Cool! "Winter's Bone" Dominates Independent Spirit Awards Nominations! See Complete List of Nominees 


I'm so glad that "Winter's Bone" has been receiving all the accolades. I love this film when it was shown in limited release last summer. The backwoods drama won big at the Gothams Awards winning Best Feature and Best Ensemble, and now, it dominated the Independent Spirit Awards with seven nominations including Best Feature, Director for Debra Granik, Screenplay for Granik and Anne Rosellini, Female Lead for Jennifer Lawrence, Supporting Female for Dale Dickey, Supporting Male for John Hawkes, and Cinematography for Michael McDonough. ("Winter's Bone" Movie Review)

"Winter's Bone" will compete against "127 Hours," "Black Swan," "Greenberg" and "The Kids Are All Right" for best picture.

RELATED LINKS:

"127 Hours" interviews with James Franco, Danny Boyle, and Simon Beaufoy

"Greenberg" Movie Review and Interviews with Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, and Rhys Ifans

"The Kids Are All Right" Movie Review and Interviews with Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, and director Lisa Cholodenko


The awards will be given on Feb. 26 in Santa Monica, CA and will be hosted by Joel McHale and broadcast on IFC.

Here's the complete list of the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards 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

BEST DIRECTOR

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

BEST SCREENPLAY

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

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Diane Bell
Obselidia

Lena Dunham
Tiny Furniture

Nik Fackler
Lovely, Still

Bob Glaudini
Jack Goes Boating

Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener
Monogamy

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

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Annette Bening
The Kids Are All Right

Greta Gerwig
Greenberg

Nicole Kidman
Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence
Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman
Black Swan

Michelle Williams
Blue Valentine

BEST MALE LEAD

Ronald Bronstein
Daddy Longlegs

Aaron Eckhart
Rabbit Hole

James Franco
127 Hours

John C. Reilly
Cyrus

Ben Stiller
Greenberg

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

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

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

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

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Adam Kimmel
Never Let Me Go

Matthew Libatique
Black Swan

Jody Lee Lipes
Tiny Furniture

Michael McDonough
Winter’s Bone

Harris Savides
Greenberg

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Director: Banksy

Marwencol
Director: Jeff Malmberg

Restrepo
Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger

Sweetgrass
Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Thunder Soul
Director: Mark Landsman

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)

Kisses
(Ireland)
Director: Lance Daly

Mademoiselle Chambon
(France)
Director: Stéphane Brizé

Of Gods and Men
(Morocco)
Director: Xavier Beauvois

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

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
(Thailand)
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
Littlerock

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
Sweetgrass

Jeff Malmberg
Marwencol

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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"Winter's Bone" Wins Big at Gotham Awards 


What was once a Sundance darling is now a Gothams Award winner! Debra Granik's "Winter's Bone" won big at the 20th Gotham Independent Film Awards taking home the Best Feature and the Best Ensemble Performance awards.

It's safe to say that "Winter's Bone," which earned two Sundance prizes last January including Best Drama Film and Screenwriting, is on its way to the Academy Awards. ("Winter's Bone" Movie Review)

"The Hurt Locker" started its ascend to Oscar victory last year with its two-punch Best Feature and Best Ensemble Gotham Awards.

Here's the complete list of winners and nominees of the 20th Gotham Independent Film Awards: (Winners are highlighted)

Best Feature

Black Swan -- Darren Aronofsky, director; Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Blue Valentine -- Derek Cianfrance, director; Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Kids Are All Right -- Lisa Cholodenko, director; Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Jordan Horowitz, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Philippe Hellmann, producers (Focus Features)

Let Me In -- Matt Reeves, director; Simon Oakes, Alex Brunner, Guy East, Tobin Armbrust, Donna Gigliotti, John Nording, Carl Molinder, producers (Overture Films)

*Winter's Bone -- Debra Granik, director; Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, producers (Roadside Attractions)

Best Documentary

12th & Delaware -- Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, directors/producers (HBO Documentary Films)

Inside Job -- Charles Ferguson, director; Charles Ferguson, Audrey Marrs, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

*The Oath -- Laura Poitras, director/producer (Zeitgeist Films and American Documentary/POV)

Public Speaking -- Martin Scorsese, director; Martin Scorsese, Graydon Carter, Margaret Bodde, Fran Lebowitz, producers (HBO Documentary Films)

Sweetgrass -- Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash, directors; Ilisa Barbash, producer (Cinema Guild)

Best Ensemble Performance

The Kids Are All Right -- Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson (Focus Features)

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 (IFC Films)

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 (IFC Films)

*Winter's Bone -- Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan (Roadside Attractions)

Breakthrough Director

John Wells for The Company Men (The Weinstein Company)

*Kevin Asch for Holy Rollers (First Independent Pictures)

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa for I Love You Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions)

Tanya Hamilton for Night Catches Us (Magnolia Pictures)

Lena Dunham for Tiny Furniture (IFC Films)

Breakthrough Actor

Prince Adu in Prince of Broadway (Elephant Eye Films)

*Ronald Bronstein in Daddy Longlegs (IFC Films)

Greta Gerwig in Greenberg (Focus Features)

Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone (Roadside Attractions)

