"12 Years a Slave" Tops 2014 Spirit Award Nominations 


Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" led the pack of the nominations for the 29th Annual Film Independent Spirit Award. The film received 7 nominations including best feature, director, and acting noms for Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, and Michael Fassbender.

Winners of the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be announced on Saturday, March 1st at a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica with the premiere broadcast airing later that evening at 10:00 pm ET/PT exclusively on IFC.

Congrats and good luck to all the nominees!

Here's the complete list of the nominees of the 2014 Spirit Awards:

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not awarded)
12 Years a Slave
PRODUCERS: Dede Gardner, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad
All Is Lost
PRODUCERS: Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb
Frances Ha
PRODUCERS: Noah Baumbach, Scott Rudin, Rodrigo Teixeira, Lila Yacoub
Inside Llewyn Davis
PRODUCERS: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin
Nebraska
PRODUCERS: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa

BEST DIRECTOR
Shane Carruth
Upstream Color
J.C. Chandor
All Is Lost
Steve McQueen
12 Years a Slave
Jeff Nichols
Mud
Alexander Payne
Nebraska

BEST SCREENPLAY
Woody Allen
Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater
Before Midnight
Nicole Holofcener
Enough Said
Scott Neustadter &
Michael H. Weber
The Spectacular Now
John Ridley
12 Years a Slave

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

DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Alexandre Moors
PRODUCERS: Kim Jackson, Brian O'Carroll, Isen Robbins, Will Rowbotham, Ron Simons, Aimee Schoof, Stephen Tedeschi
Concussion
DIRECTOR: Stacie Passon
PRODUCER: Rose Troche
Fruitvale Station
DIRECTOR: Ryan Coogler
PRODUCERS: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker
Una Noche
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Lucy Mulloy
PRODUCERS: Sandy Pérez Aguila, Maite Artieda, Daniel Mulloy, Yunior Santiago
Wadjda
DIRECTOR: Haifaa Al Mansour
PRODUCERS: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Lake Bell
In A World
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Don Jon
Bob Nelson
Nebraska
Jill Soloway
Afternoon Delight
Michael Starrbury
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

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 awarded.
Computer Chess

WRITER/DIRECTOR: Andrew Bujalski
PRODUCERS: Houston King & Alex Lipschultz
Crystal Fairy
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Sebastiàn Silva
PRODUCERS: Juan de Dios Larraín & Pablo Larraín
Museum Hours
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Jem Cohen
PRODUCERS: Paolo Calamita & Gabriele Kranzelbinder
Pit Stop
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Yen Tan
WRITER: David Lowery
PRODUCERS: Jonathan Duffy, James M. Johnston,
Eric Steele, Kelly Williams
This is Martin Bonner
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Chad Hartigan
PRODUCER: Cherie Saulter

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Cate Blanchett

Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy
Before Midnight
Gaby Hoffmann
Crystal Fairy
Brie Larson
Short Term 12
Shailene Woodley
The Spectacular Now

BEST MALE LEAD
Bruce Dern

Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor
12 Years a Slave
Oscar Isaac
Inside Llewyn Davis
Michael B. Jordan
Fruitvale Station
Matthew McConaughey
Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford
All Is Lost

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Melonie Diaz

Fruitvale Station
Sally Hawkins
Blue Jasmine
Lupita Nyong'o
12 Years a Slave
Yolonda Ross
Go For Sisters
June Squibb
Nebraska

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Michael Fassbender

12 Years a Slave
Will Forte
Nebraska
James Gandolfini
Enough Said
Jared Leto
Dallas Buyers Club
Keith Stanfield
Short Term 12

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Sean Bobbitt
12 Years a Slave
Benoit Debie
Spring Breakers
Bruno Delbonnel
Inside Llewyn Davis
Frank G. DeMarco
All Is Lost
Matthias Grunsky
Computer Chess

BEST EDITING
Shane Carruth & David Lowery
Upstream Color
Jem Cohen & Marc Vives
Museum Hours
Jennifer Lame
Frances Ha
Cindy Lee
Una Noche
Nat Sanders
Short Term 12

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
20 Feet From Stardom

DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Morgan Neville
PRODUCERS: Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers
After Tiller
DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS: Martha Shane & Lana Wilson
Gideon's Army
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Dawn Porter
PRODUCER: Julie Goldman
The Act of Killing
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Joshua Oppenheimer
PRODUCERS: Joram Ten Brink, Christine Cynn, Anne Köhncke, Signe Byrge Sørensen,
Michael Uwemedimo
The Square
DIRECTOR: Jehane Noujaim
PRODUCER: Karim Amer

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
A Touch of Sin
(China)

DIRECTOR: Jia Zhang-Ke
Blue is the Warmest Color
(France)

DIRECTOR: Abdellatif Kechiche
Gloria
(Chile)

DIRECTOR: Sebastián Lelia
The Great Beauty
(Italy)

DIRECTOR: Paolo Sorrentino
The Hunt
(Denmark)

DIRECTOR: Thomas Vinterberg

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

Director: Jeff Nichols
Casting Director: Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast: Joe Don Baker, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Tye Sheridan, Paul Sparks, Bonnie Sturdivant, Reese Witherspoon

17th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 17th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, 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.
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston
Jacob Jaffke
Andrea Roa
Frederick Thornton

20th ANNUAL SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 20th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.
My Sister's Quinceañera

DIRECTOR: Aaron Douglas Johnston
Newlyweeds
DIRECTOR: Shaka King
The Foxy Merkins
DIRECTOR: Madeline Olnek

19th ANNUAL STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 19th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by Stella Artois, 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.
Kalyanee Mam
A River Changes Course
Jason Osder
Let the Fire Burn
Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez
Manakamana

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"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Nebraska" Movie Reviews -- Which One is My Pick of the Week? 


