Birdman Tops Spirit Awards Nominations

The indie Oscars also take a shine to <em>Boyhood</em>, <em>Nightcrawler</em>, and <em>Selma</em>
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This morning the nominees for the 2015 Spirit Awards, the indie film world’s version of the Oscars, were announced. Topping the list with six nods apiece was the dark comedy Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu it stars Michael Keaton as a former action movie star trying to revive his career with a Broadway production. Both were frontrunners for the awards, which celebrate their 30th anniversary this year.

Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age chronicle shot over eleven years, Nightcrawler, the gritty Jake Gyllenhaal drama about bottom-feeding news gatherers, and Selma, Ava DuVernay’s film about bloody 1965 civil rights protests led by Martin Luther King Jr. (the movie doesn’t come out until December), followed with five nominations apiece.

Whiplash, the story of a budding drummer who apprentices with a merciless band leader, and Love Is Strange, which stars Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as longtime companions forced to live apart due to financial constraints, each received four nominations.

Ana Lily Amirpour’s vampire Western noirA Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, earned a nod for Best First Feature, and the director is also up for Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award. It was fun to see Jenny Slate, the star of abortion comedy Obvious Child, join Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton, Marion Cotillard in the Best Female Lead category.

In the non-competitive categories, Inherent Vice, the upcoming P.T. Anderson movie and the first Thomas Pynchon book to be adapted into a feature film, will receive the Robert Altman Award while Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, the story of a wrestling champ and his paranoid-schizophrenic coach, will receive the Special Distinction Award. Due to Spirit Awards guidelines, neither film was eligible for individual nominations.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at the Spirit Awards, which are traditionally held the day before the Oscars in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.

BEST FEATURE
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Boyhood
Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland

Love is Strange
Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy

Selma
Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey

Whiplash
Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak

BEST DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle
Whiplash

Ava DuVernay
 Selma

Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater
Boyhood

David Zellner
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter 

BEST SCREENPLAY
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Big Eyes

 J.C. Chandor
A Most Violent Year

Dan Gilroy
Nightcrawler

Jim Jarmusch
Only Lovers Left Alive

Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
Love is Strange

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah

Dear White People
Director/Producer: Justin Simien
Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe

Nightcrawler
Director: Dan Gilroy
Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

Obvious Child
Director: Gillian Robespierre
Producer: Elisabeth Holm

She’s Lost Control
Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt
Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Desiree Akhavan
Appropriate Behavior

Sara Colangelo
Little Accidents

Justin Lader
The One I Love

Anja Marquardt
She’s Lost Control

Justin Simien
Dear White People

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
(Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)
Blue Ruin
Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Producers: Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani

It Felt Like Love
Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman
Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner

Land Ho!
Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens
Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy

Man From Reno
Writer/Director: Dave Boyle
Writers: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman
Producer: Ko Mori

Test
Writer/Director/Producer: Chris Mason Johnson
Producer: Chris Martin

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Marion Cotillard
The Immigrant

Rinko Kikuchi
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

Julianne Moore
Still Alice

Jenny Slate
Obvious Child

Tilda Swinton
Only Lovers Left Alive

BEST MALE LEAD
André Benjamin
Jimi: All Is By My Side

Jake Gyllenhaal
Nightcrawler

Michael Keaton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

John Lithgow
Love is Strange

David Oyelowo
Selma

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Patricia Arquette
Boyhood

Jessica Chastain
A Most Violent Year

Carmen Ejogo
Selma

Andrea Suarez Paz
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Emma Stone
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Riz Ahmed
Nightcrawler

Ethan Hawke
Boyhood

Alfred Molina
Love is Strange

Edward Norton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

J.K. Simmons
Whiplash

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Darius Khondji

The Immigrant

Emmanuel Lubezki
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Sean Porter
It Felt Like Love

Lyle Vincent
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Bradford Young
Selma

BEST EDITING
Sandra Adair
Boyhood

Tom Cross
Whiplash

John Gilroy
Nightcrawler

Ron Patane
A Most Violent Year

Adam Wingard
The Guest

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
20,000 Days on Earth
Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard

CITIZENFOUR
Director/Producer: Laura Poitras

Stray Dog
Director: Debra Granik

The Salt of the Earth
Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders

Virunga
Director/Producer: Orlando von Einsiedel

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
Force Majeure
(Sweden)
Director: Ruben Östlund

Ida
(Poland)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

Leviathan
(Russia)
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Mommy
(Canada)
Director: Xavier Dolan

Norte, the End of History
(Philippines)
Director: Lav Diaz

Under the Skin
(United Kingdom)
Director: Jonathan Glazer

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