‘Beginners’ & ‘The Tree of Life’ tie for Best Picture at Gotham Awards

For the first time in the 21-year history of the Gotham Independent Film Awards, there was a tie for Best Picture with “Beginners” and “The Tree of Life” sharing the prize. “Beginners” also won Best Ensemble. 

The Descendants” contended unsuccesfully in both those races. And one of its stars, Shailene Woodley, lost Breakthrough Actor to Felicity Jones (“Like Crazy”). Dee Rees won Breakthrough Director for “Pariah.” 

Martha Marcy May Marlene” also lost its three bids — Ensemble, Breakthough Actor (Elizabeth Olsen) and Breakthrough Director (Sean Durkin). 

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Last year, “Winter’s Bone” won Best Picture over, among others, “Black Swan” and “The Kids Are All Right.” All three of those films went on to contend in the top race at the Oscars. In 2009, “The Hurt Locker” won with these kudos administered by the Independent Feature Project before going on to prevail at the Academy Awards. 

BEST FEATURE
X – “Beginners
The Descendants
“Meek’s Cutoff”
Take Shelter
X – “The Tree of Life

Eligibility for this award is restricted to American films with a distributor that were made with “a economy of means.” Compare that to the rival Indie Spirits which consider only those films made for $20 million or less, which rules out “The Tree of Life” ($32 million budget) and “Midnight in Paris” ($30 million) which was snubbed by the Gothams.

BEST ENSEMBLE
X – “Beginners
“The Descendants”
Martha Marcy May Marlene” 
Margin Call
Take Shelter

BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR
X- Felicity Jones (“Like Crazy”)
Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”)
Harmony Santana (“Gun Hill Road”) 
Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”)
Jacob Wysocki (“Terri”).

BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR
Mike Cahill (“Another Earth”)
Sean Durkin (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”)
Vera Farmiga (“Higher Ground”)
Evan Glodell(“Bellflower”)
X – Dee Rees (“Pariah”)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
X – “Better This World”
“Bill Cunningham New York”
“Hell and Back Again”
“The Interrupters”
“The Woodmans” 

BEST FILM NOT PLAYING AT A THEATER NEAR YOU
“Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”
“Green”
“The Redemption of General Butt Naked”
X – “Scenes of a Crime”
“Without”

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