'Carol,' Jason Segel And 'Tangerine' Get Oscar Boosts Thanks To Indie Spirit Nominations

"Spotlight" and "Beats of No Nation" also fared well.

As the primary Oscar contenders continue to flood theaters, the Independent Spirit Awards are kicking off the top-tier film accolades. Announced Tuesday, the nominations showcase a slew of obvious Oscar players: "Carol" leads with six recognitions, while "Beasts of No Nation" has five and "Spotlight" boasts four. But more importantly for an award show recently criticized for echoing the Academy Awards too closely, they include a handful of films that aren't likely to make the Oscars' shortlist, namely "Tangerine," "It Follows" and "The End of the Tour," among others. 

The Indie Spirit Awards, which take place the day before the Oscars, have lately been seen as a glorified dress rehearsal for the more prestigious prizes. Last year, all four acting trophies went to the same people who scored Oscars, and this year, three of the four categories resulted in repeat victors. 

Intended to honor less mainstream fare, the Spirit Awards exalt American films with budgets that don't exceed $20 million, which is why Oscar favorites like "The Danish Girl" -- primarily a British-produced project -- and "The Martian" -- made for more than $100 million -- are ineligible. 

Because they're the first major nominations announced (the Gotham Award nods came out last month, but those are a blip on the season's radar), the Indie Spirit Awards are the first prizes that could influence the race. That means such second-tier contenders as Abraham Attah ("Beasts of No Nation"), Jason Segel ("The End of the Tour"), Bel Powley ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl"), Paul Dano ("Love & Mercy") and Cary Fukunaga (the director of"Beasts of No Nation") just got boosts in their campaigns. Others whose names haven't been part of the early prognostications -- Ben Mendelsohn ("Mississippi Grind"), Kevin Corrigan ("Results"), Marin Ireland ("Glass Chin") -- are able to secure what is likely one of their few nominations of the season, given those movies' low profiles. 

Below is the full list of Independent Spirit Award nominations. The event will be telecast live on IFC on Feb. 27.

Best Feature
“Beasts of No Nation”

Best Director
Cary Joji Fukunaga – “Beasts of No Nation”
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson – “Anomalisa”
David Robert Mitchell – “It Follows”
Sean Baker – “Tangerine”
Todd Haynes – “Carol”
Tom McCarthy – “Spotlight”

Best Female Lead
Bel Powley – “Diary of a Teenage Girl”
Brie Larson – "Room"
Cate Blanchett – “Carol”
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez – “Tangerine”
Rooney Mara – “Carol”

Best Male Lead
Abraham Attah – “Beasts of No Nation”
Ben Mendelsohn – “Mississippi Grind”
Christopher Abbott – “James White”
Jason Segel – “The End of the Tour”
Kudos Seihon – “Mediterranea”

Best Supporting Female
Cynthia Nixon – “James White”
Jennifer Jason Leigh – “Anomalisa”
Marin Ireland – “Glass Chin”
Mya Taylor – “Tangerine”
Robin Bartlett – “H.”

Best Supporting Male
Idris Elba – “Beasts of No Nation”
Kevin Corrigan – “Results”
Michael Shannon – “99 Homes”
Paul Dano – “Love & Mercy”
Richard Jenkins – “Bone Tomahawk” 

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman – “Anomalisa”
Donald Marguiles – “The End of the Tour”
Phyllis Nagy – “Carol”
S. Craig Zahler – “Bone Tomahawk”
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer – “Spotlight”

Best Cinematography
Cary Joji Fukunaga – “Beasts of No Nation”
Ed Lachman – “Carol”
Joshua James Richards – “Songs My Brothers Taught Me”
Michael Gioulakis – “It Follows”
Reed Morano – “Meadowland”

Best Documentary
“Best of Enemies”
“Heart of a Dog”
“The Look of Silence”
“The Russian Woodpecker”

Best Film Editing
Julio C. Perez IV – “It Follows”
Kristan Sprague – “Manos Sucias”
Nathan Nugent – “Room”
Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie – “Heaven Knows What”
Tom McArdle – “Spotlight”

Best First Feature
“James White”
“Manos Sucias”
“Songs My Brothers Taught Me”
“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”

Best First Screenplay
Emma Donoghue – “Room”
Jesse Andrews – “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, and Myna Joseph – “The Mend”
Jonas Carpignano – “Mediterranea”
Marielle Heller – “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”

Best International Film
“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”
“Embrace of the Serpent”
“Son of Saul”

John Cassavetes Award
“Christmas, Again”
“Heaven Knows What”
"Out of My Mind"

Robert Altman Award

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