By Anthony Breznican
November 27, 2012 at 06:41 PM EST

Runaway kids and a guy with a runaway temper led the Independent Spirit Award nominations with Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook collecting five bids each, including best picture.

Their rivals in the best picture race are Bernie, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Keep the Lights On.

With big-screen behemoths like Lincoln, Argo, and Les Miserables dominating Oscar talk, Film Independent’s awards  — chosen by filmmakers, actors, critics, and festival programers — cast the spotlight on some smaller films that are nonetheless worthy of consideration this award season.

It’s a welcome boost for Silver Linings, which is already being talked about as a Best Picture player at the Oscars, but it is a critical success for Moonrise, which has many admirers but came out so long ago that any reminder for Academy voters is a necessary one.

Moonrise‘s other nominations were for director Wes Anderson, who shared a screenplay nod with Roman Coppola, cinematographer Robert Yeoman, and supporting actor Bruce Willis, who played the lonesome police captain leading the search for the two pint-sized runaways. The film also picked up best feature at last night’s independent-minded Gotham Awards.

Silver Linings, meanwhile, also picked up director and screenplay mentions for David O. Russell, as well as male and female leads for Bradley Cooper, as a bi-polar man looking for love, and Jennifer Lawrence as the erratic, sex-addict widow he falls for.

A notable snub was The Sessions, which earned lead nominations for stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, but nothing for picture, director, or screenplay.

Nominees with four each included the Sundance favorites Beasts of the Southern Wild, about a little girl facing the end of the world; Keep the Lights On, a tragic love story about a man who falls for an addict; and Middle of Nowhere, the story of a woman who falls in love with another man while her husband is in prison.

One surprise individual with multiple mentions was Matthew McConaughey, who had a lead actor nomination for the brutal Killer Joe, and a supporting actor nod for his charismatic stripper boss in Magic Mike. Since the latter is a role that has a bit of Oscar buzz around it, this could help build some momentum for him.

The unfortunate thing is, the Oscars tend to overlook these smaller movies. Not always, mind you, but often. While the production of these lower-budget films may be scrappier and less glossy than their studio rivals, awards like the Indie Spirits help focus a bit more attention on them.

Last year, Demián Bichir got a mention for the immigrant story A Better Life, and later the Screen Actors Guild Awards decided to nominate him. From there, Academy voters realized: this is a movie we need to see — and on Feb. 26 last year, there Bichir was among the Best Actor contenders.

Here’s hoping voters find some awards-worthy work among these nominees.

Jump to the next page

BEST FEATURE

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Bernie

Keep the Lights On

Moonrise Kingdom

Silver Linings Playbook

BEST DIRECTOR

Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom

Julia Loktev, The Loneliest Planet

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On

Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

BEST SCREENPLAY

Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom

Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks

Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Fill the Void

Gimme the Loot

Safety Not Guaranteed

Sound of My Voice

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Rama Burshtein, Fill the Void

Derek Connolly, Safety Not Guaranteed

Christopher Ford, Robot & Frank

Rashida Jones & Will McCormack, Celeste and Jesse Forever

Jonathan Lisecki, Gayby

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – (for features under $500,000)

Breakfast with Curtis

Middle of Nowhere

Mosquita y Mari

Starlet

The Color Wheel

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Linda Cardellini, Return

Emayatzy Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed

BEST MALE LEAD

Jack Black, Bernie

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Thure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights On

Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe

Wendell Pierce, Four

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Rosemarie DeWitt, Your Sister’s Sister

Ann Dowd, Compliance

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Brit Marling, Sound of My Voice

Lorraine Toussaint, Middle of Nowhere

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike

David Oyelowo, Middle of Nowhere

Michael Péna, End of Watch

Sam Rockwell, Seven Psychopaths

Bruce Willis, Moonrise Kingdom

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Yoni Brook, Valley of Saints

Lol Crawley, Here

Ben Richardson, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Roman Vasyanov, End of Watch

Robert Yeoman, Moonrise Kingdom

BEST DOCUMENTARY

How to Survive a Plague

Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present

The Central Park Five

The Invisible War

The Waiting Room

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

Amour (France)

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (Turkey)

Rust And Bone (France/Belgium)

Sister (Switzerland)

War Witch (Democratic Republic of Congo)

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD

Nobody Walks, Alicia Van Couvering

Prince Avalanche, Derrick Tseng

Stones in the Sun, Mynette Louie

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD

Pincus, director David Fenster

Gimme the Loot, director Adam Leon

Electrick Children, director Rebecca Thomas

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD (given to emerging documentary filmmaker)

Leviathan, directors Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel

The Waiting Room, director Peter Nicks

Only the Young, directors Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (for ensemble cast)

Starlet

Director: Sean Baker

Casting Director: Julia Kim

Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone

For more on award season

Follow @breznican

READ MORE:

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Les Miserables’ storm awards season

‘Les Miserables’: First interviews with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway

‘Life of Pi’: Five close calls for this ‘unfilmable’ survival adventure

Advertisement

Comments

EDIT POST