With these nominations for The Independent Filmmaker Project’s 20th Anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards, awards season has officially begun whether you like it or not.

The only surprise for me is the inclusion of Matt Reeves’ Let Me In. I liked it, but there were a bunch of other films I’d much rather have seen get recognized like Greenberg, Get Low, Jack Goes Boating, Cyrus and most especially Prince of Broadway. I’m glad to at least see Prince Adu, Greta Gerwig and John Ortiz take breakthrough acting noms for three of the above however.

Also glad to see The Oath get recognized in the documentary category plus the ensemble nods for Winter’s Bone, The Kids Are All Right and Life During Wartime. As much as I disliked Please Give, the performances were all terrific and it’s richly deserving of it’s own ensemble nomination.

Of the films not playing in a theater near you, The Wolf Knife is the only one I’ve seen and it was an interesting first effort. I didn’t warm up to it right away, but found myself thinking about quite a bit afterward.

The winners will be announced on November 29th.

Check out a complete list of nominees after the jump.

Best Feature:

  • Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky
  • Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance
  • The Kids Are All Right, Lisa Cholodenko
  • Let Me In, Matt Reeves
  • Winter’s Bone, Debra Granik

Best Documentary:

  • 12th & Deleware, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
  • Inside Job, Charles Ferguson
  • The Oath, Laura Poitras
  • Public Speaking, Martin Scorsese
  • Sweetgrass, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilsa Barbash

Best Ensemble Performance:

  • The Kids Are All Right. Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson
  • Life During Wartime. Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds, Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Chris Marquette, Rich Pecci, Charlotte Rampling, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, Dylan Riley Snyder, Renée Taylor, Michael Kenneth Williams
  • Please Give. Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Ann Guilbert, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele, Thomas Ian Nicholas (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Tiny Furniture. Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Rachel Howe, Merritt Wever, Amy Seimetz, Alex Karpovsky, David Call,  Jemima Kirke, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Garland Hunter, Isen Hunter
  • Winter’s Bone. Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan

Breakthrough Director:

  • John Wells for The Company Men
  • Kevin Asch for Holy Rollers
  • Glenn Ficarra and John Requa for I Love You Phillip Morris
  • Tanya Hamilton for Night Catches Us
  • Lena Dunham for Tiny Furniture

Breakthrough Actor:

  • Prince Adu in Prince of Broadway
  • Ronald Bronstein in Daddy Longlegs
  • Greta Gerwig in Greenberg
  • Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
  • John Ortiz in Jack Goes Boating

Best Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You:

  • Kati with an i, Robert Greene
  • Littlerock, Mike Ott
  • On Coal River, Francine Cavanaugh
  • Summer Pasture, Lynn True and Nelson Walker
  • The Wolf Knife, Laurel Nakadate

10 Responses to “The Gotham Nominations: Winter’s Bone gets three”

  1. The one thing that bugs me about these “indie” awards is just how un-indie they usually are. “Let Me In,” for instance, cost $20 mil and received a wide release from Overture, something of an upstart, yes, but still playing in the big leagues. It’s the same deal with Black Swan ($15 mil budget, Fox Searchlight) and Greenberg ($10 mil budget, Focus Features–a Univeral subsidiary).

    I know this is not a novel gripe, but c’mon. There’s nothing “indie” about a cool $20 million, or having Annette Bening and Julianne Moore–who are probably desperate for any decent female role–take a pay cut to star in your $4 million, otherwise (other than the lesbians) completely conventional romantic comedy.

    An independent film these days is less about artists transcending budgetary constraints and more about the studios patting themselves on the back for being “progressive” enough to bankroll a quirky arthouse flick to keep Ben Stiller from walking off the set of Little Fockers (surprise surprise, that’s also a Universal property).

  2. I totally agree and that’s partly why I was rooting for Prince of Broadway, a true indie and was glad to see Winter’s Bone getting through.

    Those films that straddle the line between Oscars and Gothams/Indie Spirits kind of bug me. Pretty much anything from Fox Searchlight, Focus or Sony Pictures Classics

    That’s not to say they’re not worthy, but I like to see the little guys get the spotlight.

    At the same time, if they JUST had little guys, fewer people would pay attention

  3. I’ve only seen Greenberg, Please Give and Philip Morris. LOL But I agree on the comment of a $20M indie – when in other parts of the world a $1M budget is a huge mega-production xD

    You know, it’s pseudo indie. There’s blockbuster, there’s indie, and then there’s real indie now. xD

    I don’t think Please Give deserves a Best Ensemble though – the movie was okay…ish. But nothing out of the ordinary, and from just comments… Black Swan seemed to have more talks about acting – even though 99% of reviews were focusing just on Portman. I’m sure a film like Jack Goes Boating could deserve an Ensemble award – reviews on YAM Mag!

  4. I hated Please Give with a surprising vitriol. Just one of those things that rubbed me the wrong way. I DO think the cast was great though so I’m happy with the ensemble nom.

    I was glad to read you liked Jack Goes Boating at least somewhat and your review of Black Swan makes me even MORE excited to see it even though that’s almost impossible.

  5. Yay Winter’s Bone! I’m rooting for that one to go all the way. It won’t, but I’m not going to stop cheering for it.

  6. Rooting for Winter’s Bone also. And Jennifer Lawrence.

  7. Yeah, I have to agree with W.J. there on the “indie” cred of some of these nominees. The rules probably just set the budget way too high for these, although I’m sure the Gotham Awards would also receive a lot less attention if some of these more well-known productions weren’t in there.

    What is laughable, hilarious, and a total joke is that John Wells has been nominated for Best Breakthrough Director. The man is a name brand in television, writing, directing, and producing for 20 years. Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? Just because they’re projecting this onto a film screen in a theater doesn’t mean a man with 33 awards nominations and 11 wins including 6 Emmys has broken through anything. I think he broke through producing ER, The West Wing, and China Beach.

    If anything, I’m surprised he took this along to get into features.

  8. Although I’ve seen 3 of the 5 nominated features, it’s hard to tout a favorite without seeing Blue Valentine or Black Swan, both of which are intriguing the hell out of me ’til they open. ‘Til then, I’m in the Winter’s Bone corner.

  9. Don’t be too surprised Jennybee if Winter’s Bone DOES go all the way either with the Gotham’s or Spirit’s. I also see a BP Oscar nom though I don’t expect it to win.

  10. Just to mention that here in Bulgaria the most expensive film made in over 20 years cost 2 500 000 dollars and it was considered an unimaginable budget. :P

    Indie would be something in the lines of 50 000 -100 000 so it’s a lot of fun for me reading the list and the comments.

    As for a favorite I will have to watch Black Swan and Blue Valentine before making my decision to side with any of the above.

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