As the winds of award show nominations pick up, you won't be surprised to find 12 Years a Slave at the top of every list. But the Academy, the Golden Globes, and the various other captains of the circuit are inclined to overlook some of our smaller, more personal favorites in lieu of the big, grand, and wholly unavoidable awardable pictures like Steven McQueen's American slavery epic. That is not to rob 12 Years of Slave of its due credit — the film absolutely deserves as much awards attention as it is getting. It's simply the sort of movie that you know will get awards attention right out of the gate... whereas pictures just as pristine such as Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's Frances Ha, likely won't be the center of attention come Oscar night. But that's what the Independent Spirit Awards are for: to recognize the movies that we cherish with intimacy rather than with grandeur. Among them are Frances Ha, new release Nebraska, Robert Redford's nearly wordless All Is Lost (also a viable candidate for the Academy, due to its own dezzling veneer), the Coen Bros' upcoming Inside Llewyn Davis, and, yes, of course, 12 Years a Slave.
Check out the full list of nods below.
BEST FEATURE 12 Years A Slave All Is Lost Frances Ha Inside Llewyn Davis Nebraska
BEST LEAD FEMALE Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine Julie Delpy, Before Midnight Gaby Hoffman, Crystal Fairy Brie Larson, Short Term 12 Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
BEST LEAD MALE Bruce Dern, Nebraska Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club Robert Redford, All Is Lost
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale StationSally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave Yolanda Ross, Go For Sisters June Squibb, Nebraska
BEST SUPPORTING MALE Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave Will Forte, Nebraska James Gandolfini, Enough Said Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12
BEST DIRECTOR Shane Carruth, Upstream Color J.C. Chandor, All Is Lost Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave Jeff Nichols, Mud Alexander Payne, Nebraska
BEST FIRST FEATUREBlue Caprice Concussion Fruitvale Station Una Noche Wadjda
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD Computer Chess Crystal Fairy Museum Hours Pit Stop This Is Martin Bonner
BEST SCREENPLAY Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater, Before Midnight Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY Lake Bell, In A World Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon Bob Nelson, Nebraska Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight Michael Starburry, The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHYSean Bobbitt, 12 Years A Slave Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis Frank G. Demarco, All Is Lost Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess
BEST EDITING Shane Carruth & David Lowery, Upstream Color Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, Museum Hours Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha Cindy Lee, Una Noche Nat Sanders, Short Term 12
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM A Touch Of Sin Blue Is The Warmest ColorGloriaThe Great Beauty The Hunt
BEST DOCUMENTARYThe Act Of Killing After Tiller Gideon's ArmyThe Square Twenty Feet From Stardom
PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARDToby Halbrooks & James M. JohnsonJacob JaffkeAndrea RoaFerderick Thornton
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARDS Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course Jason Osder, Let The Fire Burn Stephanie Spray & Pancho Valez, Manakamana
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARDS Aaron Douglas Johnston, My Sisters' Quinceanera Shaka King, Newlyweeds Madeleine Olnek, The Foxy Merkins
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARDMud
Critically-acclaimed drama 12 Years A Slave looks set to dominate the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards after landing seven nominations. The period movie, about a free black man from New York who is abducted and sold into slavery, has landed filmmaker Steve McQueen a nod for Best Director, while Chiwetel Ejiofor is shortlisted for Best Male Lead, and Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o will compete in the supporting actor and actress categories, respectively.
12 Years A Slave has also scored nods for screenplay and cinematography, and the film will also be up against All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska for the Best Feature title.
Father-and-son movie Nebraska is another multiple nominee, earning five mentions - Alexander Payne is up for Best Director, alongside McQueen, J.C. Chandor for All Is Lost, Jeff Nichols for Mud and Shane Carruth for Upstream Color; and Bruce Dern will battle for Best Male Lead, against Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Robert Redford (All Is Lost) and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club).
Meanwhile, the Best Female Lead contenders include Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Julie Delpy for Before Midnight, and Shailene Woodley for her role in The Spectacular Now.