John Ortiz in Jack Goes Boating (Overture Films)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Kati with an i -- Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, producers

*Littlerock -- Mike Ott, director; Frederick Thornton, Laura Ragsdale, Sierra Leoni, producers

On Coal River -- Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood, directors; Jillian Elizabeth, Adams Wood, Francine Cavanaugh, producers

Summer Pasture -- Lynn True and Nelson Walker, directors/producers; Tsering Perlo, co-director/co-producer

The Wolf Knife -- Laurel Nakadate, director/producer

The Festival Genius Audience Award

9,000 Needles

Brotherhood

*Waiting for 'Superman'

White Irish Drinkers

Winter's Bone

Career Tributes

Hilary Swank, Darren Aronofsky, Robert Duvall, James Schamus

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Robert Duvall to Receive Career Achievement Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival 


Robert Duvall, pictured here in his latest film "Get Low" (he deserves a Best Actor nomination for the flick!), will receive the Career Achievement Award at the Awards Gala of the 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The Awards Gala will kick off the 2011 awards season on Saturday, January 8 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart. Duvall will join previously announced honorees Javier Bardem, Colin Firth, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan and Natalie Portman. The Festival runs January 6-17.

Here's the rest of the press release:

“For nearly 50 years, Robert Duvall has transfixed cinematic audiences with his gritty, intuitive performances,” said Film Festival chairman Harold Matzner. “In Get Low, his most recent role, Duvall portrays a backwoodsman who stages his own funeral while still alive. Duvall gives a virtuoso performance, challenging audiences to understand his character who is caught between myth and reality. To this star, a star in every sense of the word and tradition, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the 2011 Career Achievement Award to Robert Duvall.”

Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include Cate Blanchett, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson and Helen Mirren.

Duvall was most recently seen as Felix Bush in Sony Pictures Classics, “Get Low.” A magical and moving blend of folk tale, fable and real-life legend, Get Low is a movie spun in the Southern storytelling tradition about the mysterious 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party, while he was still alive. Academy Award® winner Robert Duvall, Golden Globe winner Bill Murray, Academy Award® winner Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black form an ensemble of unforgettable characters who bring to life the surprising last act of Felix Bush, a life-long maverick and misfit who has been nearly swallowed up by the power of his town’s sinister myths about him – until he sets out to make a shocking confession in front of his own memorial service.

Respected by his peers and adored by audiences worldwide, he has earned numerous Oscar nominations for his performances in The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Great Santini and The Apostle. Duvall won the Academy Award as Best Actor for his role in Tender Mercies, and has earned Golden Globes for his performances in Apocalypse Now, Tender Mercies, Lonesome Dove and Stalin. More recently, Duvall was honored with an Emmy Award for his iconic portrayal of “Print Ritter” in AMC‘s Broken Trail.

Duvall made his big screen debut in 1962, as the creepy “Boo Radley” in To Kill A Mockingbird. He has gone on to star in such classics as Assassination Tango, The Apostle, Bullitt, True Grit, M*A*S*H, The Conversation, Network, The Natural, Colors, Days Of Thunder, A Handmaid’s Tale, Rambling Rose, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, Phenomenon, A Civil Action, Open Range, and Thank You For Smoking, among many others.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 130,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who in recent years have included Clint Eastwood, Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ron Howard, Anne Hathaway, Jeff Bridges, Danny Elfman and many others.

The Festival’s 22nd Annual Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. Renewing sponsors of this year’s Festival are Title Sponsor The City of Palm Springs and Presenting Sponsors The Desert Sun, the City of Indian Wells, Spencer’s Restaurant and KPSP Local 2. Major Sponsors include Bank of America, Penfolds, Regal Entertainment, Diageo, Desert Regional Medical Center, Integrated Wealth Management, Wessman Development, Guthy-Renker, Wells Fargo, Chihuly Art Glass, and Ocean Properties Development.

For more information, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.


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So Long Mr. Irvin Kershner and Thanks for Giving Us the Best "Star Wars" Movie Ever -- "The Empire Strikes Back!" 


Another legendary Hollywood icon has passed away. "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" director Irvin Kershner has died. He was 87.

Besides directing the best film of the "Star Wars" franchise, Kershner also gave us "Never Say Never Again" and "Robocop 2." But most famously, Kershner also made Harrison Ford utter one of the most memorable lines in "Empire." His "I know" response to Princess Leia's "I love you."

Here's the great Kershner talking about his career:




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Will James Franco and Anne Hathaway Host Oscar? Are They Ready? 


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has asked James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host the Academy Awards and according to Deadline, "it looks like both young stars have accepted the offer!"

I think it's a fantastic and inspired choice!

Hathaway showed her musical talent at the Academy Awards two years ago with a dance number with then host Hugh Jackman. And Franco is almost 100% sure to get a Best Actor nod for "127 Hours." (Check out my interview with the actor and director Danny Boyle for "127 Hours" right here)

I don't think Hathaway will get a Best Actress nomination for her performance in "Love and Other Drugs," but she's a brilliant actress who was previously nominated in 2008's "Rachel Getting Married."

The official host announcement could be made as soon as this week, but so far, I think Franco and Hathaway will do wonders hosting the upcoming Academy Awards.

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