The Award Season Goes Full Throttle.

The First Major Nominations.

Girl aloneWith the noms for Independent Spirit, award season accelerates into high speed mode. Buzz from festivals and critics are deafening and all over, but focus is pulled on the contenders in the first week of December with AFI, NYFCC, NBR and LAFCA chiming in.

Two winners already from IFC: Inherent Vice, with the Robert Altman Award, and an out of the blue Special Distinction Award for Foxcatcher.

Notable in the IFC list is the strong showing with six noms by Birdman, where Michael Keaton and Emmanuel  Lubezki (cinematography) have a very good shot. Boyhood, has five nominations, Selma and Love is Strange get four, and Whiplash drums it up with three. Stranger still is only one of the nominated films for Best Screenplay has a corresponding Best Feature or Best Director nom and Nightcrawler lurks in the background with four noms in two second tier categories and two major ones but no directing or feature nods (though it is up for Best First Feature for its director, Dan Gilroy).

Talking about lurking – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Only Lovers Left Alive, and Under the Skin make for an underlying theme that goes bump in the night. Missing in action is Child of God, perhaps too disturbing a film but with an unquestionable powerful performance by Scott Haze (I guess James Franco is not getting no respect here now).

Tom Hardy’s powerful performance in Locke was also missed, as well as the other film making experiment this year: the trilogy of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (Him/Her/Them).  At least they got some love from their distributors who put the up For Your Consideration by A24 and TWC.

On a lighter note, Chris Rock’s Top Five was also ignored, despite some redeeming value in it (perhaps). For more indie love & talk read our previous post shoot.

Finally, and before we go to the full list, Under the Skin is up as an international film (from England) and that is a hot category generally speaking this year. For international and foreign language film contenders, read A Film Look commentary on possibles posting. Make sure you subscribe to our site to get the info in your inbox (white box to the right).

The full IFC Spirit Award list is:

BEST FEATURENo true unexpecteds here.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole – winner
Boyhood – Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland
Love is Strange – Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy
Selma – Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey
Whiplash – Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak

BEST DIRECTOR Growing pains in more ways than one rule this group.
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Ava DuVernay, Selma
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 
Richard Linklater, Boyhood (read A Film Look commentary making the case) – winner
David Zellner Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

BEST SCREENPLAY Exploring love and other rubbernecking crashes.
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, Big Eyes
J.C. Chandor, A Most Violent Year
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler – winner
Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, Love is Strange

BEST FEMALE LEAD True contention to the end.
Marion Cotillard – The Immigrant
Rinko Kikuchi – Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Julianne Moore – Still Alice – winner
Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
Tilda Swinton  – Only Lovers Left Alive

BEST MALE LEAD Anyone’s guess here, but a flight of fancy is probable.
André Benjamin – Jimi: All Is By My Side
Jake Gyllenhaal Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – winner
John Lithgow – Love is Strange
David Oyelowo – Selma

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood – winner
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Carmen Ejogo, Selma
Andrea Suarez Paz, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Alfred Molina, Love is Strange
Edward Norton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash – winner

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – Director: Ana Lily Amirpour / Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah
Dear White People – Director/Producer: Justin Simien / Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe
Nightcrawler – Director: Dan Gilroy / Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak – winner
Obvious Child – Director: Gillian Robespierre / Producer: Elisabeth Holm
She’s Lost Control – Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt / Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones

Desiree Akhavan, Appropriate Behavior
Sara Colangelo, Little Accidents
Justin Lader, The One I Love
Anja Marquardt, She’s Lost Control
Justin Simien, Dear White People – winner

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 awarded.
Blue Ruin – Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier / Producers: Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani.
It Felt Like Love – Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman / Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner.
Land Ho! – Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens / Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy. – winner
Man From Reno – Writer/Director: Dave Boyle / Writers: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman Producer: Ko Mori.
Test – Writer/Director/Producer: Chris Mason Johnson / Producer: Chris Martin

Darius Khondji, The Immigrant
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – winner
Sean Porter, It Felt Like Love
Lyle Vincent, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Bradford Young, Selma

Sandra Adair – Boyhood
Tom Cross – Whiplash – winner
John Gilroy – Nightcrawler
Ron Patane – A Most Violent Year
Adam Wingard – The Guest

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
20,000 Days on Earth – Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard / Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson
CITIZENFOUR – Director/Producer: Laura Poitras / Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky – winner
Stray Dog – Director: Debra Granik / Producer: Anne Rosellini
The Salt of the Earth – Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders / Producer: David Rosier
Virunga – Director/Producer: Orlando von Einsiedel / Producer: Joanna Natasegara

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
Force Majeure (Sweden) – Director: Ruben Östlund
Ida (Poland) – Director: Pawel Pawlikowski – winner
Leviathan (Russia) – Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Mommy (Canada) – Director: Xavier Dolan
Norte, the End of History (Philippines) – Director: Lav Diaz
Under the Skin (United Kingdom) – Director: Jonathan Glazer

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)
Inherent Vice – Director: Paul Thomas Anderson; Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis; Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon

Foxcatcher – Director/Producer: Bennett Miller; Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik; Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman; Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum

18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, 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.
Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson – winner

21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
H. – Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia – winner
The Retrieval – Director: Chris Eska

20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters 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 LensCrafters.
Approaching the Elephant – Director: Amanda Rose Wilder
Evolution of a Criminal – Director: Darius Clark Monroe
The Kill Team – Director: Dan Krauss – winner
The Last Season – Director: Sara Dosa


  1. A Film Look » Nightcrawler – Bright as a Full Moon. December 7, 2014 7:00 am  Reply

    […] as Bloom’s hapless assistant thrown into a whirlwind of moral ambiguity, has a well deserved nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards along with the noms for Gylenhaal, screenplay and First Feature […]