linney, Catherine Keener and Jake Gyllenhaal all missed this particular stop en route to their Oscar bids.)

By contrast, the Best Actress category is stuffed to the gills with serious Oscar contenders; it’s indicative of the riches of this year’s female field that they wound up with six nominees. Spare a thought for the wonderful Greta Gerwig, here rather made to look like to lone guest in jeans at a black-tie function.

Beyond that, I don’t have much to add, beyond cheering for the lovely, minorly acknowledged “Au Revoir Taipei,” and predicting a “Winter’s Bone” victory (but in a field this strong, perhaps not a sweep) come February 26. How far away does that sound?

Best Feature
“Black Swan”
“The Kids Are All Right”
“127 Hours”
“Winter’s Bone”

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

Best Actress
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”

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

Best Supporting Actress
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”

Best Supporting Actor
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”

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

Best Documentary
“Exit Through The Gift Shop”
“Thunder Soul”

Best Foreign (Non-American) Film
“The King’s Speech”
“Mademoiselle Chambon”
“Of Gods and Men”
“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”

Best First Feature
“Everything Strange and New”
“Get Low”
“The Last Exorcism”
“Night Catches Us”
“Tiny Furniture”

John Cassevetes Award (Best Feature Made For Under $500,000)
“Daddy Longlegs”
“The Exploding Girl”
“Lovers of Hate”

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

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

Robert Altman Award
The director, casting director and ensemble of “Please Give”

Piaget Producers Award
In-Ah Lee, “Au Revoir Taipei”
Adele Romanski, “The Myth of the American Sleepover”
Anish Savjani, “Meek’s Cutoff”

Someone to Watch Award
Hossein Keshavarz, “Dog Sweat”
Laurel Nakadate, “The Wolf Knife”
Mike Ott, “Littlerock”

Truer Than Fiction Award
Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, “Sweetgrass”
Jeff Malmberg, “Marwencol”
Lynn True, Nelson Walker, “Summer Pasture”

[Photo: Roadside Attractions]

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37 responses so far

  • 1 11-30-2010 at 10:47 am

    JFK said...

    I’m pretty happy with all of these. I love the nods for WB, Kids and Holofcener. I am a bit confused about the confusion of Greenberg, anyone else?

  • 2 11-30-2010 at 10:47 am

    RJL said...

    Ryan Gosling? Robert Duvall?

  • 3 11-30-2010 at 10:51 am

    Jurio said...

    RIP Ryan Gosling.

  • 4 11-30-2010 at 11:05 am

    JJ1 said...

    I still think Gosling has a shot. If he’s as good as he is, and since he got in before (a feat in & of itself) for a very small film … I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that he is in the 5 for the Oscars. We’ll see.

  • 5 11-30-2010 at 11:09 am

    Michael said...

    I’ll never understand the passionate support for Winter’s Bone. I liked it but I didn’t really think it was all that special at all. But this happens every year where I couldn’t possibly like the same things as all the critics/guilds/award bodies. If I did there wouldn’t be any fun.

    With that said, beyond the love for Winter’s Bone, I am very happy about all of the other nominees. This is a very solid mix of films, if not particularly surprising or exciting (b/c it includes all the regular players that have been talked about for months now.)

  • 6 11-30-2010 at 11:12 am

    Keil Shults said...

    I too feel that Winter’s Bone and Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in it are a bit overrated, but I do think that John Hawkes has been criminally overlooked, if not underrated. Maybe if he was sexier, rather new to acting, and currently filming the next X-Men film, we’d be hearing more buzz for him.

  • 7 11-30-2010 at 11:17 am

    Jenny said...

    Wonder if the Best actress category is an accurate prediction of what the Oscar noms will be (minus Gerwig) ie no Halle Berry, no Lesley Manville, and sadly no Julianne Moore.

  • 8 11-30-2010 at 11:21 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    As the star of a non-US production, Lesley Manville wasn’t eligible.

  • 9 11-30-2010 at 11:21 am

    Nick Davis said...

    I admit to preferring when the Indie Spirits stick to the guns of festival-circuit, lower-budgeted movies; just personal taste, but it’s a little disappointing to see so many big-buzz titles and mini-major acquisitions dominating the big categories. Still, it’s getting so much harder to get any movie financed in this budget bracket that I guess it really does require an “independent spirit” to get them made and get them released. No strong opinions about what got in or got left out. Congrats to all the nominees!

  • 10 11-30-2010 at 11:40 am

    Sean C. said...

    I’ve thought for a while that it was highly unlikely Moore would make it into the nominees list if she went against Bening, and this points to that probably being true.