Two very different movies for you this weekend, we have the surefire blockbuster “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and the surefire Oscar contender, “Nebraska.” In “Catching Fire,” the sequel to the popular franchise based on the books by Suzanne Collins, Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence returns to the role of Katniss Everdeen along with Josh Hutcherson who also returns to the role of Peeta Mellark. This time, political subtext is at the heart of the film with President Snow (Donald Sutherland) acting as the film’s antagonist. Directed by Francis Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Liam Hemsworth co-star.

In “Nebraska,” great storyteller Alexander Payne (“Sideways,” “The Descendants”) takes a look at Americana with Bruce Dern’s Woody in the center of it all. He’s an aging, dementia-addled man who believes he won a million bucks from publisher’s clearinghouse, so he takes his son (played by Will Forte) on a journey from Montana to Nebraska in hopes of cashing in. June Squibb steals the show as Woody’s wife.

So which one is my pick of the week? Take a look:




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"Gravity" Key Scene Explained! This is Really Cool! 


SPOILER ALERT!!!!


Okay, if you haven't seen "Gravity" yet and don't want us to spoil your fun, then leave...now! I don't want to spoil the fantastic movie for you too!

Now...if you've seen "Gravity," you may remember that one key scene where distressed astronaut Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) with someone but they're just not understanding each other? Well, we now know that she was trying to communicate with an Inuit fisherman living in Greenland. How do we know that? Jonas Cuaron, the son of director Alfonso Cuaron (he also co-wrote the script with his dad) created a short film, a companion film if you may, called "Aningaaq" that explains the other half of the scene (video below).

THR reported that "Aningaaq" is eligible for Oscar consideration in the Best Live-Action Short category. Wouldn't that be cool if "Gravity" gets a Best Picture nod and then the short film gets nominated too?

Watch "Aningaaq" courtesy of THR, and yes, I love "Gravity!"



For my interview with Sandra Bullock, click here.

For director Alfonso Cuaron, click here.

For my movie review of "Gravity," click here.

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Big Win for Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson's Voice! 


Scarlett Johansson is already an award-winner for "Her" and she does not even appear in the movie, just her voice! Spike Jonze's science-fiction romance may by the dark horse this awards season. Now, I haven't seen the movie yet but I can't wait!

Johnsson was given the Best Actress award at the recently concluded Rome Film Festival. Matthew McConaughey took home the Best Actor trophy for "Dallas Buyers Club" which also won the Audience Award. Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace" starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, and Woody Harrelson won the Best First or Second Feature trophy.

Here are all the winners of the 2013 Rome Film Festival:

COMPETITION

Golden Marc Aurelio Award for Best Film:
Tir by Alberto Fasulo

Best Director Award: Kiyoshi Kurosawa for Sebunsu kodo (Seventh Code)

Special Jury Prize: Quod Erat Demonstrandum by Andrei Gruzsniczk

Best Actor Award: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress Award: Scarlett Johansson for Her

Award for Emerging Actor or Actress: the entire cast of Gass (Acrid)

Award for Best Technical Contribution: Koichi Takahashi for Sebunsu kodo (Seventh Code)

Award for Best Screenplay: Tayfun Pirselimoglu for Ben o degilim (I Am Not Him)

Special Mention: Cui Jian for Lanse gutou (Blue Sky Bones)

CINEMAXXI

CinemaXXI Award for Best Film (reserved for feature-length films): Nepal Forever by Aliona Polunina

CinemaXXI Special Jury Prize (reserved for feature-length films): Birmingemskij ornament 2 (Birmingham Ornament 2) by Andrey Silvestrov and Yury Leiderman

CinemaXXI Award for Short Films: Der Unfertige (The Incomplete) by Jan Soldat

SpecialMention CinemaXXI Short Films: The Buried Alive Videos by Roee Rosen

PROSPETTIVE DOC ITALIA

Premio Doc It - Prospettive Italia Doc for the Best Italian Documentary: Dal profondo by Valentina Pedicini

Special Mention: Fuoristrada by Elisa Amoruso

AWARD FOR BEST FIRST/SECOND FILM

Taodue Golden Camera Award for Best First/Second Film: Out of the Furnace by Scott Cooper

Taodue Award for the Best Emerging Producer: Jean Denis Le Dinahet and Sebastien Msika for Il sud e niente

BNL AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST FILM

BNL Audience Award for Best Film: Dallas Buyers Club by Jean-Marc Vallee

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“Dallas Buyers Club” Movie Review -- Why You Have to See This Inspiring Film 


Matthew McConaughey is getting major Oscar buzz for his role as a straight, party animal of a cowboy who contracted AIDS in 1985. Inspired by true events, McConaughey plays Ron Woodruff who decides to travel to Mexico to get alternative treatments. It worked! Soon, he’s selling his concoction illegally with the help of his business partner, the transsexual Rayon, splendidly played by Jared Leto. Jennifer Garner co-stars as the voice of the medical community, playing a doctor who treats both Ron and Rayon.

Is “Dallas Buyers Club” worth your time and money and all the buzz? Watch my review.



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