Among the other notable nominations: James Gandolfini has been shortlisted posthumously for Best Supporting Male for his performance in his last film, romantic comedy Enough Said, and the Best First Screenplay category features Lake Bell for In A World and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Don Jon.
Jeff Nichols' Mud will receive the Robert Altman Award, which recognises the director, casting director and ensemble cast of a movie.
To be eligible for an Independent Spirit nod, all films must have been made for less than $20 million (£13.3 million). Movies must have either screened at a major film festival, including Sundance, Toronto or the Los Angeles Film Festival, or run for at least a week at a commercial theatre.
The winners will be unveiled at a ceremony in California on 1 March (14), on the eve of the 2014 Academy Awards.
"I've snogged (kissed) her and what I learned was, you have to use tongues even if you're not a lesbian... We had to do a snog. The angel gives her an orgasm in Angels in America. (Director) Mike Nichols can get anyone to do anything." Emma Thompson on kissing Meryl Streep.
British rapper M.I.A. has confessed she used to shoplift from high-end department stores as a youngster. The Paper Planes hitmaker claims she indulged her passion for designer clothes during her troubled upbringing by stealing items from expensive shops.
The star, who recently collaborated with luxury brand Versace for a fashion project, tells NME magazine, "You couldn't nick (steal) it at normal high-street stores because the security was insane. Every teenage person thinks about nicking it at the high-street stores.
"I would go to the top, top, top store, which is Harvey Nichols, because their security was so lax. I used to just go in there and pretend I was lost, then walk out with Versace jeans. I was the best dressed poor person in the world."
Married actors Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz have received glowing reviews for their performances opposite each other in a Broadway production of Betrayal. The Hollywood stars play married couple Robert and Emma in the revival of Harold Pinter's 1978 play, which tells the story of a woman's affair with her husband's pal, played by Rafe Spall.
The production officially opened on Sunday (27Oct13) to mixed reviews, which largely praised the three lead actors' efforts while expressing disappointment with the show.
Joe Dziemianowicz, of the New York Daily News, hails Craig and Weisz as "smashing and sexy" while noting the 007 star's ability to bring "a virility and vibrant expressiveness" to his character, but Elysa Gardner of USA Today writes that the production "doesn't pack as much punch as you'd hope it would" and "feels strangely subdued".
Elisabeth Vincentelli, for the New York Post, also slams the show as "emotionally distant and a tad too tasteful" but praises Weisz for bringing "a stunning, warm beauty... paired with emotional opacity" to her role.
Charles McNulty, of the Los Angeles Times, describes it as "sleek and luxurious" and a "handsome production" while also hailing Spall's performance as "the most thrilling in the cast", and Tom Teodorczuk, of Britain's The Independent, writes that Craig and Weisz turn in "knockout performances".
However, The Guardian's David Cote takes aim at director Mike Nichols, insisting he has "the tone completely wrong" and describing the show as a "glossy, empty revival".
Toad The Wet Sprocket, a fairly popular band in the '90s, just released their first studio album in 16 years, New Constellation. That's a long time. They've seen President Bill Clinton finish his second term, George W. Bush serve twice and Barack Obama in the middle of his second term. That's a lifetime in music -- kids that were born when their last album came out are today's main pop consumers. Will people wind up buying it or will they fade back into something from the past?
Sure, there was the occasional greatest hits or B-side album, but it wasn't the same as hearing brand new music. But here they are again. Maybe they missed the feeling of making new music together. Who knows? It is a big risk on their parts though, given this current circumstances. Like all of us, 16 years has chenged us - Glen Philips, Randy Guss, Todd Nichols and Dean Dinning aren't in their 20s anymore. The maturity should help their music even more.
