You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Winter’s Bone’ tops Spirit Award nominations

Best feature noms also include 'Kids,' '127 Hours,' 'Black Swan'

The outlook is getting sunnier for “Winter’s Bone,” as the bleak drama scored seven Spirit Award nominations on the heels of winning the top trophies at the Gotham Awards.

The seven Spirit nods were two more than “The Kids Are All Right,” which led the rest of the pack in Tuesday’s announcement.

The kudos attention for “Winter’s Bone” raises the pic’s profile as awards season picks up momentum: The National Board of Review announces its winners Thursday, with a slew of film critics nods beginning in the next few weeks.

The pic, starring Jennifer Lawrence as a hard-eyed teen dealing with the mystery of her father’s disappearance, has grossed an impressive $6.2 million for Roadside Attractions in a release that went into only 141 theaters at its widest point.

On Monday, “Winter’s Bone” won the best feature and acting ensemble prizes at the Gothams. Fourteen hours later, in an announcement by Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner at the London West Hollywood, “Winter’s Bone” earned Spirit noms for best feature and for Lawrence in the actress category, plus noms for director Debra Granik, for the screenplay by Granik and Anne Rosellini, supporting actress Dale Dickey, supporting actor John Hawkes and cinematographer Michael McDonough.

Popular on Variety

“Winter’s Bone” also took the top prize in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Spirit noms also makes “The Kids Are All Right” look good for awards season. “Kids” scored five noms, including bids for best feature, as well as for actress for Annette Bening, supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo, Lisa Cholodenko for director and Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for screenplay.

“The Kids Are All Right” opened in July and has performed respectably at the box office with $20 million domestically.

“Black Swan,” “Rabbit Hole” and “Greenberg” scored four noms each. “Greenberg” opened in March, grossed $4.2 million and had not generated much awards season heat prior to Tuesday, though it was well-received by some critics.

“127 Hours,” “Jack Goes Boating” and “Tiny Furniture” snagged three apiece. Lena Dunham scored noms for best first feature and best first screenplay for “Tiny Furniture.” “Daddy Longlegs,” “Get Low,” “Life During Wartime,” “Marwencol,” “Mother and Child,” “Sweetgrass” and “The Last Exorcism” each took two noms.

Besides “Winter’s Bone” and “Kids,” the other best feature nominations went to “127 Hours,” “Black Swan” and “Greenberg.”

Along with Lawrence and Bening, the other best actress noms went to Natalie Portman for “Black Swan,” Greta Gerwig for “Greenberg,” Nicole Kidman for “Rabbit Hole” and Michelle Williams for “Blue Valentine.” The category had six nominees instead of the usual five.

Best actor noms went to James Franco for “127 Hours,” Ben Stiller for “Greenberg,” Ronald Bronstein for “Daddy Longlegs,” Aaron Eckhart for “Rabbit Hole” and John C. Reilly for “Cyrus.”

Besides Granik and Cholodenko, directors in contention are Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan,” Danny Boyle for “127 Hours” and John Cameron Mitchell for “Rabbit Hole.”

“I’m very pleased about how eclectic the nominations are from ‘Black Swan’ to ‘Last Exorcism’ to ‘The Kids Are All Right,’ and I love that there are two women directors nominated,” said Dawn Hudson, exec director of Film Independent.

Focus and Fox Searchlight titles received nine nods each. The Weinstein Co.’s Brit drama “The King’s Speech,” which has generated significant awards season buzz, received a foreign film nomination for director Tom Hooper but wasn’t eligible in other categories.

Nicole Holofcener’s “Please Give” was selected as the recipient of the Robert Altman Award, given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. She also received a screenplay nomination.

Documentary noms included “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” “Marwencol,” “Restrepo,” “Sweetgrass,” and “Thunder Soul.” Notable candidates overlooked in the Spirits voting included Ryan Gosling in “Blue Valentine,” Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek in “Get Low” and Julianne Moore in “The Kids Are All Right.”

Film Independent culled the nominations from 220 submissions for movies with budgets of less than $20 million.

The Spirit Awards ceremonies will be held Feb. 26 at the traditional location in a beachside tent in Santa Monica. The event was held this year in downtown Los Angeles.

View the multiple nominations gallery

And the nominees are:

(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

Ronald Bronstein – “Daddy Longlegs”
Aaron Eckhart – “Rabbit Hole”
James Franco – “127 Hours”
John C. Reilly – “Cyrus”
Ben Stiller – “Greenberg”

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”

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”

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”

Darren Aronofsky – “Black Swan”
Danny Boyle – “127 Hours”
Lisa Cholodenko – ” he 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”

(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 – “Obselidia”
Lena Dunham – “Tiny Furniture”
Nik Fackler – “Lovely, Still”
Bob Glaudini – “Jack Goes Boating”
Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener – “Monogamy”

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

Adam Kimmel – “Never Let Me Go”
Matthew Libatique – “Black Swan”
Jody Lee Lipes – “Tiny Furniture”
Michael McDonough – “Winter’s Bone”
Harris Savides – “Greenberg”

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

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

(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”

(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”

(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”

(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

View the multiple nominations gallery

More Film

  • Harriet Movie BTS

    How the Three-Part Arc Helped 'Harriet' Editor Wyatt Smith in the Editing Room

    It has taken us until 2019 to have a film about Araminta “Minty” Ross. Better known in history as Harriet Tubman. In Kasi Lemmons’ new film “Harriet,” the story breaks away from the typical slave narrative of an upward journey. Rather, we get a story that delves into the woman, her humanity and inspirational life. [...]

  • Awkwafina Jumanji Next Level Premiere

    'The Farewell's' Awkwafina on Her First Golden Globe Nomination, Female Director Snubs

    Awkwafina just might’ve had her best Monday ever. Shortly after 5 a.m., the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. announced that she’d earned her first Golden Globe nomination (as best actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy) for her performance in “The Farewell.” But she didn’t have a ton of time to celebrate, since she [...]

  • Bhumi Pednekar

    IFFAM-Variety's Asian Stars: Up Next Program is Helping Talent Cross Over

    Eight young stars accepted the “Asian Stars: Up Next” award on Tuesday intended to recognize and promote Asian on-screen talent who have established themselves in their home market but have the potential to cross borders onto the global stage. The awards are issued by the International Film Festival & Awards Macao and Variety, and were [...]

  • Mo'Nique

    Mo'Nique to Play 'Badass Black Woman' in New Film 'Mother Trucker'

    Mo’Nique has signed on for the lead role in the independent action-adventure “Mother Trucker.” The movie is written by J. Oyer Tomas, former HBO executive producer, and set during the Congressional impeachment hearings to remove President Richard Nixon from office. Nixon resigned in 1974. Mo’Nique will portray a mother, struggling with anger management issues, who [...]

  • Bellbird review

    Macao Film Review: 'Bellbird'

    Mild, mellow and as life-affirming as a soft fall of springtime New Zealand rain, Hamish Bennett’s charming if overfamiliar debut feature “Bellbird” — so named after a species of avian indigenous to the region, which Captain Cook reportedly described as having a song “like small bells, exquisitely tuned” — is a fondly bittersweet tribute to [...]

  • Wisdom Tooth

    Macao Film Review: 'Wisdom Tooth'

    Slippery and surprising, full of odd details and insights, and leaching significant visual and thematic texture from its unusual setting, Liang Ming’s “Wisdom Tooth” must be one of the year’s most remarkable debuts. Set in a depressed Chinese fishing town close to the Korean border during the first snow flurries of winter, the film is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content