2014 Independent Spirit Award Winners

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Here are the results of the  2014 Indepenedent Film Spirit Awards as reported by Steve Pond at THR...

On the eve of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” dominated the Independent Spirit Awards taking home five including Best Feature, Best Director for Steve McQueen, Best  Supporting Female for Lupita Nyong’o, Best Screenplay for John Ridley and Best Cinematography for Sean Bobbitt.  

In an eloquent speech, Nyong’o said she realized after taking an independent film class in college that “independent film is where stuff actually happens — stuff that matters.”

The only other film to win more than one award was “Dallas Buyers Club,” which won for lead actor Matthew McConaughy and supporting actor Jared Leto.

Leto’s speech included a thank-you to “all the women I’ve been with, and all the women who think they’ve been with me,” and another to “my future ex-wife — Lupita, I’m thinking of you.”

In the first 28 years of the Spirit Awards’ existence, its best-feature winner went on to take the top Oscar only twice: “Platoon”in 1988, and “The Artist” in 2012.  Other recent winners include “Black Swan,” “Precious,” “The Wrestler,” “Juno” and 2013’s top film, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

“Fruitvale Station” won the award for Best First Feature, with director Ryan Coogler drawing a standing ovation with his emotional speech pointing out other cases similar to the one depicted in his film, in which a young, unarmed black man was gunned down by transit police in Northern California.

Bob Nelson won the Best First Screenplay award for “Nebraska,” which he wrote about 10 years ago while working in television in Seattle.

“Blue Is the Warmest Color” won the award for the best international film, and “20 Feet From Stardom” was named best documentary.

The John Cassavetes Award, which goes to an ultra low-budget film, went to Chad Haritgan for the understated study “This Is Martin Bonner,” which Hartigan said was made for $42,000.

The show was hosted by Patton Oswalt, whose opening monologue drew a few groans and very little laughter.

Here is the list of nominees. Winners indicated by *WINNER.

Best Feature:

“12 Years a Slave”  *WINNER
“All Is Lost”
“Frances Ha”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Nebraska”

Best Director:
Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”
J.C. Chandor, “All is Lost”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”  *WINNER
Jeff Nichols, “Mud”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

Best Screenplay:
Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine”
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater, “Before Midnight”
Nicole Holofcener, “Enough Said”
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, “The Spectacular Now”
John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”  *WINNER

Best Female Lead:
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” *WINNER
Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight”
Gaby Hoffman, “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”  *WINNER
Robert Redford, “All Is Lost”

Best Supporting Female:
Melonie Diaz, “Fruitvale Station”
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” *WINNER
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” *WINNER
Keith Stanfield, “Short Term 12”

Best First Feature:
“Blue Caprice”
“Concussion”
“Fruitvale Station” *WINNER
“Una Noche”
“Wadjda”

Best First Screenplay:
“In a World,” Lake Bell
“Don Jon,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt
“Nebraska,” Bob Nelson *WINNER
“Afternoon Delight,” Jill Soloway
“The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” Michael Starrbury

John Cassavetes Award:
“Computer Chess”
“Crystal Fairy”
“Museum Hours”
“Pit Stop”
“This Is Martin Bonner”  *WINNER

Best Cinematography:
Sean Bobbit, “12 Years a Slave”  *WINNER
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”  *WINNER

Best Documentary:
“20 Feet From Stardom”  *WINNER
“After Tiller”
“Gideon’s Army”
“The Act of Killing”
“The Square”

Best International Film:
“A Touch of Sin”
“Blue Is the Warmest Color”  *WINNER
“Gloria”
“The Great Beauty”
“The Hunt”

Robert Altman Award (given to a film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast): “Mud”
Piaget Producers Award: Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston
Someone to Watch Award: “Newlyweeds,” Shake King
Truer Than Fiction Award: “Let the Fire Burn,” Jason Osder

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

Countdown to Oscar: Best Picture Prediction

As we countdown to Oscar Sunday, it is safe to say that everyone has a good idea of what their list of winners will be.  Mine?  I choose "12 Years A Slave" as the Best Picture and this is why...Slavery, like any other historical injustice is always very uncomfortable to watch for Afircan-Americans or anyone else.  However, it is a part of our history we should NEVER forget.  This is the first film since watching the Alex Haley mini-series ROOTS that I felt the actors were not just portraying "slaves", but real, live human beings who had families, feelings and aspirations to become more than society wanted us to experience.  Of course, this is just my opinion and thanks to people like Solomon Northrup, Martin Luther King, Jr, Ghandi, Malcolm X, Jesse Jackson and many others,  I am free to express just that...an opinion as a free person in America.  Feel free to click on the link below and watch an Academy Q&A with nominated Director - Steve McQueen20140223-004204.jpg 12 year q&A

