2012 Indie Spirit Award Nominations Led by 'Moonrise Kingdom' and 'Silver Linings Playbook'

2012 Spirit Award NominationsNominations for the 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced today and were led by Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook with five nominations each followed closely by fellow Best Feature nominees Beasts of the Southern Wild and Keep the Lights On as well as Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere, each with four nominations.

Richard Linklater's Bernie was the fifth Best Feature nominee while Middle of Nowhere found its four nominations largely in the acting categories with Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo and Lorraine Toussant all being nominated and the fourth for the John Cassavetes Award, which goes to the "best" film made for under $500,000.

Looking over the list of nominees I can't help but shrug at the screenplay nomination for Ruby Sparks (a film I loathed), but it's nice to see some First Time Feature love for Colin Trevorrow's Safety Not Guaranteed and Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, both being films that should be nominated well ahead of Bernie for Best Feature.

I also love everything about the Best Supporting Male nominations with noms going to Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike), David Oyelowo (Middle of Nowhere), Michael Pena (End of Watch), Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths) and Bruce Willis (Moonrise Kingdom). I endorse each and every one of those nominations. In fact, McConaughey was nominated twice, also earning a nomination in lead for his role in Killer Joe.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 23 in Santa Monica. The full list of nominees is directly below.


  • Beasts of the Southern Wild - Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey & Josh Penn
  • Bernie - Producers: Liz Glotzer, Richard Linklater, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Judd Payne, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Ginger Sledge, Matt Williams
  • Keep the Lights On - Producers: Marie Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin, Ira Sachs
  • Moonrise Kingdom - Producers: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin
  • Silver Linings Playbook - Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon


  • Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
  • Julia Loktev (The Loneliest Planet)
  • David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On)
  • Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)


  • Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom)
  • Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks)
  • Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths)
  • David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On)


  • Fill the Void - Director: Rama Burshtein, Producer: Assaf Amir
  • Gimme the Loot - Director: Adam Leon, Producers: Dominic Buchanan, Natalie Difford, Jamund Washington
  • Safety Not Guaranteed - Director: Colin Trevorrow, Producers: Derek Connolly, Stephanie Langhoff, Peter Saraf, Colin Trevorrow, Marc Turtletaub
  • Sound of My Voice - Director: Zal Batmanglij, Producers: Brit Marling, Hans Ritter, Shelley Surpin
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Director: Stephen Chbosky, Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith


  • Rama Burshtein (Fill the Void)
  • Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed)
  • Christopher Ford (Robot & Frank)
  • Rashida Jones & Will McCormack (Celeste and Jesse Forever)
  • Jonathan Lisecki (Gayby)


Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the Writer, Director, and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.

  • Breakfast with Curtis - Writer/Director/Producer: Laura Colella,
  • Middle of Nowhere - Writer/Director/Producer: Ava DuVernay, Producers: Howard Barish, Paul Garnes
  • Mosquita y Mari - Writer/Director: Aurora Guerrero, Producer: Chad Burris
  • Starlet - Writer/Director: Sean Baker, Producers: Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Francesca Silvestri
  • The Color Wheel - Writer/Director/Producer: Alex Ross Perry, Writer: Carlen Altman


  • Linda Cardellini (Return)
  • Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed)


  • Jack Black (Bernie)
  • Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • John Hawkes (The Sessions)
  • Thure Lindhardt (Keep the Lights On)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe)
  • Wendell Pierce (Four)


  • Rosemarie DeWitt (Your Sister's Sister)
  • Ann Dowd (Compliance)
  • Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
  • Brit Marling (Sound of My Voice)
  • Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere)


  • Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)
  • David Oyelowo (Middle of Nowhere)
  • Michael Péna (End of Watch)
  • Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths)
  • Bruce Willis (Moonrise Kingdom)


  • Yoni Brook (Valley of Saints)
  • Lol Crawley (Here)
  • Ben Richardson (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • Roman Vasyanov (End of Watch)
  • Robert Yeoman (Moonrise Kingdom)


  • How to Survive a Plague - Director: David France, Producers: David France, Howard Gertler
  • Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present - Director: Matthew Akers, Producers: Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre
  • The Central Park Five - DirectorS/Producers: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
  • The Invisible War - Director: Kirby Dick, Producers: Tanner King Barklow, Amy Ziering
  • The Waiting Room - Director/Producer: Peter Nicks, Producers: Linda Davis, William B. Hirsch


  • Amour (France) Director: Michael Haneke
  • Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (Turkey) Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • Rust And Bone (France/Belgium) Director: Jacques Audiard
  • Sister (Switzerland) - Director: Ursula Meier
  • War Witch (Democratic Republic of Congo) - Director: Kim Nguyen


