The Independents Shoot it Out

Big Films Come in All Sizes, Independent of Parenthood.

The Gotham City Awards kicked off high profile Indie nominations this season, followed by biggie indie award nom on November 25th when the Independent Spirit Awards nominations will be announced.

Of course the first week of December will be a big one for the hopefuls–indies and studios alike–as a slew of winners from selected grey heads will be announced (no noms here) . These include the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and, a big one, American Film Institute’s Ten Best Films of the Year. Check out last year’s choices in our page on 2013-2014 Awards. Definitely big award predictors.

The following are the GCA noms, and, very likely, many names will be repeated in the lists to come.  Notable is Scarlett Johansson’s nomination for Under the Skin. Last year GCA, in a controversial move, also nominated Johansson for Her, given it was a voice over part throughout. The film is also nominated for Best Feature.

We are happy to see Mia Wasikowska among the nominees for her movie Tracks, which has been overshadowed by the upcoming Reese Whiterspoon project Wild.

An the Nominees (and Winners) are:

Best Feature

Birdman One SheetBirdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – (WINNER)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director; Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Boyhood one sheet


Boyhood  (A Film Look COMMENTARY) – Winner of Audience Award
Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, producers (IFC Films)

GB Hotel one sheet

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson, director; Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Love is Strange one sheet

Love Is Strange
Ira Sachs, director; Lucas Joaquin, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)


Under the Skin one sheet

Under the Skin
Jonathan Glazer, director; Nick Wechsler, James Wilson, producers (A24 Films)

Best Documentary

ActressA portrait of a dying relationship and an exploration of a complicated woman, performing the role of herself as she faces the desires that exist outside of her home. Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Robert Greene, producers (The Cinema Guild)

CITIZENFOUR (WINNER)A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden. Laura Poitras, director; Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky, producers (RADiUS, Participant Media, and HBO Documentary Films)

Life Itself  (A Film Look COMMENTARY) – A documentary film based on Roger Ebert’s memoir.  Steve James, director; Zak Piper, Steve James, Garrett Basch, producers (Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films)

Manakamana – A documentary about group of pilgrims traveling to Nepal to worship at the legendary Manakamana temple. Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, directors; Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, producers (The Cinema Guild)

Point and Shoot – An American sets out with his motorbike to find both adventure and his sense of manhood, leading him on an extraordinary journey he could not have imagined, including fighting in the Libyan Revolution. Marshall Curry, director; Marshall Curry, Elizabeth Martin, Matthew Van Dyke, producers (The Orchard and American Documentary / POV)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Ana Lily Amirpour (WINNER) for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Kino Lorber)
James Ward Byrkit for Coherence (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)
Eliza Hittman for It Felt Like Love (Variance Films)
Justin Simien for Dear White People (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Best Actor*

Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood (IFC Films)
Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year (A24 Films)
Michael Keaton (WINNER) in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Miles Teller in Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)

* The 2014 Best Actor nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum for their ensemble performance in Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics).

Best Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood (IFC Films)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)
Julianne Moore (WINNER) in Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics)
Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin (A24 Films)
Mia Wasikowska in Tracks (The Weinstein Company)

Breakthrough Actor

Riz Ahmed in Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)
Macon Blair in Blue Ruin (RADiUS)
Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood (IFC Films)
Joey King in Wish I Was Here (Focus Features)
Jenny Slate in Obvious Child (A24 Films)
Tessa Thompson (WINNER) in Dear White People (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Check the other nominations from the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

CJ Rangel, November 12, 2014