The Gotham Independent Film Awards are in many ways regarded as the first notable film awards of the so-called "awards season". As you might have guessed from the name, they are based in New York City and reward independent film. Although they are sometimes flexible on what constitues an independent production ('The Departed' was nominated for Best Feature in 2006), usually it's true independent hits and smaller films that benefit from the exposure that brings being nominated for the award. So, who are this year's nominees?
The Loneliest Planet
Middle of Nowhere
I've reviewed 'The Master' and talked a little about 'Moonrise Kingdom' in the blog, so you might already know I really liked both films. The only other nominee I've seen is Richard Linklater's 'Bernie', a very good little film starring Jack Black in what is probably the best performance of his career. All three of these films are very deserving nominees in my opinion and I hope they manage to get some awards recognition at the end of the year so that more audiences get to see them (especially 'Benie', which had a very small release).
I will not comment on either 'The Loneliest Planet' or 'Middle of Nowhere' since I haven't watched them yet, but I will say that I read some great reviews for 'Middle of Nowhere' a couple of weeks back and then forgot about it to the point I didn't even realize it is currently playing in New York. I will try to watch it next week.
The other story with these nominees is who didn't make the list. Two of the films I thought were locks for a nomination didn't make it: 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' and 'The Sessions'. I'm on the record as saying 'Beasts' is an amazing film (maybe my favorite of the year so far), so I was sad it didn't make it, although it did get nominated in the "breakthrough" categories. 'The Sessions', on the other hand, was snubbed completely. I still expect them to get some nomination come the height of awards season.
Here are the other nominees:
Best Ensemble Performance
Safety Not Guaranteed (happy to see this film's not been forgotten)
Silver Linings Playbook
Your Sister's Sister
Zal Batmangjil for Sound of My Voice
Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky for Francine
Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin for Now, Forager
Antonio Méndez Esparza for Aquí y Allá
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Mike Birbiglia for Sleepwalk with Me
Emayatzy Corineadl for Middle of Nowhere
Thure Lindheart for Keep the Lights On
Melanie Lynskey for Hello, I Must Be Going (I like Lynskey, but is she really a breakthrough actor? I thought her breakthrough was 1994's Heavenly Creatures)
Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
How to Survive a Plague
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
The Waiting Room
Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Sun Don't Shine
Tiger Tail in Blue