Independent Spirit Awards - 2005

Posted by: Aaron West on November 30, 2004

The nominees for the best in independent film were announced today. The ISA's are generally the most difficult to predict and often the least indicative of how the remainder of the award's season will go. This year's nominations packed a few surprises, with a few disappointments. Several of the more popular indies this year, such as Before Sunset, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Garden State came out mostly empty handed. Many of the other nominations, especially in the lead actress category, were from obscure films that didn't receive much theatrical play. There are some familiar faces in the Best Actor category, however, as Kevin Bacon, Jeff Bridges, Paul Giamatti and Liam Neeson are all Oscar hopefuls, plus Jamie Foxx is the current frontrunner, albeit for a different film. The most out of place nomination seems to be Maria Full of Grace, which most would consider a foreign film, but the writer/director, production company (HBO Films) and distributor (Fine Line) are American, thus it qualifies for the award.

While the Independents don't often compare with other awards, they usually do give an idea as to which project will become the indie darling of the year. By the looks of this year's nominations, Sideways is well on its way. Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation cleaned up the 2004 awards, with 5 wins out of 5 nominations. 8 of last year's winners went onto Academy Award nominations in their respective categories, and three of those brought home the Oscar -- Sofia Coppola's screenplay for Lost in Translation, Charlize Theron's performance of Aileen Wuornos for Monster, and Errol Morris' documentary The Fog of War.

Best Feature
Maria Full of Grace

John Cassavetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; Award given to the writer, director, and producer)
Down to the Bone
Mean Creek
On the Outs
Robbing Peter
Unknown Soldier

Best Director
Shane Carruth, Primer
Joshua Marston, Maria Full of Grace
Walter Salles, The Motorcycle Diaries
Mario Van Peebles, Baadasssss!

Best Lead Actor
Kevin Bacon, The Woodsman
Jeff Bridges, The Door in the Floor
Jamie Foxx, Redemption
Paul Giamatti, Sideways
Liam Neeson, Kinsey

Best Lead Actress
Kimberly Elise, Woman Thou Art Loosed
Vera Farmiga, Down to the Bone
Judy Marte, On the Outs
Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace
Kyra Sedgwick, Cavedweller

Best Supporting Female
Cate Blanchett, Coffee and Cigarettes
Loretta Devine, Woman Thou Art Loosed
Virginia Madsen, Sideways
Robin Simmons, Robbing Peter
Yenny Paola Vega, Maria Full of Grace

Best Supporting Male
Thomas Haden Church, Sideways
Jon Gries, Napoleon Dynamite
Aidan Quinn, Cavedweller
Roger Robinson, Brother to Brother
Peter Sarsgaard, Kinsey

Best Debut Performance
Anthony Mackie, Brother to Brother
Louie Olivos, Jr., Robbing Peter
Hannah Pilkes, The Woodsman
Rodrigo de la Serna, The Motorcycle Diaries
David Sullivan, Primer

Best Screenplay
Mario Van Peebles & Dennis Haggerty, Baadasssss!
Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke, Before Sunset
Tod Williams, The Door in the Floor
Bill Condon, Kinsey
Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Sideways

Best First Screenplay
Rodney Evans, Brother to Brother
Zach Braff, Garden State
Joshua Marston, Maria Full of Grace
Shane Carruth, Primer
Mario F. De La Vega, Robbing Peter

Best Cinematography
Tim Orr, Dandelion
Eric Gautier, The Motorcycle Diaries
David Greene, Redemption
Ryan Little, Saints and Soldiers
Maryse Alberti, We Don't Live Here Anymore

Best Documentary
Bright Leaves
Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed
Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

Best Foreign Film
Bad Education (Spain)
Oasis (South Korea)
Red Lights (France)
The Sea Inside (Spain)
Yesterday (South Africa)

Special Distinction
Ensemble Cast: Mean Creek

Rory Culkin
Ryan Kelley
Scott Mechlowicz
Trevor Morgan
Josh Peck
Carly Schroeder

Turning Leaf Award (Someone to Watch)
Jem Cohen, Chain
Bryan Poyser, Dear Pillow
Jennifer Reeves, The Time We Killed

DirecTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award
Born Into Brothels
Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed
Control Room

Bravo/American Express Producer's Award
Gina Kwon
Danielle Renfrew
Sean C. Covel and Chris Wyatt

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