Friday, May 29, 2015

Independent Spirit Awards Saturday: `Inside Llewyn Davis' redemption time?

The indie alternative to the Academy Awards happens Saturday night in Santa Monica, with Oscar nominees `12 Years a Slave,' Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey and more vying with smaller-profile, under-appreciated titles, and talents.

Independent Spirit Awards Saturday: `Inside Llewyn Davis’ redemption time?

Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake in "Inside Llewyn Davis."
Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake in "Inside Llewyn Davis."

If you can’t wait until Sunday night and all  the red carpet preening and posing, and those agonizing stretches of kudo-slinging and self-congratulation that take up at least half the Academy Awards ceremony’s running time, then tune in to the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, March 1  (IFC, 10pm),  for a less-pretentious, more diverse celebration of the year in movies just-passed.

The Indie Spirit Awards limits eligibility to American films produced for less than $21 million, which is why you won’t see Gravity or The Wolf of Wall Street or Philomena jostling for recognition, and why Sarah Polley’s north-of-the-border documentary, Stories We Tell, is not among the contenders.But indie gems like Enough Said, and Short Term 12, and Fruitvale Station are, along with Oscar frontrunners 12 Years a Slave and acting candidates Cate Blanchett (for Blue Jasmine) and Matthew McConaughey (for Dallas Buyers Club). And maybe, finally, the Coen Brothers’ brilliant early-60s folk music odyssey, Inside Llewyn Davis, will get some due. The film is nominated for best picture and lead actor, for Oscar Isaac. If he wins, maybe he’ll change his name to Indie Spirit Isaac?

 Here’s the list of nominees in the top categories:

 Feature
'12 Years a Slave'
'All Is Lost'
'Frances Ha'
'Inside Llewyn Davis'
'Nebraska'

Director
Shane Carruth - 'Upstream Color'
J.C. Chandor - 'All Is Lost'
Steve McQueen - '12 Years a Slave'
Jeff Nichols - 'Mud'
Alexander Payne - 'Nebraska'

Female Lead 
Cate Blanchett - 'Blue Jasmine'
Julie Delpy - 'Before Midnight'
Gaby Hoffmann - 'Crystal Fairy'
Brie Larson - 'Short Term 12'
Shailene Woodley - 'The Spectacular Now'

Male Lead
Bruce Dern - 'Nebraska'
Chiwetel Ejiofor - '12 Years a Slave'
Oscar Isaac - 'Inside Llewyn Davis'
Michael B. Jordan - 'Fruitvale Station'
Matthew McConaughey - 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Robert Redford - 'All Is Lost'

Supporting Female
Melonie Diaz - 'Fruitvale Station'
Sally Hawkins - 'Blue Jasmine'
Lupita Nyong'o - '12 Years a Slave'
Yolonda Ross - 'Go For Sisters'
June Squibb - 'Nebraska'

Supporting Male
Michael Fassbender - '12 Years a Slave'
Will Forte - 'Nebraska'
James Gandolfini - 'Enough Said'
Jared Leto - 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Keith Stanfield - 'Short Term 12'

If you can’t wait until Sunday night and all  the red carpet preening and posing, and those agonizing stretches of kudo-slinging and self-congratulation that take up at least half the Academy Awards ceremony’s running time, then tune in to the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, March 1  (IFC, 10pm),  for a less-pretentious, more diverse celebration of the year in movies just-passed.

The Indie Spirit Awards limits eligibility to American films produced for less than $21 million, which is why you won’t see Gravity or The Wolf of Wall Street of Philomena jostling for recognition, and why Sarah Polley’s north-of-the-border documentary, Stories We Tell, is not among the contenders.But indie gems like Enough Said, and Short term 12, and Fruitvale Station are, along with Oscar frontrunners 12 Years a Slave is, and acting candidates Cate Blanchett (for Blue Jasmine) and Matthew McConaughey (for Dallas Buyers Club). And maybe, finally, the Coen Brothers’ brilliant early-60s folk music odyssey, Inside Llewyn Davis, will get some due. The film is nominated in for best picture and lead actor, for Oscar Isaac. Maybe if he wins, he’ll change his name to Indie Spirit Isaac?

 

Here’s the list of nominees in the top categories:

 

Feature
'12 Years a Slave'
'All Is Lost'
'Frances Ha'
'Inside Llewyn Davis'
'Nebraska'

 

Director
Shane Carruth - 'Upstream Color'
J.C. Chandor - 'All Is Lost'
Steve McQueen - '12 Years a Slave'
Jeff Nichols - 'Mud'
Alexander Payne - 'Nebraska'

 

Female Lead 
Cate Blanchett - 'Blue Jasmine'
Julie Delpy - 'Before Midnight'
Gaby Hoffmann - 'Crystal Fairy'
Brie Larson - 'Short Term 12'
Shailene Woodley - 'The Spectacular Now'

 

Male Lead
Bruce Dern - 'Nebraska'
Chiwetel Ejiofor - '12 Years a Slave'
Oscar Isaac - 'Inside Llewyn Davis'
Michael B. Jordan - 'Fruitvale Station'
Matthew McConaughey - 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Robert Redford - 'All Is Lost'

 

Supporting Female
Melonie Diaz - 'Fruitvale Station'
Sally Hawkins - 'Blue Jasmine'
Lupita Nyong'o - '12 Years a Slave'
Yolonda Ross - 'Go For Sisters'
June Squibb - 'Nebraska'

 

Supporting Male
Michael Fassbender - '12 Years a Slave'
Will Forte - 'Nebraska'
James Gandolfini - 'Enough Said'
Jared Leto - 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Keith Stanfield - 'Short Term 12'

 

Documentary
'20 Feet From Stardom
'After Tiller'

'The Act of Killing'
'The Square'  

 

International Film
'A Touch of Sin' (China)
'Blue Is the Warmest Color' (France)
'Gloria (Chile)

 The Great Beauty' (Italy) -
'The Hunt' (Denmark) -

Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Reach Steven at srea@phillynews.com.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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