"Birdman" "Boyhood," "Selma" and "Nightcrawler" lead this year's Independent Spirit Award nominations, announced Tuesday afternoon. Rosario Dawson and Diego Luna revealed the list for the 30th annual awards in Hollywood.
Those four movies, along with "Whiplash" and "Love is Strange," held onto expectations that they'd make sizable showings in the 2015 Indie Spirit crop. "The Imitation Game," "Wild," "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" and "St. Vincent" were shut out entirely, while "Foxcatcher" netted the Special Distinction Award but was ineligible in other categories.
Often seen as sending awards season into hyperdrive, the Indie Spirit Awards are the first major nominations announced each year. They champion American films made for less than $20 million, which allow certain movies too low-key or off-kilter for the Oscars' radar to earn awards glory.
This year's nominees include Jenny Slate ("Obvious Child"), Jake Gyllenhaal ("Nightcrawler") and John Lithgow ("Love is Strange"), all of whom have notched spots on Oscar wish lists but are unlikely to prevail when the Academy Award nods arrive on Jan. 15. Indie Spirit trends have shifted in recent years, however, with the nominees more closely reflecting the Oscars. Last year, all four acting awards echoed the Oscar recipients (Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o) for the first time in the awards' history. Julianne Moore ("Still Alice"), Michael Keaton ("Birdman") and Patricia Arquette ("Boyhood") are among this year's nominees widely expected to garner Oscar attention as well.
Read on for the full list of Independent Spirit nominees. The awards will be handed out on Feb. 21, the night before the Oscars.
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
"Love is Strange"
Damien Chazelle, "Whiplash"
Ava DuVernay, "Selma"
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
David Zellner, "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter"
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, "Big Eyes"
J.C. Chandor, "A Most Violent Year"
Dan Gilroy, "Nightcrawler"
Jim Jarmusch, "Only Lovers Left Alive"
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, "Love is Strange"
BEST FIRST FEATURE
"A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" (Director: Ana Lily Amirpour; Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah)
"Dear White People" (Director/Producer: Justin Simien; Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe)
"Nightcrawler" (Director: Dan Gilroy; Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak)
"Obvious Child" (Director: Gillian Robespierre; Producer: Elisabeth Holm)
"She's Lost Control" (Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt; Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones)
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Desiree Akhavan, "Appropriate Behavior"
Sara Colangelo, "Little Accidents"
Justin Lader, "The One I Love"
Anja Marquardt, "She's Lost Control"
Justin Simien, "Dear White People"
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)
"It Felt Like Love"
"Man From Reno
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Marion Cotillard, "The Immigrant"
Rinko Kikuchi, "Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter"
Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"
Jenny Slate, "Obvious Child"
Tilda Swinton, "Only Lovers Left Alive"
BEST MALE LEAD
André Benjamin, "Jimi: All Is By My Side"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"
Michael Keaton, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
John Lithgow, "Love is Strange"
David Oyelowo, "Selma"
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Jessica Chastain, "A Most Violent Year"
Carmen Ejogo, "Selma"
Andrea Suarez Paz, "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors"
Emma Stone, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Riz Ahmed, "Nightcrawler"
Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood"
Alfred Molina, "Love is Strange"
Edward Norton, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"
Darius Khondji, "The Immigrant"
Emmanuel Lubezki, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Sean Porter, "It Felt Like Love"
Lyle Vincent, "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night"
Bradford Young, "Selma"
Sandra Adair, "Boyhood"
Tom Cross, "Whiplash"
John Gilroy, "Nightcrawler"
Ron Patane, "A Most Violent Year"
Adam Wingard, "The Guest"
"20,000 Days on Earth"
"The Salt of the Earth"
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
"Force Majeure" (Sweden)
"Norte, the End of History" (Philippines)
"Under the Skin" (United Kingdom)
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis
Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon
SPECIAL DISTINCTION AWARD
Director/Producer: Bennett Miller
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik
Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum
18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD (Honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films)
21st ANNUAL KIEHL'S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Ana Lily Amirpour, "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night"
Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia, "H."
Chris Eska, "The Retrieval"
20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD (Presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition)
Amanda Rose Wilder, "Approaching the Elephant"
Darius Clark Monroe, "Evolution of a Criminal"
Dan Krauss, "The Kill Team"