Independent Spirit Award noms: Idris Elba, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara & more


Yesterday, the Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced. There were surprisingly few shenanigans! Remember last year when Jennifer Aniston was “snubbed” for a Spirit Award and that was the story? Yeah, this year is looking more sedate. The biggest headlines involve Beast of No Nation and Carol, both of which walked away with multiple nominations. Not included in the noms? The Danish Girl and Suffragette, both because they were financed internationally or something. The Spirit Awards aren’t considered big harbingers for the Globes, SAGs or Oscars, but these nominations will help the smaller films and quieter performances get a foothold in the Oscar campaign season. So, some people who will be in the conversation in a bigger way: Idris Elba for Best Supporting Actor, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett competing against each other for Best Actress, Brie Larson continuing to stun everyone, and maybe Michael Shannon in 99 Homes. Here are some of the big categories:

Best Feature
Beasts of No Nation

Best Director
Sean Baker, Tangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Best Male Lead
Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male
Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female
Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

[From Variety]

Which of these films/performances will go all the way in reality? I think Michael Shannon will NOT get nominated for much beyond a Spirit Award, mostly because he doesn’t seem to be that kind of glad-handing campaigner. If Jennifer Jason Leigh gets nominated for anything, it would likely be The Hateful Eight. Idris Elba will, I feel, be a major contender for a nomination at the very least. He got “snubbed” for Best Actor last year for Mandela, so the Academy might want to give him a nom for Beasts just for that. And I do think the chances are pretty good that both Blanchett and Mara will be nominated for Best Actress. Let’s see… what else? Yes, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Brie Larson waged an undercover campaign and ended up taking home some big awards. People are RAVING about her work in Room.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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36 Responses to “Independent Spirit Award noms: Idris Elba, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara & more”

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  1. Jane says:

    Idris looks positively gorgeous in that picture.

  2. Lilacflowers says:

    This list better reflects independent film a bit more than it has in the past few years. Nice to see Paul Dano get some recognition.

  3. Abbott says:

    If you have a photo of Idris Elba and Cary Fukunaga, you lead with the photo of Idris Elba and Cary Fukunaga.

  4. CK says:

    Larson, Blanchett, and Mara are definitely going (most/all) of the way. I could see Mara missing out if the Academy voters goes the same direction as the GG and decide that the role (and Vikander’s) are leading. If that happens, then you’ll have Ronan, Blanchett, and Larson taking near assumed nods. Lawrence slips in if she’s as good/well received as usual in Joy and then Vikander, Mara, Mulligan, and a few others fighting it out for that last spot. The academy usually is a bit lenient on category fraud though so it might be Vikander and Mara duking it out in the supporting actress category instead.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      I thought it was even announced by their people that Vikander and Mara would be campaing in supporting. All the award sites I have seen have put them in supporting. But obviously those are category frauds from what I have red from reviews.

      I feel Larson is winning the Oscar unless Lawrence’s film and performance is really special. Blanchett is even more recent winner than Lawrence, she has won twice and is less popular than Lawrence so she has less changes than her, Ronan’s campaing has been pretty quiet compared to others and I do not feel that others do have change at winning.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        I agree, Chinoiserie. There’s some category fraud going on, this year with so several “leads” who will be pushed to “supporting”.

        I’m a little bummed that the Spotlight cast will all be put in supporting so we may have Keaton and Ruffalo competing against each other, if nom predictions are on target.

      • CK says:

        They’re campaigning as supporting, but voters are under no obligation. to consider them as such. And since they are being placed in the leading category by stricter voting bodies (Hfpa and many critics circles, come Oscar nomination time, most voters who have seen the films/paid attention to the precursors may follow their lead and reject the supporting categorization.

  5. Mom2two says:

    Idris is gorgeous, glad he is getting recognition. I agree that Brie Larson will make a strong run for Oscar.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      And it won’t be an undercover run, Brie is going for it. Good for her.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        Brie’s got a good chance, I think.

        I’ll be shocked if anything other than Spotlight gets Best Picture. I couldn’t find a damn thing wrong with that film — it’s refreshing to see not only good performances, but a great script as well.

      • Dara says:

        As (almost) always, @Nutty and I are in complete agreement – Spotlight was damn near perfect.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        Well, hello Dara dear, nice to see you now that the PuddleTom has slithered into the jungle. Did I tell you I saw ISTL?? Good performances, bad script, just as others have said.

        And… did you see that the soundtrack doesn’t have all the songs from the film? No “Cold, Cold Heart” (which opens the film), “Why Don’t You Love Me” or “I Saw The Light” and Tom only performs 6 of the 13 songs on the album. Very disappointing.

        There was a duet of Tom and Lizzy singing “I Saw the Light” to newborn Hank Jr as a lullaby, which would have made a nice ghost track at the end. Sony blew it… I’m not even interested in buying it now.

      • Dara says:

        *waves at @Nutty* I’m so glad you saw ISTL, it kills me the story didn’t get a good script – Hank’s life had so much material to work with. I’ve been meaning to ask those that saw it if Rodney’s role as Hank’s dad made the final cut. I can’t remember if anyone has ever said if he was actually in the film even though we know he filmed scenes.