The 16th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

  • Nobody Walks - Producer: Alicia Van Couvering
  • Prince Avalanche - Producer: Derrick Tseng
  • Stones in the Sun - Producer: Mynette Louie


The 19th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

  • Pincus - Director: David Fenster
  • Gimme the Loot - Director: Adam Leon
  • Electrick Children - Director: Rebecca Thomas


The 18th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging Director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

  • Leviathan - Director: Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
  • The Waiting Room - Director: Peter Nicks
  • Only the Young - Director: Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims


Given to one film's Director, casting Director, and its ensemble cast

  • Starlet - Director: Sean Baker
    Casting Director: Julia Kim
    Ensemble Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    I'm really disgusted with all the attention and acclaim Moonrise Kingdom has received. On another note, I'm so happy to see Matthew McConaughey getting much deserved recognition for his performances in Magic Mike & Killer Joe (the latter being my current favorite performance of the year).

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HamzaZain/ Hamza Zain

      I personally enjoyed Moonrise Kingdom a lot. While it's not Wes Anderson's best work, I think it's still very good. But I do agree with the fact that it seems to be getting a little over-hyped.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ben/ Ben


      I am disgusted at you. If you don't like Moonrise Kingdom then you must not like movies. BOOM!

      • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

        "How dare you not like things I don't like! Insult that is blatantly not true!"


        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

          Thank you.

    • Susan

      Disgusted seems a bit strong? Why so harsh?

      I'm an Anderson fan myself, though I am not a big fan of all of his work so far, but I just don't see much to hate about Moonrise, unless you don't generally for the Anderson aesthetic.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        I like Wes Anderson, and I didn't dislike Moonrise (I gave it a 3 / 5), but for a movie as average as Kingdom (my opinion), the fact that it's getting touted as one of the best films of the year just bothers me when there are so many other, better, independent movies that received little to no attention.

        • Chris138

          I agree that it's a little nuts it's been touted as one of the best movies of the year. Admittedly I am not a huge Wes Anderson fan, although I do like Bottle Rocket. Moonrise Kingdom was fine, but I just can't see where all the 'best of the year' hype is coming from.

    • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

      Moonrise Kingdom was my 2nd fave of the year, more then happy for it to get lots of love.

      Hope it beats SLP as the two frontrunners.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

      Disgusted seems a bit rough. Moonrise Kingdom may not be your cup of tea and you're entitled to that opinion, but why be negative towards the feelings of many who love it? No one's ever going to like every movie that gets showered with praise and awards. Being disgusted at the love of a film, unless you find it to be a grossly offensive film (which if you do, I'm willing to listen to an explanation), seems a bit pointless. Acknowledge people love it. Acknowledge you personally don't. Move on.

    • Jake17

      Yeesh, AS. A lot of people have different opinions. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you should be "disgusted" that it's winning awards. I loved Moonrise Kingdom, and think it deserves every bit of love it gets. It's rather arrogant of you to be so rude and pretentious.

      • Jake17

        If my comment sounds rude, I apologize. I don't mean to sound rude, I'm just trying to make my point.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        Well, you called me "arrogant," "rude" and "pretentious" so... yeah, you do sound rude. Many other commenters made the same point you did without resorting to name calling so don't pretend like hurling around insults is the only way you could have made your point.

        Anyway, I think it's rather absurd and hypocritical for people to blast me for expressing disgust that a film I didn't care for is getting such overblown praise. EVERYONE does this at one point or another when a film they didn't like wins Best Picture, or gets fantastic reviews or gets nominated for every award under the sun. Just cause I'm the guy who did it this time doesn't mean I'm in a minority of one. Just step back, think about an instance when you were irritated that a movie got more attention or praise than you thought it deserved and think twice before you criticize someone else for doing the same thing.

        Take Brad for instance. He liked Skyfall. But he was slightly irritated that most critics were referring to it as a "great" film when he didn't think it was. He didn't make sure to say "I THINK Skyfall isn't a great movie and that's just my opinion." No, he made a declarative statement that "Skyfall is a good movie, not a GREAT one" and it's kinda silly that people are getting so carried away with it. That's fine. I'm not criticizing him for that because my point is that we all speak that way sometimes. While we all respect everyone else's opinion, in our own heads we're right since film is subjective. So I don't think I should be chastised for voicing my disgust. It's MY disgust, and I'm entitled to it; just like you're entitled to voice how thrilled you are that it got nominated.

        • Jake17

          I never said I couldn't make my point without "hurling around insults." I'm sorry I used them. I misphrased what I was trying to say, and it came out as a personal attack on you. So again, I apologize.
          Of course I respect your opinion, and of course you're entitled to it, I just don't think saying that you hate seeing nominations/wins for Moonrise Kingdom every time you see nominations/wins for Moonrise Kingdom is going to change things.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

            You said "I don't mean to sound rude, I'm just trying to make my point" as if the fact that you were "just trying to make your point" was an explanation for why you insulted me.

