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'S'Beasts...,' 'Carol' lead Indy Spirit Award nominations

The Independent Spirit Awards will be presented Feb. 27, 2016 at a beach party in Santa Monica
The Independent Spirit Awards will be presented Feb. 27, 2016 at a beach party in Santa Monica
Published Nov. 24, 2015

Nominations were announced Tuesday for the coolest awards show in Hollywood, the Independent Spirit Awards annually presented under a circus tent on Santa Monica Beach, a day before the Academy Awards.

In recent years, results of Spirit and Oscar ballotings have grown more similar, with two of the past three best picture Oscar winners and several acting prizes feted first on the beach.

This year's list of nominees is led by Todd Haynes' Carol, starring Cate Blanchett as a 1950's Manhattan socialite in an affair with a shopgirl (Rooney Mara), and the African child-soldier drama Beasts of No Nation, each with six nods.

Carol is due to open in Tampa Bay theaters on Dec. 25. Beasts of No Nation is currently available on Netflix.

Blanchett and Mara were each nominated for best leading female actor. Blanchett won the prize two years ago for Blue Jasmine. Cary Joji Fukanaga's Beasts of No Nation also picked up two acting nominations, for 14-year-old star Abraham Attah, playing a conscripted orphan, and Idris Elba as the cruel commandant training him to kill.

Other best picture nominees include Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's Anomalisa, a stop-motion animated meditation on loneliness (opening locally in January, 2016), Sean Baker's L.A. story Tangerine, filmed on a cell phone, and Tom McCarthy's Spotlight, the story of the Boston Globe's investigation in sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

Spotlight was named the recipient of the Robert Altman Award for the year's best ensemble cast.

Directors of all five best feature nominees also earned individual nominations, plus David Robert Mitchell for the horror flick It Follows.

Blanchett and Mara were joined in the lead female acting race by Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) Brie Larson (Room) and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez (Tangerine).

Attah's competition for best lead actor includes Ben Mendelsohn (Mississippi Grind), Christopher Abbott (James White), Jason Segel (The End of the Tour) and Koudous Seihon (Mediterranea).

Sex and the City refugeee Cynthia Nixon earned a supporting actress nomination for James White, along with Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa), Marin Ireland (Glass Chin), Mya Taylor (Tangerine) and Robin Bartlett (H).

In addition to Elba, the supporting actor category includes Kevin Corrigan (Results), Michael Shannon (99 Homes), Paul Dano (Love & Mercy) and Richard Jenkins (Bone Tomahawk).

The Independent Spirit Awards will be televised of IFC on Feb. 27, 2016 at 5 p.m.


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