It's got to be a whole new world for the band. The last time they released an album, Napster was a person who liked to sleep a lot. Now they not only have to vie for CD sales, they also have to deal with digital rights for sites like iTunes, Spotify and others. The worst thing they had to contend with was someone copying their CD and giving it to a friend of thers, not distributing it to millions through torrent seeding. They have also seen America go from a time of enormous prosperity (which sadly was built upon a house of cards) to several recessions that some wonder if it will ever recover from. So...it's a dicey situation, to say the least.
So far, it's garnered good reviews on Amazon and iTunes, but will that be enough to persuade the non-diehards to buy it? It'll be interesting to see how they weather this new world.
I hope they succeed again just because I think any band as cooly named as Toad The Wet Sprocket (a name derived from a sketch on one of Monty Python's 1970s LPs) deserves to succeed, no matter what.
Punk veteran Siouxsie Sioux has added her name to the list of celebrities urging bosses at a top British department store to stop selling foie gras. Fortnum & Mason chiefs are under increasing pressure to pull the product from its shelves following a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign backed by celebrities including Sir Roger Moore, Morrissey and Ralph Fiennes.
The Siouxsie and the Banshees frontwoman has penned a letter to the store's CEO Ewan Venters urging him to follow other leading department stores and abandon the controversial pate.
She writes, "Music, fashion and taste evolve. Other iconic British shops such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols have listened to their customers and now realise that selling foie gras is a faux pas. So please Mr Venters, get with the times and take this vile product off your shelves."
Wasting no time after his role in Lee Daniels' The Butler, David Oyelowo is set to star alongside House of Cards' Kate Mara in Captive, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The crime drama is based on the true story of a 2005 hostage situation.
The film follows a man named Brian Nichols (Oyelowo) who breaks out of a courthouse jail (where he is being charged for rape) and proceeds to shoot and kill the judge ruling on his case, a court reporter, sheriff's deputy, and FBI officer. In an effort to escape from a statewide manhunt, Nichols then flees to the home of Ashley Smith (Mara), a single mother with a meth addiction, where he holds her hostage. Smith uses Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life to reason with Nichols, and surprisingly, herself. Talk about a high-stress situation.
While Mara's younger sister, Rooney, is more famously known for the intense roles she takes on (you know we're talking about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), the elder Mara is gearing up to give it all she's got to play a meth addict who's trying to save her own life. Mara, who plays a cut-throat journalist on Netflix's House of Cards and starred in the first season of American Horror Story as a psycho girlfriend, should have no problem channeling the intensity that will be needed for her role as Smith. (If she pulls off her role in this film, something tells us the "Kate v. Rooney" debate is about to get a little bit more heated.)
And of course no one should forget about the classically trained stage actor Oyelowo who has been in Lincoln and The Last King of Scotland, and who is currently filming Christopher Nolan's Interstellar starring Matt Damon, Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, and Jessica Chastain.
Leonor Varela and Mimi Rogers are also cast in the film, which was written by Brian Bird and Reinhard Denke and adapted from Ashley Smith's best-selling book An Unlikely Angel.
Real-life couple Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz's new play has broken Broadway records before it officially opens. The seven previews of Harold Pinter's Betrayal have brought in more than $1.1 million (£733,000), breaking the Barrymore Theater's weekly box office record.
The previous record was held by Death of a Salesman in June, 2012. Ironically, director Mike Nichols and producer Scott Rudin were behind that play too.
Betrayal opens on 27 October (13) and will run until 5 January (14).
Actress Chloe Bennet has played down speculation she is dating former One Tree Hill star Austin Nichols. The pair became romantically linked earlier this month (Sep13) after they were spotted out together on various occasions in Los Angeles, but the Nashville beauty claims their relationship is strictly platonic.
She tells UsMagazine.com, "We're good friends. We met in L.A. just hanging out."
However, the 21 year old is full of praise for Nichols. She adds of the 33 year old, "He's a very nice guy. He's a cutie."
Bennet recently split from her Nashville co-star Sam Palladio, while Nichols previously dated his One Tree Hill castmate Sophia Bush from 2006 to 2012.