  • 11 11-30-2010 at 11:41 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’m of a similar mind to Nick, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of people on the inside feel the same way — which is partly why I think “Winter’s Bone,” as the most inarguably independent title in the top category, has a leg up in the race.

  • 12 11-30-2010 at 11:52 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Sad to see Cold Weather snubbed but hearty congratulations are in order to Lena, Alicia, Josh, Benny, Greta, Ronnie, Jeff and Adele. I’m rooting for all of you!

  • 13 11-30-2010 at 11:55 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Was wondering about Cold Weather — was it submitted, or are they waiting for next year? If the former is true, then a grave injustice has been done in multiple categories, starting with Best Cinematography.

  • 14 11-30-2010 at 12:01 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I just think the high profile names is indicative of a year with many good indie films making a bigger impression than normal.

  • 15 11-30-2010 at 12:04 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    That’s a sweetly optimistic spin on it, JJ1, but let’s not pretend that, bar Winter’s Bone, all the year’s standout independent features boasted major stars.

  • 16 11-30-2010 at 12:11 pm

    conundrumbombs said...

    Looks like Franco and Lawrence will be locks for the leading categories. The supporting ones seem to be wide open.

    Bummed not to see Gosling, but glad that Exit Through the Gift Shop landed a nomination.

    Anyone know why there are six nominees in the lead actress category?

  • 17 11-30-2010 at 12:16 pm

    Everett said...

    Strange how many Oscar contenders are on this nominee list. Besides Greenberg, all of the Best Feature nominees have solid shots at Best Picture nominations.

  • 18 11-30-2010 at 12:24 pm

    Keil Shults said...

    Would Never Let Me Go have been eligible for any of these awards?

  • 19 11-30-2010 at 12:46 pm

    Mitchell said...

    The best news from this announcement: host Joel McHale.

  • 20 11-30-2010 at 12:58 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Keil: Look closer. Never Let Me Go has a Best Cinematography nomination.

    Conundrumbombs: There was presumably a tie for 5th place when nomination ballots were counted.

  • 21 11-30-2010 at 1:21 pm

    Keil Shults said...

    Sorry, Guy. Hadn’t noticed it.

  • 22 11-30-2010 at 1:22 pm

    Peter Labuza said...

    I’m curious to how Greenberg figured into voting, where the two performances are nominated, but neither director nor screenplay, but somehow it still makes Best Picture. Do people not like Noah Baumbach (besides JJL)? I would’ve expected the director snub but I’m surprised that the screenplay didn’t get nominated.


  • 23 11-30-2010 at 1:24 pm

    billybil said...

    I am still shocked and disappointed at the snubbing of Julianne Moore! I just find it so uncomfortable for here co-starring in a film and delivering a brilliant performance and not getting included. It seems like such an obvious snub.

    Also I sort of agree about all these potential Oscar Best Actress nominees here. I really like it when less “mainstream” talent gets acknolwedged somewhere. Of course, all these “big buzz” actresses showing up here indicates that the good female roles are almost exclusively found in the mini-majors these days.

    LOVE seeing Dale Dickey and John Hawkes here – especially Ms. Dickey since she’s exactly the sort of actress and performance I want to see included here.

    And although it’s sort of nice to see Stiller get some recognition for going serious I hate to think it’s at the expense of Gosling. Or Reilly in Cyrus instead of Gosling? I have a feeling, once I see Blue Valentine I’m gonna really hate that!

  • 24 11-30-2010 at 1:42 pm

    Sean said...

    I am with you Michael on not loving Winter’s Bone and the overpraise. I just don’t see this one winning over Academy voters. I felt the same way about the annoying Happy Go Lucky.

  • 25 11-30-2010 at 1:45 pm

    adam said...

    I wasn’t a huge fan of Winter’s Bone either. I can admire it but found little to love.

    But hey I’ll take it anyday over Black Swan which I found to be atrocious.

  • 26 11-30-2010 at 1:47 pm

    John said...

    Kudos to Ashley Bell. Nice to see the Indie Awards laud an low-budget movie that could compete in the multiplexes.

  • 27 11-30-2010 at 2:24 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    I agree with you Guy about Winter’s Bone’s trajectory towards a Best Picture nomination. I have been thinking that it could get a spot for about a month now, and after last night and today, it seems it is on the right track (which I’m fairly happy about). I was also happy to see that this year’s most overrated performance, Robert Duvall in Get Low, failed to get a nomination. Maybe this will make room for a Best Actor nomination for Jessie Eisenberg.

  • 28 11-30-2010 at 2:47 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    Who are the voters in the Indie Spirit awards?

