Indie Spirits snubs: ‘The Imitation Game,’ ‘Wild,’ …

The Indie Spirit Awards are restricted to American fare that costs less than $20 million. Among those films eligible for consideration that were snubbed entirely in Tuesday’s announcement of nominations are three hot Oscar prospects: “The Imitation Game,” “Wild” and “The Homesman.” And two other Oscar hopefuls — “Big Eyes” and “Still Alice” — had to make do with a single bid apiece.

Indie Spirit nominations:
‘Birdman’ leads with 6; ‘Boyhood,’ ‘Nightcrawler,’ ‘Selma’ at 5 each

While it might seem strange that the British-themed WWII drama “The Imitation Game” was even in the running, the criteria set out by Film Independent dictate that two of the three key creatives (in this case screenwriter Graham Moore and producer Harvey Weinstein) are American. Alternatively, the film must be set stateside with at least 70% of the funding coming from an American source (that is how Weinstein got “The Artist” a slew of Spirit Awards back in 2011.) 

That Reese Witherspoon, who shephered Fox Searchlight’s “Wild” to the screen after reading Cheryl Strayed‘s memoir in galley form, was left off the Best Actress list is inexplicable. Instead, the committee nominated another Oscar champ, Marion Cotillard, for the little-seen “The Immigrant.” “Wild” director Jean-Marc Vallee has no luck with the Spirits; he was snubbed last year for “Dallas Buyers Club” despite helming two winning performances (Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto).

And two-time Oscar champ Hilary Swank should have been another shoo-in for a Best Actress bid for her jaw-dropping performance in Tommy Lee JonesThe Homesman” (Roadside Attraction). After all, one of the first awards that Swank ever won was this one for “Boys Don’t Cry” back in 1999.  

Indie Spirit Awards: Complete list of nominations

Perhaps these films ran afoul of the nominating guidelines that govern the committee: 

Uniqueness of vision;
Original, provocative subject matter;
Economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost and individual compensation); and 
Percentage of financing from independent sources.

Among the other headscratchers was the decision by the committee to bestow special awards on two films that exceeded the budget limitation — Bennett Miller‘s “Foxcatcher” (Sony Pictures Classics) and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Inherent Vice” (Warner Bros.) — but shun Wes Anderson‘s likewise ineligible “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Fox Searchlight). This one-time darling of the indie set has racked up five Spirit nominations over the years (including two Best Picture bids) and won Best Director for “Rushmore” back in 1998. 

4 thoughts on “Indie Spirits snubs: ‘The Imitation Game,’ ‘Wild,’ …

  1. Do you really think Reese Witherspoon got snubbed? Are you serious? The fact that she was left off the Best Actress list not only isn’t inexplicable, it’s in fact totally understandable. Her performance in the film wasn’t even worthy of a nomination. I really don’t want to sound mean, but I certainly belong to that long list of people who truly know about the art of acting as well as the art of cinema and I must admit that I’m extremely happy about watching Reese Witherspoon being snubbed for Wild. Having seen the film in a screening, I must say that her work there, whille really good, is far from Oscar-worthy. Watching her being snubbed in favor of sublime work (and truly Oscar-worthy work) by an actress as immensely talented as the greatest actress of all time, the one and only Marion Cotillard for her mesmerizing turn as Ewa Cybulska in The Immigrant makes me more than happy. I’m really over the moon. Bringing groundbreaking talents for towering work in front and snubbing Oscar vehicle turns by limited actors always feels great! I’m super happy about watching the brilliant Marion Cotillard being nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her insuperable performance as Ewa Cyluska in The Immigrant! She should sweep all the awards with her immensely powerful and hauntingly beautiful work in Gray’s film. Any list of Best Actress contenders would look empty without the incomparable Marion Cotillard of either The Immigrant or Two Days, One Night in the lead. Both performances should be considered among the 10 greatest performances ever put on film. She gave the absolute best female performance of the year (Two Days, One Night) and the absolute second best female performance of the year (The Immigrant) at the same year!!! I really never remember that happening again in the history of the world. I’ll be more than thrilled to watch her win a second Oscar for either.

  2. SamEckmann I guess you get it, I don’t know if Academy voters get it, because if they don’t, something’s deeply wrong with The Oscars in out times. If the INSUPERABLE Marion Cotillard isn’t going to score at least a nomination for either The Immigrant or Two Days, One Night, there will be an uproar, that’s for sure. And I don’t think there’s a person with a brain that will buy the split voting bullshit. At least one of her TWO LEGENDARY PERFORMANCES should end up at least being nominated. Otherwise, I don’t see why there has to be a Best Actress In A Leading Role category at The 87th Academy Awards ceremony.

  3. The Imitation Game is not as big of an Oscar contender as people think. Will it be nominated? Most likely, but the thing is, it only has a a 71 on Metacritic and an 85% with a 7.3 average rating on RT. Most people think it’s a flawed movie. The less people like a movie, the less likely they are to vote for it. What makes me think it’s staying is that it has high user ratings on IMDb.

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