‘Precious,’ ‘Last Station’ Top Spirit Awards Nominations

Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics tied for first, with seven nominations each.


Lee Daniels’ “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” and Michael Hoffman’s “The Last Station” topped the list of the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations, it was announced Tuesday morning.

Each had five nominations, including Best Feature and Best Director.   
As for distributors, Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics tied for first, with seven nominations each.  Several of the nominated films, including "October Country" and "Easier with Practice," have no current distribution, 
Selected from 240 submissions, winners will be unveiled at a late-night celebration on March 5, 2010, at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.
Other nominees for Best Feature include “(500) Days of Summer,” “Amreeka” and “Sin Nombre.”  The Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man” did not receive a Best Feature nomination, but the Coens were nominated for Best Director, cinematographer Roger Deakins received a nomination, and the film was selected for the Robert Altman Award, which is given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.   
Nominees in the Best First Feature award include "A Single Man," "Crazy Heart," "Easier with Practice," "Paranormal Activity" and "The Messenger."  
In the lead acting categories, expected Oscar nominees Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"), Colin Firth ("A Single Man"), Helen Mirren ("The Last Station") and Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious") will go up against dark horses Joseph Gordon-Levitt ("(500) Days of Summer"), Souleymane Sy Savane ("Goodbye Solo") and Nisreen Faour ("Amreeka").  
Nominees in the supporting categories include Mo'Nique for "Precious," Woody Harrelson for "The Messenger," Christian McKay for "Me and Orson Welles," Christopher Plummer for "The Last Station" and Flight of the Conchords singer/actor Jemaine Clement for "Gentlemen Broncos."
Of the Spirit Awards’ 13 categories, nominees in 11 were selected by a 14-person committee chaired by producer Stephanie Allain.  Separate committees selected nominees in the Documentary Feature and Foreign Feature categories.
Among those nominated for Best Documentary was "Anvil! The Story of Anvil," which was left off the shortlist for the Academy Awards, as well as "Food, Inc.," which is still in the running at the Oscars.  Another controversial Academy loser, Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story," did not make the Spirits Awards list, either.
The Best Foreign Film award nominees include "An Education," "A Prophet," "Everlasting Moments," "Mother" and "The Maid."  "A Prophet" and "Mother" are official foreign-language Oscar submissions, while "An Education" is a strong contender in many categories.
Five films were nominated for the John Cassavetes Award, for productions under $500,000: "Big Fan," "Humpday," "The New Year Parade," "Treeless Mountain and "Zero Bridge."
Among the missing nominees: "The Hurt Locker," one of the most acclaimed films of the year. It actually was in the running last year, after a film festival screening late in the year, and received a pair of nominations, for actor Jeremy Renner and supporting actor Anthony Mackie. 
This year's move downtown breaks a 15-year Spirit Awards tradition of holding the show in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica the afternoon before the Academy Awards. 
The show will still take place in a tent, but miles from the beach and in the evening two days before the Oscars.  
Following, the full list of nominees:
 
BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not listed)
(500) Days Of Summer
Producers: Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J. Wolfe
Amreeka
Producers: Paul Barkin, Christina Piovesan
Precious
Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness
Sin Nombre
Producer: Amy Kaufman
The Last Station
Producers: Bonnie Arnold, Chris Curling, Jens Meuer
BEST DIRECTOR
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
A Serious Man
Lee Daniels
Precious
Cary Joji Fukunaga
Sin Nombre
James Gray
Two Lovers
Michael Hoffman
The Last Station
BEST SCREENPLAY
Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman
The Messenger
Michael Hoffman
The Last Station
Lee Toland Krieger
The Vicious Kind
Greg Mottola
Adventureland
Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
(500) Days Of Summer
BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
A Single Man
Director: Tom Ford
Producers: Tom Ford, Andrew Miano, Robert Salerno, Chris Weitz
Crazy Heart
Director: Scott Cooper
Producers: T Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo, Rob Carliner, Scott Cooper, Robert Duvall
Easier With Practice
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Producer: Cookie Carosella
Paranormal Activity
Director: Oren Peli
Producer: Jason Blum, Oren Peli
The Messenger
Director: Oren Moverman
Producers: Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Sophie Barthes
Cold Souls
Scott Cooper
Crazy Heart
Cherien Dabis
Amreeka
Geoffrey Fletcher
Precious
Tom Ford, David Scearce
A Single Man
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director, and producer.  Executive Producers are not listed
Big Fan
Writer/Director: Robert Siegel
Producers: Elan Bogarin, Jean Kouremetis
Humpday
Writer/Director/Producer: Lynn Shelton
 
