The Film Independent Spirit Awards are traditionally a time to take a step back from mainstream Hollywood and honor the little guy.
So good news, Ben Stiller, Natalie Portman, James Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, Aaron Eckhart, Samuel L. Jackson, Naomi Watts, Bill Murray and John C. Reilly: this could be your year to really hit it big!
Those are just some of the names that make up this year's particularly star-studded 2011 Indie nominees, which will be made all the more starry when they're joined on the night by the event's Soupalicious host Joel McHale.
Here's the breakdown:
Not ones to honor fluff, Winter's Bone—a thriller following an Ozark girl who hunts down her drug-dealing father—leads all contenders with seven nominations.
The Kids Are All Right, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and alleged terrorist Mark Ruffalo, was next with five, while Black Swan, Greenberg and Rabbit Hole, starring Natalie Portman, Ben Stiller and Nicole Kidman, respectively, were next with four apiece. The faint-inducing 127 Hours, starring Oscar cohost James Franco, also got more than an honorable mention, with three nods.
You know what that means: start the Oscar buzz!
Or rather, continue it, as Portman's ballerina turn and Kidman's grieving mother are already tipped to be among the thesps due for Best Actress nominations for the big(ger) show. Franco's Best Actor Spirit Award nomination, too, puts him in good stead to possibly pull double duty as host and nominee come Academy Awards night.
As for the Oscars' more laidback sister show, held just the night before the masses assemble at the Kodak Theater, it may give the more staid show a run for its star-powered money.
The Best Actress race sees Portman and Kidman face off against Blue Valentine's Michelle Williams (her NC-17 costar Ryan Gosling missed out on a nomination), The Kids Are All Right's Bening, Greenberg's Greta Gerwig and Winter's Bone's Jennifer Lawrence.
The Best Actor race brings equal amounts of name recognition, as Franco competes against Greenberg's Stiller, Rabbit Hole's Eckhart, Cyrus' John C. Reilly and Daddy Longlegs' Ronald Bronstein.
Filling up the other categories are Mother and Child's Naomi Watts and Life During Wartime's Allison Janney, both up for Supporting Actress, and Mother and Child's Samuel L. Jackson, Get Low's Bill Murray and The Kids Are All Right's Ruffalo, who are up for Supporting Actor.
McHale will hand out the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica on Feb. 26. Here's the complete list of nominees:
The Kids Are All Right
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right
Debra Granik, Winter's Bone
John Cameron Mitchell, Rabbit Hole
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Greta Gerwig, Greenberg
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
BEST MALE LEAD
Ronald Bronstein, Daddy Longlegs
Aaron Eckhart, Rabbit Hole
James Franco, 127 Hours
John C. Reilly, Cyrus
Ben Stiller, Greenberg
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism
Dale Dickey, Winter's Bone
Allison Janney, Life During Wartime
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jack Goes Boating
Naomi Watts, Mother and Child
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Samuel L. Jackson, Mother and Child
Bill Murray, Get Low
John Ortiz, Jack Goes Boating
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right
Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, Winter's Bone
Nicole Holofcener, Please Give
David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole
Todd Solondz, Life During Wartime
BEST FIRST FEATURE
Everything Strange and New
Night Catches Us
The Last Exorcism
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Diane Bell, Obselidia
Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture
Nik Fackler, Lovely, Still
Bob Glaudini, Jack Goes Boating
Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener, Monogamy
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
Daddy Longlegs; Writer/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott
Lbs.; Director: Matthew Bonifacio, Writer/Producers: Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famiglietti
Lovers of Hate; Writer/Director: Bryan Poyser, Producer: Megan Gilbride
Obselidia; Writer/Director: Diane Bell, Producers: Chris Byrne, Mathew Medlin
The Exploding Girl; Writer/Director: Bradley Rust Gray, Producers: Karin Chien, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim
Adam Kimmel, Never Let Me Go
Matthew Libatique, Black Swan
Jody Lee Lipes, Tiny Furniture
Michael McDonough, Winter's Bone
Harris Savides, Greenberg
Exit Through the Gift Shop
BEST FOREIGN FILM
Kisses (Ireland), Director: Lance Daly
Mademoiselle Chambon (France), Director: Stéphane Brizé
Of Gods and Men (Morocco), Director: Xavier Beauvois
The King's Speech (United Kingdom), Director: Tom Hooper
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand), Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Hossein Keshavarz, Dog Sweat
Laurel Nakadate, The Wolf Knife
Mike Ott, Littlerock
PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
In-Ah Lee, Au Revoir Taipei
Adele Romanski, The Myth of the American Sleepover
Anish Savjani, Meek's Cutoff
AVEENO TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Sweetgrass
Jeff Malmberg, Marwencol
Lynn True, Nelson Walker, Summer Pasture
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD