Nov 252015

Beasts of No Nation

Overnight the nominees for this year’s Independent Spirit Awards were announced. The rather fascinating selections were led by Todd Haynes’ Carol, with six nominations, Beasts of No Nation, Netflix’s first move into original feature film making, scored five, while vivid journalism drama Spotlight, iPhone5 feat Tangerine and latest Charlie Kaufman brain-buster Anomalisa landed four. These five films were also honoured with Best Feature nominations, with Spotlight also scoring the coveted Altman Award for Best Ensemble Cast.

While only a few of these films will likely be recognised at next year’s Oscars, we do expect Carol and Spotlight to be right amongst them. Anomalisa is looking like a lock for a Best Animated Film nomination, but will it break out into other categories as it has here? The directors of the five aforementioned films were joined by David Robert Mitchell for breakout horror hit It Follows, which was also recognised for cinematography and editing.

Donald Margulies’ screenplay and Jason Segel’s performance as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour were recognised, as were Brie Larson’s widely acclaimed performance in and Emma Donoghue’s first screenplay for Room. Diary of a Teenage Girl, James White and Mediterranea all received multiple nominations, including Best First Feature.  

In the acting categories both Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett were acknowledged for Carol, as were transgender actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor for Tangerine, which is fantastic to see. Beasts of No Nation also received two nominations in acting categories, for Abraham Attah (lead) and Idris Elba (supporting). Paul Dano (Love & Mercy) and Michael Shannon (99 Homes) strengthened their chances for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination with one here. They are joined by Kevin Corrigan, also honoured at the Gotham Awards for his brilliant work on Results. 

The 2016 Spirit Awards nominees can be found after the jump. What are your thoughts?

Best Feature

Beasts of No Nation

Best Director

Sean Baker, Tangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Best Screenplay

Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

Best First Feature

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
James White
Manos Sucias
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best First Screenplay

Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Jonas Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

Best Male Lead

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Female Lead

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male

Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female

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

Best Documentary

Best of Enemies
Heart of a Dog
The Look of Silence
The Russian Woodpecker

Best International Film

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Embrace of the Serpent
Son of Saul

Best Cinematography

Beasts of No Nation
It Follows
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best Editing

Heaven Knows What
It Follows
Manos Sucias

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)

Christmas, Again
Heaven Knows What
Out of My Hand

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)


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