FRENCH TOAST Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo in The Artist
Credit: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
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The Artist and Take Shelter lead the nominations for the Spirit Awards, which honor films made outside of the Hollywood studio system. Close behind with four nominations each are Beginners, The Descendants, Drive, and Martha Marcy May Marlene. Conspicuously absent from the list of nominees are several top Oscar contenders: Midnight in Paris for Best Feature, Woody Allen for Best Director or Best Screenplay, Albert Nobbs star Glenn Close for Best Female Lead, and The Descendants‘ George Clooney for Best Male Lead. That the Spirit Award nominees are decided on by a relatively small group of independent film professionals means that Allen, Close, and Clooney shouldn’t give up hope just yet. Here are the nominees:

Best Feature

The Artist


The Descendants



Take Shelter

Best Female Lead

Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me

Rachael Harris, Natural Selection

Adepero Oduye, Pariah

Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene

Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Male Lead

Demián Bichir, A Better Life

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Ryan Gosling, Drive

Woody Harrelson, Rampart

Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Best Supporting Female

Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter

Anjelica Huston, 50/50

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road

Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Supporting Male

Albert Brooks, Drive

John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene

Christopher Plummer, Beginners

John C. Reilly, Cedar Rapids

Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Mike Mills, Beginners

Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter

Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive

Best Screenplay

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Mike Mills, Beginners

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, The Descendants

Joseph Cedar, Footnote

Tom McCarthy, Win Win

Best First Screenplay

Mike Cahill & Brit Marling, Another Earth

Phil Johnston, Cedar Rapids

Will Reiser, 50/50

J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Patrick deWitt, Terri

Best First Feature

Another Earth

In the Family

Margin Call

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Natural Selection

John Cassavetes Award (for features under $500,000)



The Dynamiter

Hello Lonesome


Best Documentary

An African Election

Bill Cunningham New York

The Interrupters

The Redemption of General Butt Naked

We Were Here

Best Cinematography

The Artist


The Dynamiter

Midnight in Paris

The Off Hours

Best International Film

The Kid With A Bike


A Separation



Robert Altman Award (for ensemble cast): Margin Call

Piaget Producers Award

Chad Burris, Mosquita y Mari

Sophia Lin, Take Shelter

Josh Mond, Martha Marcy May Marlene

The Artist
  • Movie
  • 100 minutes