Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Oscars 2016: How About Those Spirit Nods, Eh?!

Hello, Bloggers, the Independent Spirit Awards have just announced their list of nominees and even though I haven't seen many of the films in the mix, they have quite a mix up in store for this year. Let's take a look:

Full list:

http://www.spiritawards.com/nominees/

Best Film:
Anomalisa
Beasts of No Nation
Carol
Spotlight
Tangerine

Very surprised by the exclusion of Room and love for Beasts of No Nation considering the former film has developed such strong legs. Anomalisa is also surprising to see. I have to say, though, we have quite a diverse lineup: An animated film, a film set in war-zoned Africa, two LGBT-centered films with Carol and Tangerine, and an ensemble drama with Spotlight.

Best Director:
Sean Baker, Tangerine
Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Thomas McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Love the David Robert Mitchell nod!

Best Male Lead:
Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, End of the Tour
Koudous Seihan, Mediterranea

MENDELSOHN!!!!!! Agh, I'm so happy he got in. Don't think he'll win. But holy toledo, his inclusion made my morning!

Best Female Lead:
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, Diary of a Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

More diversity as we have a Hispanic transgendered actress and corrected category fraud with Mara being included in this category. Divine!

Best Supporting Male:
Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love and Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Nobody here is an Oscar frontrunner, or in the Supporting Female category, which is nice.

Best Supporting Female:
Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Interesting to see Jennifer Jason Leigh included for her voice work. Hopefully, this'll indicate that voice acting counts as an actual performance since the other voting bodies seem to indicate otherwise.

Best Screenplay:
Anomalisa
Bone Tomahawk 
Carol
End of the Tour
Spotlight

Best First Screenplay:
Diary of a Teenage Girl
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Mediterranea 
The Mend
Room

One of Room's only other nominations.

Best First Feature:
Diary of a Teenage Girl
James White
Manos Sucias
Mediterranea
Songs My Brother Taught Me

Best Cinematography:
Beasts of No Nation
Carol
It Follows
Meadowland
Songs My Brother Taught Me

More It Follows love! Yay!

Best Editing:
Heaven Knows What
It Follows
Manos Sucias
Room
Spotlight

Best International Film:
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence
Embrace the Serpent
Girlhood
Mustang
Son of Saul

No Ex Machina, sadly. I was sort of hoping it would get in since it is a British production. Oh, well.

Best Documentary:
Best of Enemies
Heart of a Dog
Look of Silence
Meru
The Russian Woodpecker
(T) Error

Neat to see Best of Enemies score some love. I saw it a while ago and I think it's pretty neat to see a documentary I actually saw get recognition.


Overall, I am very pleased with these nominees. It is very refreshing that it doesn't feel like the Oscars 2.0 which is a problem that has plagued them quite recently. But we not only have more legitimate independents, but a diverse array of indies: genre films, female-centered films, LGBT-centered films, an animated film, and so on. They might've just embodied what the Spirit Awards should be about: Honoring true independent voices and not acting as a practice session for the Oscars the night after.

What do you guys think about these? Are there any snubs that surprised you and which nominees were you happy with? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!