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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

December 1, 2009 at 10:33 AM

“Precious,” “The Last Station” lead Spirit Award noms: “Humpday,” too

Nominations for the Spirit Awards, formerly known as the Independent Spirit Awards but now known as Film Independent’s Spirit Awards (got that?) or better known as That Fun Awards Ceremony They Have On the Beach The Night Before the Oscars, were announced this morning. Two very different films came out on top, with five nominations each: Lee Daniels’ “Precious,” the tale of a young abused woman in 1980s Harlem, and Michael Hoffman’s “The Last Station,” about the later years of Leo and Sofya Tolstoy. Joining these two films in the best picture category are “(500) Days of Summer,” “Amreeka” and “Sin Nombre.” All have played Seattle theaters except “The Last Station,” which will be here in February.
Lynn Shelton’s made-in-Seattle film “Humpday” was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award (for the best feature made for under $500,000), along with “Big Fan,” “The New Year Parade,” “Treeless Mountain” and “Zero Bridge.” Shelton won the Someone to Watch Spirit Award last year, for her second feature “My Effortless Brilliance.”
Among the other nominations: I was glad to see Sacha Gervasi’s utterly winning “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” getting a nod in the documentary category after being snubbed by the Oscars, and happy to see the lovely Swedish film “Everlasting Moments” in the foreign film category. (The Spirit Awards define this category differently than the Oscars — it’s not necessarily for foreign-language films, just those made outside of the U.S. — and thus the British “An Education” is the front-runner.) And a few nominated titles intrigued me, as they haven’t opened for a run here to my knowledge: “The Vicious Kind” (nominated for screenplay and lead male actor), “That Evening Sun” (supporting male and female actor), “Downloading Nancy” (lead female actor).
The Spirit Awards will be presented Friday, March 5 — two nights before the Oscars, in a break from tradition. Often the nominations overlap with the Oscars; we’ll see, when the Academy Award nominations are announced Feb. 2.

Gabourey Sidibe, nominated for lead female actor for “Precious” (photo by Ann Marie Fox, courtesy of Lionsgate Films)

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