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Independent Films Receive 60 Oscar Nominations

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood January 25, 2012 at 2:58PM

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."
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Tree of Life

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.

This article is related to: Oscars, Independents


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.