Independent filmmakers Alexander Payne, and Joel & Ethan Coen have received nominations from Film Independent for their work on Nebraska and Inside Llewyn Davis respectively. Nebraska garnered 6 nominations, while Inside Llewyn Davis received three nominations. The Spirit Awards will mark the 29th anniversary of the highly touted awards for “indie” filmmaking, and will be presented on March 1st, 2014, in Santa Monica.
Nebraska received nominations for Best Feature, Best Director, to Alexander Payne, Best First Screenplay (written by Bob Nelson), and for actors Bruce Dern, for Best Male Lead, Will Forte, for Best Supporting Male, and also June Squibb in her Best Supporting Female role. Dern won the prestigious Best Actor Award at the Festival du Cannes, in May, and has been garnering huge praise ever since – for this quiet, quirky performance from a beloved veteran character actor after a career that now spans nearly 5 decades.
Photographed and presented in black and white, Nebraska is a vintage “road-trip” dramatic-comedy, following a septuagenarian played by Dern, as he and his son drive from Montana to Nebraska to collect on a bogus reward from a sweepstake company. The film was photographed by Payne’s cinematographer, Phedon Papamichael, ASC, their third collaboration, since hooking-up on the multiple award-winning Sideways, and their subsequent award-winner, The Descendants. (Sideways received six Spirit Awards, and remains one of the most highly awarded films in the history of that organization celebrating achievement in independent filmmaking.) Technicolor senior colorist Skip Kimball handled the film’s dailies and final-grading work.
Inside Llewyn Davis marks the latest achievement for the Coen brothers whom burst onto the independent filmmaking landscape thirty years ago with their audacious debut theatrical feature, Blood Simple.
Along with their nomination as Best Feature, shared with protean producer Scott Rudin, Inside Llewyn Davis also received nominations for cinematographer, Bruno Delbonnel, AFC and actor Oscar Isaac for his remarkable performance (and singing). Technicolor’s London-based senior color Peter Doyle worked with Delbonnel and the Coen’s to give the story a muted palette reminiscent of the cover of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s early album The Freewheeling Bob Dylan – shot on the streets in the middle of winter. Delbonnel was awarded one of the three major awards at this year’s Camerimage Festival, in Poland, the only festival in the world devoted to cinematography.