Burning Questions: The (Formerly Independent) Spirit Awards

154116__sunshine_lWith today’s announcement of the nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards, two questions arise:

First, with most of the nomination love showered on the (entirely deserving) Half Nelson and Little Miss Sunshine (pictured), how does this bode for these films’ Oscar chances? Remember, back in August, these two movies were the frontrunners; nothing else had yet been released that seemed to merit much Oscar consideration, and the fall awards hopefuls like The Departed and Little Children were still unseen. Will these Spirit nominations help keep these movies in the race against films that are fresher in voters’ minds?

Second, when did you guys drop the "Independent" from the "Independent Spirit Awards"? (Sometime in the last year, apparently.) I realize "Independent" is kind of a meaningless sobriquet at a time when many so-called indie films are released by subdivisions of the major studios, or when Spirit-winners like Brokeback Mountain, Crash, and Capote do similarly well at the Academy Awards. Still, to paraphrase Hyman Roth, this is the business you’ve chosen, and for better or worse, "Independent" is your brand. Without that word, your Just-Spirit Awards have an awfully generic name that doesn’t exactly say "movies" to me. C’mon, y’all, please declare your independence again!


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  • Mike B.

    Little Children and The Departed (That’s a 90 mil. flick, it’s not an indie)were not eligible under some of the Spirit’s rule.
    So they probably would have been nominated if they were.

  • Benny

    I loved Half Nelson. Moving and powerful and quiet. Little Miss Sunshine sucked. It was the worst movie I saw all summer and was trying too hard to be quirky and odd. The characters were charicatures with no personality beyond a quirk, and there was no reason to like them or feel anything for them. And the mute kid… SUCKED!

  • Zach

    the irony is, by dropping the “indie” they’re caving into the man, yet this year’s nominees are smaller than ever

  • NC Viewer

    So glad to see Channing Tatum nominated – he’s the kind of actor who grows leaps and bounds with every successive performance.

  • jake

    I’m surprised that Little Miss Sunshine is not the film to beat at the oscars — it is the best movie of the year, the audience I saw it with — everyone clapped and cheered. All the actors should be nominated.
    Very happy that ryan gosling got recognized. He is an actor who should have won a long time ago with such great roles in the notebook, murder by numbers and the believer. He doesn’t have a showy role but it is a role that you leave the theater thinking how great a performance it was.

  • Lyssa

    I wonder why Gary thinks these awards are, as of this year, no longer “Independent”. What about the nominations made him say that. Because I looked at them, and they didn’t reek of big Hollywood to me. Just curious.

  • Tim

    Little Miss Sunshine was awful. Everything about it felt forced and the ending was ripped straight out of a sitcom (and not a good sitcom either, actually, it’s kind of reminiscent of that Urkel dance that was posted on this blog on Monday).

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