While Oscars frontrunner “Boyhood” picked up five bids for the Independent Spirit Awards, it was “Birdman” that led with six when nominations were announced Tuesday. Other films with five nods apiece were “Nightcrawler” and “Selma” while “Love Is Strange” and “Whiplash” earned four each. All but “Nightcrawler” contend for Best Picture at the 30th annual edition of these kudos; that film by writer/director Dan Gilroy is up for the First Feature award.
Only American feature film nominees with budgets under $20 million were eligible for consideration. The domestic requirement ruled out “The Theory of Everything” while the fiscal ceiling kept “Foxcatcher,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Inherent Vice” from contending. However, the committee that decides the nominations bestowed a Special Distinction Award on the cast and creative team behind “Foxcatcher” and the Robert Altman Award to those involved in “Inherent Vice.”
All four of our Oscar frontrunners for acting reaped bids: leads Michael Keaton (“Birdman”) and Julianne Moore (“Still Alice“) and supporting players J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”) and Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”). Last year, all four Oscar champs — Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) and Lupita Nyongo (“12 Years a Slave”) — prevailed here first as did Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave.”
Winners will be chosen by members of Film Independent. The prizes will be handed out on Feb. 21, one day before the Oscars during an afternoon ceremony on Santa Monica. For the first time, this kudocast will air live on IFC.
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