10 Spirit Awards Nominees to Check Out
The Film Independent Spirit Awards can be a bit intimidating if you haven’t kept up with independent film throughout the year. Does the list of nominees have you feeling like you just don’t know where to begin? Here are 10 movies you might want to check out before the Spirit Awards on February 25th on Hollywood Suite!
- The Fits. Anna Rose Helmer’s dreamy and strange film will connect deeply with anyone who’s felt cut off from their own gender or just grew up a lonely kid. The story of tomboy Toni and her transition from boxing team to dance squad is loaded with unique visuals and has already won the Someone To Watch grant from the awards.
- Other People. Writer/Director Chris Kelly mixes dark humor and deep pathos in this semi-autobiographical film about a young man called back home as his mother dies of cancer. Wonderfully true to the comedy and heartbreak of real life.
- American Honey. Since coming onto the scene with movies like Red Road and Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold has carved out a niche depicting economically depressed outsiders. This Best Picture nominee may shock and amaze in its vivid storytelling, but it’s the performances of Shia Labeouf, Riley Keough and newcomer Sasha Lane that’ll stick with you.
- Aquarius. The portrait of a tough woman in trying circumstances, this second film from Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho is just what many people need these days. Sonia Braga’s Clara is one of the deepest, most complex and completely realized performances you’ll see on film this year.
- Chevalier. If you’ve enjoyed films like Attenberg and The Lobster in recent years, you know strange, engrossing and darkly comedic tales are coming out of Greece. Here Athina Rachel Tsangari tells the story of male ego gone wild as a group of men compete in increasingly bizarre challenges to prove they are the best.
- Cameraperson. There’s a reason why Kristen Johnson’s autobiographical documentary collected from footage she shot during her long career went immediately from the big screen to The Criterion Collection. What sounds like an intimidating exercise immediately absorbs you and makes any viewer engage with the artistic, ethical and emotional ups and downs Johnson must face in her unique position.
- A Bigger Splash. Ralph Fiennes has recently found his comedic groove, and his unhinged performance as a wild record producer in this remake of french emotional thriller La Piscine shows the full range of his skills. Expect the unexpected as well as some visuals from Luca Guadagnino that will make you dream of the mediterranean.
- Spa Night. Up for the John Cassavetes Award, this smaller indie deeply explores the pressure of growing up as a closeted second-generation Korean-American. There’s a quiet sensuality in the work that puts it up in competition with the year's best LGBT offerings.
- Under the Sun. Even if it were mere journalism, filmmaker Vitaly Mansky’s unprecedented look inside modern North Korea would amaze. But, this movie achieves so much more laying out layers upon layers as Mansky covertly works alongside propagandists and slowly chips away at the perfect facade maintained under the current regime.
- Swiss Army Man. If these seem too serious how about the story of a man who befriends a farting corpse? Hilarious and heartfelt without ever becoming too twee, this film is easily the most inventive comedy of the year.