        I’m holding out hope that the soundtrack CD I saw making the rounds was a promo copy and not the actual one that will be released. How can you have a movie called I Saw the Light and not have that song as one of the tracks?

      • NUTBALLS says:

        Dara, Rodney was not in the final cut. The music was really good — I particularly enjoyed the opening number of Cold, Cold Heart while seated on a stool. Can’t believe that wasn’t on the soundtrack, along with the other two, which are both featured in the film. WTH, Sony??

        Weren’t you going to see HR in Vancouver??

      • Dara says:

        No Rodney? That’s a bummer.

        I was going to High-Rise, had tickets and everything – but then life intervened and I couldn’t make it that weekend. Just as well, still not sure that movie is my cup of tea.

  6. Mia4s says:

    He didn’t get “snubbed” for Mandela, it wasn’t a good movie. Just because the subject is important doesn’t mean the movie is. Elba has been better.

    Nomination is a longshot as Beasts pretty much died. Ironically if they had kept it on TV it would be winning everything and considered a smash rather than a box office bomb.

    I cannot wait to see Spotlight!

    • Cee says:

      A box office bomb? It got limited release as it’s a Netflix movie, available to stream since day 1.

      • Mia4s says:

        Perception remember? The Academy skews very old. They are not going to be big on the whole VOD model. The movie’s per screen average was awful even for limited (not a huge surprise because of the streaming option) but unfortunately these things matter to them. It ends up looking like a TV movie. Great for Emmys, bad for Oscars.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        I agree Mia4s, the old fogies at the AMPAS are not going to be receptive to the VOD model, but I think Netflix has shown that this is the direction that independent films can go and find an audience. 3 million views translates into roughly $30 mill box office earnings. If they begin charging per view for newly released films (like VUDU does), there’s a way to make some good money on the VOD model. It’s great news for independent filmmakers.

        I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Emmy voters will consider BONN during awards season.

        ETA: SPOTLIGHT is the best film I’ve seen all year, hands down. Moving without being sentimental. Performances, script & direction were excellent.

  7. Cee says:

    Brie Larson in Room was AMAZING. I haven’t seen Carol yet, but come Award Season I believe she has a very strong chance of being nominated, if not winning.

    • NUTBALLS says:

      Yep, she does. Even as a first-time nominee, I think her chances are very good, with Blanchett already in possession of two Oscars.

  8. mia girl says:

    Haven’t seen the film yet but it is interesting that Spotlight is nominated for Best Feature but none of the actors in the film were nominated. Maybe they all split the vote?

    Brie Larson was incredible in The Room. Happy to see Jason Segal nominated for End of the Tour. I thought his performance was very compelling.

    • NUTBALLS says:

      mia girl, this post didn’t mention that the Spotlight cast got the Robert Altman Award, for Best Ensemble.

      As far as the rest of the awards, test audiences were split between Keaton and Ruffalo as being perceived as leads, so the studio decided to put the entire cast in supporting categories. I suspect Ruffalo has the best chance of winning, as his performance was so memorable in the film.

      • Dara says:

        Just adding my two cents for Spotlight, Ruffalo and everyone else associated with the film. Did anyone else see the cast and the reporters they played on the Charlie Rose show? It’s amazing how spot on Ruffalo and Keaton came to the real guys they played without making their performances a straight up impersonation or caricature. I thought Keaton nailed the Boston accent too, but what do I know.

        I’m going to start my own mini-campaign to get Jacob Tremblay nominated. I haven’t seen Room, but since when did that stop anyone – especially Academy voters – from voting for someone.

      • mia girl says:

        Nutballs – Thanks for the info. So glad they won the ensemble award as I’ve heard the cast is amazing in the film. Can’t wait to see the film this weekend!

        Dara – I did not see the Charlie Rose show with the cast but I DVR them all so thanks for the heads up. I did hear Keaton interviewed on EW Radio and he talked quite a bit about his approach and spending time with Walter “Robby” Robinson. I’m such a fan of Keaton.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        I concur with Dara, the Charlie Rose interview was really, really good. The cast did their homework in interviewing the actual journos they were playing.

  9. Liz says:

    I don’t know how undercover Brie’s campaigning can be described as she already been pretty full on with appearances. It’s understandable as Room is from a small company so she needs to be out there raising her profile.

    It’s interesting that they placed Rooney in lead, I think there might be a bit of pushback this year at placing co lead characters in best supporting categories for more award chances.

  10. serena says:

    Just give Idris awards!!!

  11. Miss V says:

    Here for Idris. Always.

  12. NUTBALLS says:

    Did anyone see the Marvel trailer that dropped unexpectedly last night??? I’m so excited for it to come out, now that I’ve seen it.

    Waiting for a CB post so we can talk about it!

    ETA… just saw it… thanks Kaiser!

  13. Jayna says:

    Our friends saw Spotlight and said it’s the best movie of the year and predicted that it deservedly wins the Oscar for Best Movie.

  14. wood dragon says:

    We saw Spotlight today. Excellent film. I hope it wins its nominations.

  15. KCAT says:

    Big ups to Tangerine, Carol and Beast of No Nation