This year wasn't just a good year for movies about movies at the Oscars, it was a great year for independent films. The top two Oscar contenders--"Hugo," with 11 nominations, and "The Artist," with 10 nods--were both indy flicks, as were fellow Best Picture nominees "Midnight in Paris" and "The Tree of Life."
As is often the case, nominations at the top of the ballot had a certain trickle-down effect, meaning that many of the nominations in lower categories also acknowledged independent films. In the acting categories, indies came out strong, providing 6 of 10 actor nods and 5 of 10 actress noms. In directing, 4 of the 5 nominees were indy helmers, while the writing awards went 8-2 for independents.
There were surprises, too, in other categories, such as animation, for which three independent films were recognized, two of them small, hand-drawn art house faves.