  • 29 11-30-2010 at 2:49 pm

    Ivan said...

    John Hawkes has not only shoe in but all his bones in the supporting actor category at the Oscars…

    Christian Bale/The Fighter
    John Hawkes/Winter´s Bone
    Sam Rockwell/Conviction
    Mark Ruffalo/The Kids Are All Right
    Geoffrey Rush/The King´s Speech

  • 30 11-30-2010 at 3:01 pm

    Tye-Grr said...

    ‘Winter’s Bone’ is slightly overrated, but the acting was phenomenal, so I’m very pleased that on top of the wonderful Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes and Dale Dickey got in. ‘Greenberg’ had a stronger showing than I expected, not that there’s anything wrong with that as I’ve yet to see the film for myself.

    Biggest surprises:

    -Supporting love for ‘Jack Goes Boating’ over supporting love for ‘Black Swan’

    -Naomi Watts and Sam Jackson getting into supporting for ‘Mother and Child’

    -Rabbit Hole gets major attention over ‘Blue Valentine’, including Ryan Gosling’s snub

    -Only Bill Murray for ‘Get Low’ (and Best First Feature)

    Gosling’s snub is especially shocking to me.

  • 31 11-30-2010 at 4:37 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Ryan Gosling’s snub is shocking. I wonder if it’s due to failed voting strategies, assuming he’s automatically in.

    Regardless, let’s remember one small fact: Laura Linney was snubbed by the Spirits and just about everything else, yet STILL managed an Oscar nomination for The Savages, so don’t give up hope.

  • 32 11-30-2010 at 6:21 pm

    ninja said...

    @27 “I was also happy to see that this year’s most overrated performance, Robert Duvall in Get Low, failed to get a nomination. Maybe this will make room for a Best Actor nomination for Jessie Eisenberg.”

    Why is there any doubt about Eisenberg`s nomination? He is the movie, he is in. Whether his character is too unlikable is more question of winning than nomination itself. But he is shoo-in. He, Franco and Firth are locked and loaded, people. So two more spots. Golsing snub from Indies is Hall of Shame material but he could recover although it`s obvious that Harvey will be pushing Firth. However King Speech is not winning, no way. I`m calling it now.

    Portman will and should win Best Actress. Sorry Annettards, but Benning is frontrunner or frontrunner tie with Portman only because she is due. Nobody is saying that her status is because it`s her best performance or best performance of the year (you know, type of accolade that Portman is receiving). Heck, many feel that Moore was better. This is Portman`s year and her performance made unbelievable impression. There.

  • 33 11-30-2010 at 8:04 pm

    Glenn said...

    “Do people not like Noah Baumbach (besides JJL)?”

    Considering she just filed for divorce, I doubt even she’s his biggest fan at the moment :)

    Loving the Gerwig citation alongside the likes of Kidman and Bening. And while I’ve seen neither, I admit to getting a smile out of a film like “Daddy Longlegs” getting nominated for Best Actor over the likes of “Get Low” or “Blue Valentine” (although, from what we’ve all seen and heard, I would’ve thought Gosling especially would have made it in over Reilly for “Cyrus”).

    What is the budgetary cap these days for the Indie Spirits? Is it still $20mil? I had no idea “Black Swan” and “127 Hours” that that small of a budget.

    Also, “Mademoiselle Chambon”? Over the likes of “Animal Kingdom” or “Another Year” or “White Material” or… nice to see “Kisses” there though.

  • 34 11-30-2010 at 8:04 pm

    Glenn said...

    I meant to add “or Monsters” to that Foreign Language list. That movie cost $500,000! Kinda deserves to be nominated purely for what was achieved on that budget.

  • 35 11-30-2010 at 10:23 pm

    Angry Shark said...

    Aw, damn, I just noticed they nominated Reilly, and not Hill for Cyrus. Jonah Hill was fucking incredible in Cyrus, creepy, pathetic, and sympathetic in equal measure. I was skeptical of him, but I really believe he could have a bright future ahead of him if he doesn’t overexpose himself the way Michael Cera did.

  • 36 12-01-2010 at 2:55 am

    Alberto said...

    I’m generally happy with the nominations, except in the Foreign Film category, where I painfully miss Another Year (my favourite film of the year) and Animal Kingdom. Of Gods and Men is good, but Uncle Boonmee… is, although fascinating, terribly dull.
    Surprising Supporting actress category.

  • 37 12-01-2010 at 10:18 am

    Dave said...

    Not one nomination for “Conviction”? I don’t understand. What qualifies a movie as “independant”? It must just be the budget because alot of these movies are distrubed by big corporations.