"Black Swan" Dominates 2011 Independent Spirit Awards, But Where's the Love for "Winter's Bone?" 

With all the "Black Swan" hoopla, am I the only one who thinks that the film, while well-made, is not deserving of all these hyper-crazed adulations? Portman was good, but I prefer Annette Bening's understated performance in "The Kids Are All Right." Or heck, Jennifer Lawrence's "Winter's Bone" performance could easily outdance Portman's delusional ballerina portrayal any day.

And "Winter's Bone," celebrating its true independent spirit, was virtually snubbed at last night's Independent Spirit Awards. Sure, the excellent supporting cast was honored with Dale Dickey winning Best Supporting Female and John Hawkes for Best Supporting Male, but the engaging and deeply haunting Debra Granik movie (with the most nominations totaling to seven nods) lost out to...you guessed it, Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan." (Check out my "Winter's Bone" movie review right here)

And yes, I do admire Aronofsky, I thought "The Wrestler" was one of his personal best and not "Black Swan" -- a heavily stylized movie that will make you feel cheated after the curtains are down. (Check out my interview with Aronofsky for "The Wrestler" right here)

But "Black Swan" has great cinematography, and kudos to my fellow Filipino peep, Matthew Libatique for winning the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography. Now, I don't salute Libatique for we're both Filipinos y'all, I truly admired his camerawork in "Black Swan" -- each frame told a story! (Check out my "Black Swan" movie review right here)

So there, I'm done ranting. My point is Roadside's "Winter's Bone" is more aligned with the Independent Spirit Awards' independent spirit rather than "Black Swan" -- a film made by the bigger Fox Searchlight. That's all!

Here's the complete list of the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards winners (highlighted) and nominees:

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not listed)

127 Hours -- Producers: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, John Smithson

*** Black Swan -- Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver

Greenberg -- Producers: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Rudin

The Kids Are All Right -- Producers: Gary Gilbert, Philippe Hellmann, Jordan Horowitz, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg

Winter’s Bone -- Producers: Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Anne Rosellini


*** Darren Aronofsky
Black Swan

Danny Boyle
127 Hours

Lisa Cholodenko
The Kids Are All Right

Debra Granik
Winter’s Bone

John Cameron Mitchell
Rabbit Hole


*** Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko
The Kids Are All Right

Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini
Winter’s Bone

Nicole Holofcener
Please Give

David Lindsay-Abaire
Rabbit Hole

Todd Solondz
Life During Wartime

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)

Everything Strange and New
Director: Frazer Bradshaw

Producers: A.D. Liano, Laura Techera Francia

*** Get Low
Director: Aaron Schneider
Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck

Night Catches Us
Director: Tanya Hamilton
Producers: Sean Costello, Jason Orans, Ronald Simons

The Last Exorcism
Director: Daniel Stamm
Producers: Marc Abraham, Tom Bliss, Eric Newman, Eli Roth

Tiny Furniture
Director: Lena Dunham
Producers: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering


Diane Bell

*** Lena Dunham
Tiny Furniture

Nik Fackler
Lovely, Still

Bob Glaudini
Jack Goes Boating

Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director, and producer. Executive Producers are not listed

*** Daddy Longlegs -- Writer/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott

Lbs. -- Director: Matthew Bonifacio
Writer/Producers: Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famiglietti

Lovers of Hate -- Writer/Director: Bryan Poyser
Producer: Megan Gilbride

Obselidia -- Writer/Director: Diane Bell
Producers: Chris Byrne, Mathew Medlin

The Exploding Girl -- Writer/Director: Bradley Rust Gray
Producers: Karin Chien, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim


Annette Bening
The Kids Are All Right

Greta Gerwig

Nicole Kidman
Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence
Winter’s Bone

*** Natalie Portman
Black Swan

Michelle Williams
Blue Valentine


Ronald Bronstein
Daddy Longlegs

Aaron Eckhart
Rabbit Hole

*** James Franco
127 Hours

John C. Reilly

Ben Stiller


Ashley Bell
The Last Exorcism

*** Dale Dickey
Winter’s Bone

Allison Janney
Life During Wartime

Daphne Rubin-Vega
Jack Goes Boating

Naomi Watts
Mother and Child


*** John Hawkes
Winter’s Bone

Samuel L. Jackson
Mother and Child

Bill Murray
Get Low

John Ortiz
Jack Goes Boating

Mark Ruffalo
The Kids Are All Right


Adam Kimmel
Never Let Me Go

*** Matthew Libatique
Black Swan

Jody Lee Lipes
Tiny Furniture

Michael McDonough
Winter’s Bone

Harris Savides

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)

*** Exit Through the Gift Shop
Director: Banksy

Director: Jeff Malmberg

Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger

Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Thunder Soul
Director: Mark Landsman

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)

Director: Lance Daly

Mademoiselle Chambon
Director: Stéphane Brizé

Of Gods and Men
Director: Xavier Beauvois

*** The King’s Speech
(United Kingdom)
Director: Tom Hooper

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 17th annual Acura Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Acura.

Hossein Keshavarz
Dog Sweat

Laurel Nakadate
The Wolf Knife

*** Mike Ott

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 14th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

In-Ah Lee
Au Revoir Taipei

Adele Romanski
The Myth of the American Sleepover

*** Anish Savjani
Meek’s Cutoff

AVEENO® TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 16th annual AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by AVEENO®.

Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

*** Jeff Malmberg

Lynn True, Nelson Walker
Summer Pasture

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)

Please Give
Director: Nicole Holofcener

Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy

Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele

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