"Bernie" takes place in small-town Texas, where the local mortician (Male Lead nominee Jack Black) strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when he kills her, he goes to great lengths to create the illusion that she's alive. Directed by Richard Linklater, who has five previous Spirit Award nominations.
In "Beasts of the Southern Wild," faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy (Female Lead nominee Quvenzhane Wallis) must learn the ways of courage and love. Directed by Benh Zeitlin.
In "Moonrise Kingdom," a pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them. Directed by Wes Anderson, who won a Spirit Award for directing "Rushmore."
In "Silver Linings Playbook," After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano (Male Lead nominee Bradley Cooper) moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Female Lead nominee Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own. Directed by two-time Spirit Award winner David O. Russell.
"Keep the Lights On" takes place in Manhattan, where filmmaker Erik (Male Lead nominee Thure Lindhardt) bonds with closeted lawyer Paul after a fling. As their relationship becomes one fueled by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries while being true to himself. Directed by Ira Sachs, who is also nominated for directing and writing the film.