            Never claimed I'd be able to "change things." I was just voicing my opinion, which I believe I'm entitled to do.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

      I don't really agree with you much, but I'm fully backing you up with this. I also found Moonrise Kingdom super overrated and the insane amount of praise it's getting is ridiculous. It doesn't deserve it in my opinion. If it would have been Seth McFarlane directing and writing the exact same film, it would have been panned. It's cute in some scenes and the direction/cinematography is gorgeous but the story is so dull and lifeless. It's not funny whatsoever and the actors are downright annoying besides Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand. It takes a lot more than being quirky and different to make something good. I really don't see Moonrise Kingdom becoming any sort of classic in the future. Sorry Wes Anderson, but you really disappointed me with this film. Thank god I didn't see this in the theaters like I was planning.

      PS- I'm glad Silver Linings is getting noms and I'll be cheering for that one.

    • tombeet

      I'm interested to see your reaction if Moonrise Kingdom nominated for Best Picture Oscar on January.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        Oh, it definitely will be. But it doesn't have a chance of winning. Again, I didn't dislike the film, it just bothers me that it's receiving so much attention at Indie award shows.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HamzaZain/ Hamza Zain

    This year has been a solid one for Mr. Alright Alright Alright. Glad to see he's back to challenging himself and giving good performances. Also, I think his performance in Killer Joe is absolutely fantastic, best of his career.

  • http://www.twitter.com/marlonwallace marlonwallace

    i hope people use this as an opportunity to see or try films that they perhaps haven't heard of, especially the great female performances that were recognized like Linda Cardellini in "Return" or Emayatzy Corinealdi in "Middle of Nowhere," which may be this year's "Pariah" but I'm hopeful for an Oscar nod somewhere...

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Personally I thought Pariah was much better than Middle of Nowhere, but I'm not sure if it's because my expectations for Middle of Nowhere were raised so high.

      • http://www.twitter.com/marlonwallace marlonwallace

        that's probably a factor. will you review it por favor? or i'd love to hear your thoughts on the next podcast if you can...

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/maja/ maja

    I am a little miffed by the all the indie love for Bernie. I thought it was a pretty average film and Perks of Being a Wallflower should have definately got the spot ahead of it. Either way, I'm happy to see all the love for Moonrise Kingdom which is one of my favorites of the year and am rooting for it (ahead of Silver Linings).

  • Christophe

    I would have appreciated a few more acting noms for Moonrise Kingdom, but I guess 5 noms overalls at the Spirits is good enough to keep it in the discussion for the Oscars.

  • David Baker

    Glad to see the love for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom, all three of which are in my top 10 movies of the year so far, Beasts still being #1 currently. I am shocked that both Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver missed out on nominations considering all the love plus Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence getting in as well. Oh well. Overall nice nominations.

  • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

    Personally, I liked Ruby Sparks quite a bit, and am glad it received this nod. Seems to be well rounded this year towards the films I liked!

  • Susan

    Love Loktev's nom for Loneliest Planet. Has anyone else here seen it?

  • http://thesketchydetails.net Robert

    Nice to see a little love for Sound of My Voice and Safety Not Guaranteed. It was a good year for indie sci-fi and those two led the charge.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

    I think there is some rule about first features not getting other noma. It hasn't happened in the history of the Spirit Awards. I wish Perks had been nominated for more, but glad it got the love it did

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis


  • Chris138

    I'm glad to see McConaughey get (double!) recognition, and even more happy to see some love for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. KInd of funny that it's in the best first feature category, even though Chbosky had made another film prior. Admittedly, no one saw it or remembers it, but still.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

      Choosy wrote, but didn't direct. That is what First Feature refers to. Stupid, I know, but that is their reasoning

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

        *Chbosky autocorrect is stupid

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

    I'm just really surprised that Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller didn't pop up anywhere. Even the screenplay deserves recognition. Either way I'm glad it came up somewhere but an Ezra Miller could have been a jumping off point for a supporting campaign.

  • Jack

    Weird, no Tatum or DeNiro? I disliked Safety not guaranteed, but wouldn't of cared if Duplass got a nod.


    FILM: Beasts of the Southen Wild
    DIRECTOR: Behn Zeitlin
    ACTOR: John Hawkes
    ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence or Quvenzhane Wallis
    SCREENPLAY: Moonrise Kingdom or Playbook
    SUPPORTING ACTOR: ? McConegheny or Oyelowo
    CINEMATOGRAPHY: Moonrise Kingdom
    FIRST SCREENPLAY: Celeste and Jesse
    FIRST FEATURE: Safety Not Guaranteed

  • Chris

    Dafuq? Why is War Witch marked DRC, and not Canadian?