Historically the Spirit Awards tend to honor a few of the major Oscar players each year but a win at the Spirits can sometimesLe be the last hurrah, a consolation prize as some would say, if the work is too "edgy" for lack of a less exhaustively employed word. Last year's big winner was Precious (refresh your memory?) It took home Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay. There were only three crossover winners from Spirits to Oscars last year : Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Mo'Nique (Precious) and the screenplay for Precious. (The Hurt Locker was considered a 2008 film.)

So what fared well this year? Black Swan got four nods including Best Actress for "sweet girl" Natalie Portman. But it could peak at the right time. Full list after the jump with Winter's Bone (7) and The Kids Are All Right (5) leading the pack.

Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner announced the nominees. And wow, it went by fast. My transcription speed, 75 wpm bitches, was not as fast as the larynxes of Eva & Jeremy... except when it came to Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul and Uncle Boonmee. But now I've caught up.

You could very well see 80% of the list in Oscar's expanded Best Picture field. Only Greenberg would be a hard Academy sell.
  • 127 Hours 
  • Black Swan
  • Greenberg
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Winter's Bone
It will be interesting to see who takes this prize. Winter's Bone probably has a leg up but will they really pass over someone visionary like Darren Aronofsky? Black Swan could well peak at the right time. Or will Kids supporters rally around Lisa Cholodenko who has been in that Spirit tent plenty of times.
  • 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)
  • Everything Strange and New (Frazer Bradshaw, Laura Techera Francia, A.D. Liano)
  • Get Low (Aaron Schneider, Dean Zanuck, David Gundlach)
  • Night Catches Us (Tanya Hamilton, Ronald Simon, Sean Costello, Jason Orans)
  • The Last Exorcism (Daniel Stamm, Eric Newman, Eli Roth, Marc Abraham, Thomas A Bliss)
  • Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham, Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering)
This is for the real indies. The super low- budget films.
  • Daddy Long Legs (Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, Casey Neistat, Tom Scott)
  • lbs. (Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famigletti)
  • Lovers of Hate (Bryan Poyser, Megan Gilbride)
  • Obsiledia (Diane Bell, Chris Byrne, Matthew Medlin)
  • The Exploding Girl (Bradley Rust Gray, So Yong Kim, Karen Chien, Ben Howe)


Hall, Guibert, Peet and Keener are lovely & amazing.
  • To the director, casting director and cast of Please Give. That's a fine choice actually. Just watched it again this week and it's quite a funny collection of characters with plenty of actor interaction. That interaction is sadly missing in many films which are honored for ensemble work simply by having large or starry casts. Does Please Give have any hope of a SAG Ensemble nod or is it just too small and unheralded in a category that always (wrongly) pretends it's a "best picture" award. This can't hurt at the very least.  
An unprecedented six nominees this year which must mean there was some sort of tie and no tie-breaker system. But all six are good choices, so we won't bitch too much. 
  • 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)
The Ryan Gosling snub for Blue Valentine smarts. He's just so terrific in it... and worthier than any of the performances selected save Bronstein (who I haven't yet seen so who knows.)
  • Ronald Bronstein (Daddy Longlegs)
  • Aaron Eckhart (Rabbit Hole)
  • James Franco (127 Hours)
  • John C Reilly (Cyrus)
  • Ben Stiller (Greenberg)
"Mimi" got a nomination. Take her ou-ooooot tonight. This lineup is very indie. Sometimes it's hard to tell the Spirits apart from more mainstream prizes but in the supporting categories, they're often true to their roots.
  • Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism)
  • Dale Dickey (Winter's Bone)
  • Alison Janney (Life During Wartime)
  • Daphne Rubin-Vega (Jack Goes Boating)
  • Naomi Watts (Mother and Child)
Interesting that Philip Seymour Hoffman did not get a nomination for Jack Goes Boating, a vanity project since he directed and starred, but the supporting cast did.
  • 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)
  • (Tiny Furniture)
  • (Winter's Bone)
  • Harris Savides (Greenberg)
  • Exit Through The Gift Shop
  • Marwencal
  • Restrepo
  • Sweet Grass
  • Thunder Soul
  • The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg)
  • Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz)
  • Please Give (Nicole Holofcener)
  • Rabbit Hole (David Lindsey-Abaire)
  • Winter's Bone (Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini)
  • Jack Goes Boating (Robert Glaudini)
  • Lovely Still (Nik Fackler)
  • Monogamy (Dana Adam Shapiro and Evan M Wiener)
  • Obselidia (Diane Bell)
  • Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham)

I wish they'd stop including British films in this category. They have such an unfair advantage. Sad that I Am Love didn't make this list. So much more worthy of respect paid than The King's Speech, you know?
  • Kisses
  • Mademoiselle Chambon
  • Of Gods and Men (Apichatpong Weerasethasakul
  • The King's Speech (Tom Hooper)
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Someone should do a study of how many of these nominees each year ever get another crack at the movies. It's such a brutal business.
  • Mike Ott (Littlerock)
  • Laurel Nakadate (The Wolf Knife)
  • Hossein Keshavarz (Dog Sweat)
Another documentary prize.
  • Sweetgrass (Ilisa Barbarsh, Lucien Castaing-Taylor)
  • Marwencol (Jeff Malmberg)
  • Summer Pasture (Lynn True, Nelson Walker)

Does this mean Meek's Cutoff will not be eligible next year when it's released? The Spirits have different eligibility rules than Oscar but it seemed like such a likely Spirit Awards contender.
  • In-Ah Lee (Au Revoir Tapei)
  • Adele Romanski (The Myth of the American Sleepover)
  • Anish Savjani (Meek's Cutoff)

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