The New Year Parade
Writer/Director: Tom Quinn
Producers: Steve Beal, Tom Quinn
Treeless Mountain
Writer/Director: So Yong Kim
Producers: Bradley Rust Gray, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy
Zero Bridge
Writer/Director: Tariq Tapa
Producers: Josée Lajoie, Hilal Ahmed Langoo, Tariq Tapa
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Maria Bello
Downloading Nancy
Nisreen Faour
Amreeka
Helen Mirren
The Last Station
Gwyneth Paltrow
Two Lovers
Gabourey Sidibe
Precious
BEST MALE LEAD
Jeff Bridges
Crazy Heart
Colin Firth
A Single Man
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
(500) Days Of Summer
Souléymane Sy Savané
Goodbye Solo
Adam Scott
The Vicious Kind
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Dina Korzun
Cold Souls
Mo’Nique
Precious
Samantha Morton
The Messenger
Natalie Press
Fifty Dead Men Walking
Mia Wasikowska
That Evening Sun
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Jemaine Clement
Gentlemen Broncos
Woody Harrelson
The Messenger
Christian McKay
Me and Orson Welles
Raymond McKinnon
That Evening Sun
Christopher Plummer
The Last Station
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins
A Serious Man
Adriano Goldman
Sin Nombre
Anne Misawa
Treeless Mountain
Andrij Parekh
Cold Souls
Peter Zeitlinger
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Food, Inc.
Director: Robert Kenner
More Than A Game
Director: Kristopher Belman
October Country
Directors: Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri
Which Way Home
Director: Rebecca Cammisa
BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)
A Prophet
(France)
Director: Jacques Audiard
An Education
(UK/France)
Director: Lone Scherfig
Everlasting Moments
(Sweden)
Director: Jan Troell
Mother
(South Korea)
Director: Bong Joon-Ho
The Maid
(Chile)
Director: Sebastián Silva
ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 16th annual Acura Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Acura.
Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Easier With Practice
Asiel Norton
Redland
Tariq Tapa
Zero Bridge
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 15th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.
Natalia Almada
El General
Jessica Oreck
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo
Bill Ross, Turner Ross
45365
PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 13th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Karin Chien
The Exploding Girl, Santa Mesa
Larry Fessenden
I Sell the Dead, The House of the Devil
Dia Sokol
Beeswax, Nights & Weekends
 ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
A Serious Man
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  
Casting Directors: Ellen Chenoweth, Rachel Tenner
 
Ensemble Cast: Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Jessica McManus, Fred Melamed, Michael Stuhlbarg, Aaron Wolff
 BY DISTRIBUTOR 
DISTRIBUTOR
FILM TITLE(S)
# OF NOMINATIONS
Fox Searchlight
(500) Days Of Summer, Crazy Heart, Gentlemen Broncos
7
Sony Pictures Classics
An Education, The Last Station, A Prophet
7
Focus Features
A Serious Man, Sin Nombre
6
Lionsgate
More Than A Game, Precious
6
Oscilloscope Laboratories
The Messenger, Treeless Mountain
6
Magnolia Pictures
Food, Inc., Humpday, Mother, Two Lovers
5
Freestyle Releasing
Me and Orson Welles, That Evening Sun
3
National Geographic Entertainment
Amreeka
3
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Cold Souls
3
The Weinstein Company
A Single Man
3
72nd Street Productions
The Vicious Kind
2
Abramaorama Films
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
1
Carnivaleque Films
The New Year Parade
1
Elephant Eye Films
The Maid
1
First Independent Pictures
Big Fan
1
First Look Pictures
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
1
IFC Films
Everlasting Moments
1
HBO Documentary Films
Which Way Home
1
Miramax
Adventureland
1
Paramount Pictures
Paranormal Activity
1
Phase 4 Films
Fifty Dead Men Walking
1
Roadside Attractions
Goodbye Solo
1
Strand Releasing
Downloading Nancy
1
No Distributor
October Country
1
No Distributor
Easier With Practice
1
No Distributor
Zero Bridge
1
 35 FILMS NOMINATED
TOTALS PER FILM 
FILM TITLE
# OF NOMINATIONS
The Last Station
5
Precious
5
The Messenger
4
(500) Days Of Summer
3
Amreeka
3
Cold Souls
3
Crazy Heart
3
A Serious Man
3
A Single Man
3
Sin Nombre
3
That Evening Sun
2
Treeless Mountain
2
Two Lovers
2
The Vicious Kind
2
Fifty Dead Men Walking
1
Adventureland
1
An Education
1
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
1
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
1
Big Fan
1
Downloading Nancy
1
Easier With Practice
1
Everlasting Moments
1
Food, Inc.
1
Gentlemen Broncos
1
Goodbye Solo
1
Humpday
1
The Maid
1
Me and Orson Welles
1
More Than A Game
1
Mother
1
The New Year Parade
1
October Country
1
Paranormal Activity
1
A Prophet
1
Which Way Home
1
Zero Bridge
1