Friday, November 28, 2014

Independent Spirit Awards 2015 Nominees: Reactions

 Hello, Bloggers, I'm a few days late on this, but the nominations of the 30th Independent Spirit Awards were just announced and because they are my second favorite awards show, behind the Oscars, I figured that I would announce my reactions to the six major categories and go into the snubs and surprises as well.

Best Picture:
Birdman
Boyhood
Love Is Strange
Selma
Whiplash

Sort of expected that Birdman and Boyhood got in, but I loved that Whiplash also made it on here. Haven't seen Selma or Love Is Strange yet, though. I was actually surprised that Selma got in because I didn't realize that it was considered an independent film, to be honest.

Best Director:
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
David Zellner, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Ava DuVernay, Selma
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

The biggest surprise, and I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way, is David Zellner. I have never even heard of his film until now, but that's why I love the Spirit Awards. They tend to shine a light on the kind of smaller films that would never make it to the Oscars and there are plenty of them.

Best Lead Male:
Andre 3000, Jimi: All Is By My Side
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
John Lithgow, Love Is Strange
David Oyelowo, Selma

Nice that Michael Keaton got in here as well as Jake Gyllenhaal. The Love Is Strange love continues with John Lithgow and the category, like the next one I'm about to discuss, leaves room for plenty of diversity as we have two black actors, David Oyelowo and Andre 3000 from Outkast. To me, Andre 3000 being nominated is pretty cool because I was quite fond of Outkast growing up.

Best Lead Female:
Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant
Rinko Kikuchi, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Jenny Slate, Obvious Child
Tilda Swinton, Only Lovers Left Alive

Interestingly, I haven't seen any of these films except Obvious Child, yet I am pleased with this category. I loved seeing Marion Cotillard here and with her nomination for this and her film Two Days, One Night being Belgium's selection for Best Foreign Language Film, I could very well see her being a surprise on Nomination Day. Same with Tilda Swinton, who has Only Lovers Left Alive along with Snowpiercer and Grand Budapest Hotel under her belt. I was especially happy to see Jenny Slate here for her work in Obvious Child and if I had a ballot ,she would easily make my Final Five. Julianne Moore is probably the only expected nominee and I think she might take this.

Best Supporting Male:
Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Alfred Molina, Love Is Strange
Edward Norton, Birdman
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Thankfully, I did quite well with this category so far as I saw four of the nominees (Ahmed, Hawke, Norton, Simmons). I guess I have to watch Love Is Strange, though, which also did pretty well at the Gotham Awards, another show devoted to independent cinema. I was very happy to see Ethan Hawke on here, though. So far, he would be my personal pick to win Best Supporting Actor even though J.K. Simmons is the frontrunner (which I have NO complaints about).

Best Supporting Female:
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Carmen Ejogo, Selma
Emma Stone, Birdman
Andrea Suarez Paz, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Love seeing both Patricia Arquette and Emma Stone on here. With Jessica Chastain on here, it could breath some life into her potential march to the Oscars. Same with Carmen Ejogo, who is a dark horse to get in for BSA at the Oscars for Selma. Andrea Suarez Paz, the surprise of the category IMO, might have to just be happy that she is in. Despite not seeing her film, I still say good for her.

Now, I'll get into some of the snubs. I was pretty shocked that not only did Reese Witherspoon not get in, but Wild got completely shut out. A lot were surprised that The Imitation Game didn't get in, but I wasn't necessarily holding my breath on that film scoring big. But while Foxcatcher got a Special Distinction Award, I figured it would at least get in for Best Actor for Steve Carell, but apparently it didn't fit the criteria of having a budget less than $20 million,so they probably wanted to just throw that movie a bone.

Also, I was not only pleased that Jenny Slate got nominated for Best Actress, but Obvious Child got nominated for Best First Feature as well. Overall, I was quite pleased with the results. There are some contenders that I have yet to see. In particular, I have to see Selma and Foxcatcher, but I'll definitely get on that.

As always, feel free to write in the comments section and share your thoughts on the nominees, who you were pleased to see get in and who you thought got snubbed. Thanks for reading!