’12 Years a Slave’ Leads Independent Spirit Nominations with 7

The Academy Awards’ little brother, the Film Independent Spirit Awards, announced their nominees Tuesday. The ceremony honors films that were made on a budget of less than $20 million and expected Oscar darling 12 Years a Slave led the pack with seven nominations. Nebraska trailed close behind with six.

Here is the full nominees list:

Best Feature
12 Years a Slave
All is Lost
Frances Ha
Inside LLewyn Davis

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 Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Gaby Hoffmann, Crystal Fairy
Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

Best Male Lead
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 Station
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Yolonda 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 Screenplay
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater, Before Midnight
Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Best First Feature
Blue Caprice
Fruitvale Station
Una Noche

Best First Screenplay
Lake Bell, In a World
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight
Michael Starrbury, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

Best Cinematography
Sean 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 and David Lowery, Upstream Color
Jem Cohen and Marc Vives, Museum Hours
Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha
Cindy Lee, Una Noche
Nat Sanders, 12 Years a Slave

Best Documentary
20 Feet from Stardom
After Tiller
Gideon’s Army
The Act of Killing
The Square

Best International Film
A Touch of Sin (China)
Blue is the Warmest Color (France)
Gloria (Chile)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)

John Cassavetes Award
Computer Chess
Crystal Fairy
Museum Hours
Pit Stop
This is Martin Bonner

Robert Altman Award

The biggest surprise here is that Octavia Spencer, who is expected to be an Oscar contender for her role in Fruitvale Station, was shut out in favor of her co-star Melonie Diaz. As for the Academy Awards, it’s tough to use the Independent Spirits as an Oscar barometer. But these nominations do tell us that, as expected, 12 Years a Slave is a force to be reckoned with this year. It’s pretty much a surefire for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor nods, as well as more than a few nominations in the technical categories. These nominations are also a big boost for Nebraska and for Will Forte’s performance in particular. This Independent Spirit nomination could lift him from an Oscar hopeful to an Oscar possibility.