Also...tune into www.UBNradio.com for our special broadcast from the Dolby Theatre on Oscar Sunday, March 2nd

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

...And The Awards Race is On

With the 2014 Golden Globes right around the corner this Sunday, January 12th and with nomination announcements from the PGA (Producers Guild Association), WGA (Writer's Guild Association), SAG (Screen Actors Guild Awards), TMC (The Movie Critics  Choice Awards) and BAFTA's (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), I thought this would be a good time to look at who has the best chance of snagging Oscar noms on January 16th. Leading the pack of nominations is the Steve McQueen directed true life story of Solomon Northrup - "12 Years A Slave"  and  Director David O' Russell's " American Hustle" .   Right behind them are "Captain Phillips", "Gravity", "Philomena", "Saving Mr. Banks", "Wolf of  Wall Street", "Blue Jasmine", "Rush", "Inside Llewyn Davis", "Nebraska", "The Butler", "August:  Osage County", "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Her".  Almost all of these films began their awards journey at Sundance this same time last year.

Actors with multiple nominations include...Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita N'yongo, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Emma Thompson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Daniel Bruhl, Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Oprah Winfrey, Matthew McConaughy and Jared Leto.

In the world of animation, "Despicable Me 2", "Frozen" and "Monsters University" are cleaning up noms along with the documentaries "20 Feet From Stardom", "Blackfish" and "The Armstong Lie".

So without going into the insanely long list of how many each project has received, I will go straight to my predictions for this 2014 season...

Best Director - Since Scorsese and Allen have had numerous awards bestowed upon them throughout the years, I think it is safe to say that this year it will be a very intense horse race between Steve McQueen and David O'Russell.

Best Picture/Film - Y'all...2013 was by far the best year for cinema that I have witnessed in quite some time.  However, with some of these films, the acting was better than the actual film.  For that reason, I feel like "12 Years A Slave" should win, but since "Gravity" was the highest grossing dramatic film of 2013 and just won The People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Movie it has a pretty good shot at taking home the prize.

Best Actor - Due to the stellar performances of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce Dern, Robert Redford, Matthew McConaughy, Tom Hanks, Forest Whittaker, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joaquin Phoenix it is soooo incredibly hard to choose just one.  However, my guess is that if sentimentality goes with the legends -- Forest, Tom, Bruce and Robert will be duking it out.  If not, then I say it's real tight race between Ejiofor and McConaughy.

Best Actress - Seriously, they should just call this category "The Meryl" 'cause she just chews up the scenery  in every role she inhabits on-screen.  Having said that, although Meryl "should' and "deserves to take it yet again...I would suffice to say that it may very well be a fight to the finish between Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Oprah Winfrey and Sandra Bullock.

Best Supporting Actor - There are a multitude of great performances in this category notably by Barkhad Abdi and Jared Leto.  It's safe to say that Jared Leto totally has this category on lockdown.  His performance in "Dallas Buyers Club" is the role of a lifetime.

Best Supporting Actress - In my opinion, this is probably the toughest category of them all with stellar performances by June Squibb, Lupita N'yongo, Julia Roberts, Sally Hawkins and Jennifer Lawrence.  However, it would be a surprise if Lupita N'yongo didn't sweep this.

Much to my disappointment, neither "Fruitvale Station", director Ryan Coogler or its stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer were recognized for their stellar work.  It's a small film that I feel got lost in the shuffle of many good films released in 2013.

Although Dane DeHaan is a BAFTA Rising Star nominee (as is Lupita N'yongo) for his role in the indie "Kill Your Darlings", he has been overlooked right along with Margo Maritndale and Julianne Nicholson in "August:  Osage County".  I was also a little salty that Allison Janney and Greg Kinnear's work in the highly touted "The Way, Way Back" wasn't recognized, but again this was a really competitive year for film.

So here are all the dates and know that I will be tweeting live for each one under my twitter handle @CaRenata.

Here we go...

January 12    THE GOLDEN GLOBES

January 16th  ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT and 1st Day of SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

January 19th  PRODUCERS GUILD AWARDS

January 25th  DIRECTORS GUILD AWARDS

February 1st  WRITERS GUILD AWARDS

February 12th BAFTA AWARDS

March 2nd      OSCARS!!!!