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Live From The Indie Spirit Awards: Black Swan Dominates, Winners Talk (UPDATE)

We are live on the beaches of Santa Monica for the 2011 Indie Spirit Awards. It's a sunny but blistering February afternoon. The clouds will likely roll in as the show starts at 2 pm. Winners will be ushered into the press tent to give their last comments before tomorrow's season-finale Oscar showdown. Check back for live updates. Here is the complete list of nominees.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 26, 2011 9:43 AM
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Indie Spirits Preview: Back to Beach with Host McHale; Oscar Nominees Favored to Win; Hudson Talks

It's back to the beach in Santa Monica (amid threats of rain) for the 26th edition of the Independent Spirit Awards, which are voted on by some 5000 members of Film Independent, and take place the Saturday before the Oscars. It won't be hard for first-time host Joel McHale (The Soup, Spy Kids 4, see video below) to improve on last year's Eddie Izzard, who phoned in his duties without seeming to have much sense of the smart indies in the room during 2010's one-off move downtown to LA Live. Former R-rated hosts John Waters, Sarah Silverman and Rainn Wilson honed in on the right vibe for this crowd. Here's the list of presenters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2011 2:42 AM
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Oscar Votes Due Friday, Packed Golden Globes Party Weekend

Oscar Votes Due Friday, Packed Golden Globes Party Weekend
My pals in the Academy are filling out their ballots. One costume designer has already sent hers in. Ira Deutchman, in New York, anxiously hopes that his mailed ballot gets to PricewaterhouseCoopers on time, by 5 PM Friday, January 14 (nominations will be announced January 25). Which raises the question: why doesn't the Academy have online Oscar voting? I voted for the Broadcast Critics Choice Awards easily and effortlessly via their website. Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger answered my query thus:The Academy has and continues to explore ways to allow our members to securely vote electronically some day. But there’s no timetable for that endeavor and I don’t know when it might come fruition.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2011 9:22 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Award Circuit Winners and Nominees, Interviews, Actors and More

AWARDS
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 4, 2010 12:21 AM
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Lesley Manville Talks Another Year, Mike Leigh

Of all the descriptions I've heard from various folks about the famed Mike Leigh process--whereby the writer-director starts at zero with a troupe of actors and winds up after a lengthy workshop period with a solid character-driven screenplay--long-term Leigh veteran Lesley Manville (All or Nothing, Topsy-Turvy) does it best. The actress is celebrating her first win, from the National Board of Review, for the role of a boozy sad-sack in Leigh's latest, Another Year. More may follow: the Academy voters have rewarded Leigh and his actors many times in the past.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 7:24 AM
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Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review

This week Kris Tapley, indieWIRE's Peter Knegt and I analyze the impact of the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirit noms, the National Board of Review and the Coens' finally viewed and reviewed True Grit on the awards race. Kris went to the Inception DVD/Oscar party (so did Amy Dawes). It's a contender--but 127 Hours could be a little shaky.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 6:12 AM
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With Four Indie Spirit Nominations, Rabbit Hole Debuts New Poster and Clips

Lionsgate's Rabbit Hole opens December 17 and just released a new poster and clips (below). The film has just been nominated for four Indie Spirit Awards, including John Cameron Mitchell (Best Director), David Lindsay-Abaire (Best Screenplay), and Nicole Kidman (Best Female Lead) and Aaron Eckhart (Best Male Lead), boosting its Oscar buzz. I listened to Mitchell and Eckhart's Q & A at the AFI's enthusiastically applauded screening on November 8. Mitchell said that if a piece of art deals with a heavy subject matter, it ideally should contribute to someone’s ability to deal with - not just reinforce - the misery of the situation. “Hopefully this [film] is a set of tools in learning how to deal with this,” he said, hoping that none of us experience the loss of a child but recognizing that we all inevitably deal with death. “That’s what art is for,” he said, “you watch someone else going through it and you’re able to purge it by proxy. Art can cleanse you by going through the rabbit hole and coming back to the light.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 1, 2010 6:54 AM
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Independent Spirit Nominations: Winter's Bone, Black Swan, The Kids Are All Right Head for Oscars

Independent Spirit Nominations: Winter's Bone, Black Swan, The Kids Are All Right Head for Oscars
"See you at the beach," said Jeremy Renner after announcing the Independent Spirit nominations. To the relief of Indie Spirit regulars, the annual Independent Spirit Awards will be returning to a tent in Santa Monica on February 26.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 30, 2010 3:56 AM
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Big Indie News Week: Gotham Winners, Indie Spirit Noms, Sundance Line-Up, Board of Review

It's a big indie news week. The Gotham Awards are Monday night; indieWIRE will live-blog from backstage. I'm opting to attend a screening of a highly anticipated year-end release so that I can write about it for a Wednesday embargo.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 29, 2010 9:32 AM
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Oscar Watch: Considering Tilda Swinton for I Am Love

Oscar Watch: Considering Tilda Swinton for I Am Love
Thanks to Jeff Wells for asking me to address where Tilda Swinton stands in relation to the Best Actress Oscar race for the Italian import I Am Love. The only way for Swinton--who is admired by critics and art house audiences alike-- to make the best actress Oscar grade this year for I Am Love (which played the fest circuit before opening in June), is for critics to make a fuss over her in their year-end wraps and ten-best lists, and for critics groups and the Golden Globes to reward her with prizes and nominations and thus turn the screener into a must-see for SAG and Academy actors. Swinton has been nominated once (and won, for Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2010 8:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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