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  • 2012 Spirit Awards Winners

    By | February 25, 2012

    Well, the votes are in and the awards have been handed out… So, what do I think about the 2012 Spirit Awards? Well, the very first word that comes to mind is disappointment. This year — more so than any other — the 2012 Spirit Awards awarded many of the same films and actors that the Academy Awards will (most likely) award tomorrow.

    Sure, I guess I should just be happy that several of my Favorite Narrative Films of 2011 (Drive, BeginnersTake Shelter, Bellflower, Shame, and Martha Marcy May Marlene) were even nominated. But, really, did The Artist deserve to win Best Feature, Best Director, Best Lead Actor and Best Cinematography at the Spirit Awards? And, don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatically thankful that Heather Courtney (Where Soldiers Come From) won the Truer Than Fiction Award; Sophia Lin (Take Shelter) won the Piaget Producers Award; and Mark Jackson (Without) won the Someone To Watch Award. It just feels like all of the major awards went to the films with the biggest budgets (The Descendants‘ budget was $20 Million; The Artist‘s budget was $15 Million) — films that I do not personally perceive as “independent.”

    I would have been much happier if the Spirit Awards took some risks this year, voted for a couple of the truly independent nominees. I used to believe that the Spirit Awards championed independent films. Now I am beginning to believe that they are just falling right into line with the Golden Globes and Academy Awards… 

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    Best Feature

    50/50
    The Artist
    Beginners
    The Descendants
    Drive
    Take Shelter

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    Best Director

    Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
    Mike Mills (Beginners)
    Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter)
    Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
    Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)

     ____________________________________________________

    Best First Feature

    Another Earth
    In The Family
    Margin Call
    Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Natural Selection

     ____________________________________________________

    Best Male Lead

    Demian Bichir (A Better Life)
    Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
    Ryan Gosling (Drive)
    Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
    Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)

     ____________________________________________________

    Best Female Lead

    Lauren Ambrose (Think Of Me)
    Rachel Harris (Natural Selection)
    Adepero Oduye (Pariah)
    Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
    Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)

     ____________________________________________________

    Best Supporting Male

    Albert Brooks (Drive)
    John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
    Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
    John C. Reilly (Cedar Rapids)
    Corey Stoll (Midnight In Paris)

     ____________________________________________________

    Best Supporting Female

    Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter)
    Angelica Huston (50/50)
    Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
    Harmony Santana (Gun Hill Road)
    Shaileen Woodley (The Descendants)

     ____________________________________________________

    John Cassavetes Award

    Bellflower
    Circumstance
    The Dynamiter
    Hello Lonesome
    Pariah

     ____________________________________________________

    Best Documentary

    An African Election
    Bill Cunningham New York
    The Interrupters
    The Redemption of General Butt Naked
    We Were Here

     ____________________________________________________

    Best International Film

    A Separation
    Melancholia
    Shame
    The Kid With A Bike
    Tyrannosaur

     ____________________________________________________

    Best Cinematography

    Joel Hodge (Bellflower)
    Benjamin Kasulke (The Off Hours)
    Darius Khondji (Midnight In Paris)
    Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist)
    Jeffrey Waldron (The Dynamiter)

     ____________________________________________________

    Best Screenplay

     

    Joseph Cedar (Footnote)
    Michel Hazanivicius (The Artist)
    Tom McCarthy (Win Win)
    Mike Mills (Beginners)
    Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash (The Descendants)

     ____________________________________________________

    Best First Screenplay

    Mike Cahill & Brit Marling (Another Earth)
    J.C. Chandor (Margin Call)
    Patreck DeWitt (Terri)
    Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids)
    Will Reiser (50/50)

     ____________________________________________________

    Truer Than Fiction Award

    Heather Courtney (Where Soldiers Come From)
    Danfung Dennis (Hell and Back Again)
    Alma Har’El (Bombay Beach)

     ____________________________________________________

    Piaget Producers Award

    Chad Burris (Mosquito Y Mari)
    Sophia Lin (Take Shelter)
    Josh Mond (Martha Marcy May Marlene)

     ____________________________________________________

    Someone To Watch

    Simon Arthur (Silver Tongues)
    Mark Jackson (Without)
    Nicholas Ozeki (Marnitas)

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