Independent Spirit Awards

This Year’s Independent Spirit Awards Barely Differed From the Oscars — Here’s How to Fix Them

I have to tell you, I didn’t expect Birdman to take it — Cinematography, sure, but not Best Picture. Yet I don’t think any of us were surprised when Julianne Moore finally got the recognition she deserved, and Patricia Arquette and J.K. Simmons pretty much had their awards locked up all fall. And in spite of the stiff competition, the gorgeous Polish film Ida managed to take Best Foreign Film; ditto Laura Poitras’s provocative CITIZENFOUR. What a night for movies it was… on Saturday, at the Independent Spirit Awards, which (as you can tell from this little rhetorical exercise) have gone from Oscar’s scrappier indie cousin to just another damn Oscar run-up. What’s gone wrong? And how can they fix it? … Read More

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How to Classify Movies Now That “Independent Film” Is Dead

This week, since the big sweep of the Independent Spirit Awards by the sure-doesn’t-feel-like-much-of-an-independent-movie Silver Linings Playbook, several film observers (including us) have raised the perennial question of what “independent film” even is, aside from a useful marketing designation that indicates the film you’re about to see will probably not include robots that transform into cars. This ongoing controversy got us thinking: if “independent film” is just a label to begin with, then why not expand it, and get a little more specific? Every film isn’t either indie or studio — let’s break it down, so we know exactly what we’re getting when we go to the cinema. Our suggestions for new, ultra-descriptive movie classifications, from lowest to highest profile, are after the jump. … Read More

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What Is an “Independent Film” in 2013?

In all the hubbub over the Oscars on Sunday night, we didn’t get a chance to say much about the weekend’s other big movie awards ceremony: the Independent Spirit Awards, held the previous evening. As usual, it was a chance to spotlight little movies that weren’t going to get attention the next night — movies like, um, Silver Linings Playbook, which won four awards for Best Director, Best Feature, Best Screenplay, and Best Female Lead. Coincidentally enough, Silver Linings Playbook was up for the equivalent of those same four awards (and four more) at the Academy Awards. Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress at both. Yay, independence! … Read More

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This Year’s Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

The Spirit Awards are like the Academy Awards of the independent film world — and in recent years, they’ve also served as a pretty good predictor of which titles would be receiving Oscar nominations. Thanks to big budget, yet critic-friendly releases like Argo, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty, and Life of Pi, that might not necessarily be the case this year. That said, we imagine that you’ll be hearing about more than a few of these films in the awards season ahead, specifically David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which lead the pack with five nods a piece. Also receiving multiple nominations: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Middle of Nowhere, and Keep the Lights On, which scored four nominations each. Click through to view the full list of nominees, and hit the comments to let us know who you favor to win in each category! … Read More

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2011 Independent Spirit Awards Nominees: We Predict the Winners

They may not be hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway, but we’re still excited about the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards — and luckily, we don’t have to wait until January 25th for the nominations. After the jump, we give you the full rundown, plus our predictions for who will win. Use it to make your must-see holiday film list, and tell us who you want to win in the comments. … Read More

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Photo Gallery: 25th Annual Independent Spirit Awards

When it first started 25 years ago, the Spirit Awards honored the then-blossoming independent film community, but these days, the annual event is starting to feel more like the Academy Awards in a tent. Jeff Bridges picked up the Spirit Award and the Oscar for his role in Crazy Heart, while Mo’Nique also won… Read More

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Five Excellent, Underwatched Indie Flicks Score Spirit Award Noms

This year’s Film Independent’s Spirit Award nominations have been announced, and while we’re a little shocked that Rachel Getting Married scored five nods (including a really ludicrous one for Best First Screenplay), we’re more excited to see some of our favorite smaller indie flicks from the past year made… Read More

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