Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Here We Go: Independent Spirit Nominations

So the Independent Spirit Awards have kicked off the Awards Season (Yay!!!!) by throwing up at a nominees list that's pretty damn interesting. Here it is, with reaction:

Best Feature

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
"I'm Not There"
"A Mighty Heart"
"Paranoid Park"

I am so pleased to see A Mighty Heart nominated here. I'm Not There will be the favourite, having most nominations, but Juno's inclusion at the expense of The Savages would suggest it's going to be the stronger film of the two. Long shot for a BP nom though, one would think.

Best Director

Todd Haynes, "I'm Not There"
Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages"
Jason Reitman, "Juno"
Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Gus Van Sant, "Paranoid Park"

I suspect none of these will be first on the Oscar ballot but Haynes will be favourite, and his picture could sweep the board here. Even though it's a biopic it's completely unconventional and so a BP nom is a major doubt. But this helps. I think the lone director spot is more likely.

Best Screenplay

Ronald Harwood, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages"
Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner, "Starting Out in the Evening"
Adrienne Shelly, "Waitress"
Mike White, "Year of the Dog"

I'm appalled, but not surprised, to see Waitress included. Major love for Diving Bell but not in the category you'd expect -- as we'll see further down.

Best First Screenplay

Jeffrey Blitz, "Rocket Science"
Zoe Cassavetes, "Broken English"
Diablo Cody, "Juno"
Kelly Masterson, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"
John Orloff, "A Mighty Heart"

Juno, Devil and Heart are all still in contention for screenplay nominations. But Juno is strongest across the board, and Diablo Cody -- what a great name!

Best Female Lead

Angelina Jolie, "A Mighty Heart"
Sienna Miller, "Interview"
Ellen Page, "Juno"
Parker Posey, "Broken English"
Tang Wei, "Lust, Caution"

Sienna Miller! Quite surprising. Nobody saw the film though so I expect this is as far as she goes. Same for Posey, who I'm surprised made it ahead of Keri Russell, whose snub here doesn't do her any favours. I must say I'm pleased.... Tang Wei is Lust, Caution's only nominee and may still have a chance at Globe and SAG. Cotillard being there does not help her though. I'm thrilled for Jolie, who definitely won't have a hard time getting in at the Globes, and who knows, could even win it! Page is probably stronger though, and I think the favourite for this. They just loooooved Juno.

Best Male Lead

Pedro Castaneda, "August Evening"
Don Cheadle, "Talk to Me"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Savages"
Frank Langella, "Starting Out in the Evening"
Tony Leung, "Lust, Caution"

Major major surprise that they left out Amalric after Diving Bell was nominated for Pic, Dir, and Screenplay. And who for? Langella and Castaneda have hardly been talked about, and Cheadle's film came out ages ago. Still, it's lovely to see Leung there. Hoffman should walk this.

Best Supporting Female

Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"
Anna Kendrick, "Rocket Science"
Jennifer Jason Leigh, "Margot at the Wedding"
Tamara Podemski, "Four Sheets to the Wind"
Marisa Tomei, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"

Talk of Blanchett campaigning lead looks like it's false, but if they were thinking about it then this pretty much signals that awards bodies are not going to lie down and accept it. I've no doubt she'll win this, as she will win if the performance goes supporting at the Oscars, but the studio need to be careful.

Best Supporting Male

Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Talk to Me"
Marcus Carl Franklin, "I'm Not There"
Kene Holliday, "Great World of Sound"
Irrfan Khan, "The Namesake"
Steve Zahn, "Rescue Dawn"

Meh. Ejiofor has an outside shot at Oscar inclusion.

Best Foreign Film

"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," Romania
"The Band's Visit," Israel
"Lady Chatterley," France
"Once," Ireland
"Persepolis," France

It's a shame Once had no American money in it. It could have done with some nominations here. I haven't seen any of these but the response from critics I like has been impressive.

Here's to the start of Award Season!! :-)

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