So, if anything, the seven Spirit nominations the movie received — including nods for film, director
More than anything, the
Given the film's universal acclaim, "12 Years'" steamroll through the Spirits was a given. But the nominations, voted on by a group of 43 people, including industry professionals and members of Film Independent's board of directors, also provided a valuable foothold for two other movies currently fighting for attention.
Alexander Payne's bittersweet family story "Nebraska" received six nominations, second to "12 Years." The movie follows a middle-aged man (
J.C. Chandor's gripping adventure tale "All Is Lost" is another big Spirits winner, receiving nominations for feature, director Chandor, cinematographer Frank G. DeMarco and, of course, its star (and only cast member), Robert Redford. The movie didn't lack for attention when it arrived in theaters last month and yet, despite reviews hailing Redford's turn as a sailor fighting for his life after his boat hits a stray shipping container in the Indian Ocean, audiences have resisted it.
"It's the title," Chandor told me at the Governors Awards earlier this month. "We should have called it 'All Is Not Lost.' People think it's hopeless."
It isn't. And, given the four Spirit noms, neither is the continued optimism that the movie might eventually find more appreciation.
Although the Spirit Awards nominations are voted on by a select group, the awards themselves are chosen by anyone who signs up for a Film Independent membership. Those with a spirited (or vested) interest in whether, say,
This egalitarian spirit has resulted in a fairly conventional slate of winners in recent years (
Glenn Whipp writes the