Phoenix and Colman movies among indie Spirit Awards nominees

Los Angeles (AFP) – Joaquin Phoenix's "C'mon C'mon" and Olivia Colman's "The Lost Daughter" were among this year's indie films to earn Spirit Award nominations on Tuesday, boosting their chances for Hollywood's upcoming prize-giving season culminating with the Oscars.


The Spirit Awards, which only consider low- and mid-budget movies, named five best feature contenders including Phoenix's black-and-white family drama, and Colman's adaptation of an Elena Ferrante novel about motherhood.

"Zola," a black comedy based on a viral Twitter thread about a part-time stripper's disastrous trip to Florida, led the overall nominations with seven.

Rounding out the best feature category were Italian-language family drama "A Chiara" and college rowing thriller "The Novice."

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are an important early marker for indie Oscar contenders. Only films made for less than $22.5 million can compete.

They are typically held the day before the Academy Awards, although the Oscars' delay this year means indie stars will gather at a beach outside Los Angeles three weeks earlier, on March 6.

That means the winners will be revealed before voting has ended for the Oscars, which will take place on March 27.

Each year, the Spirit Awards also gives the prestigious Robert Altman Award to a film's director, casting director and cast.

This year's winner, "Mass," is the harrowing tale of the fallout of a school mass shooting, in which a victim's parents attempt to find closure through sitting down with the mother and father of the attacker.

Four of the five directors nominated were women, including Maggie Gyllenhaal for "The Lost Daughter."

Like many Hollywood ceremonies, last year's Spirit Awards were forced online by the pandemic. A virtual ceremony also honored indie television for the first time.

"After being away for more than a year, IFC is ready to bring audiences back to the beach celebrating the best of film and television," said Blake Callaway, general manager of the ceremony's broadcast channel.