Independent Spirit Awards: “Beginners,” “Pariah” get multiple nods; Harmony Santana nominated!
Watched a DVD screener of Pariah last night and found it to be deeply moving, extremely well-acted and written.
So I’m very glad to see that this wonderful film earned lead Adepero Oduye an Independent Spirit Award nomination for best actress. It’s quite a coup seeing as Glenn Close was not nominated for her terrific performance as a transgender man in Albert Nobbs. although her co-star Janet McTeer, who also plays a transgender man, was nominated in the supporting actress category.
Oduye plays Alike, a Brooklyn teenager dealing with conflicting identities who risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.
The Spirit Award nominations were announced this morning and Pariah writer-director Dee Rees has also been nominated for the John Cassavetes Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000.
[I'm hoping Kim Wayans will be getting some recognition this award season for her very realistic performance as the Alike's homophobic mom.]
The LGBT-themed film, Beginners, earned Spirit nods for best picture, best director (Mike Mills) best screenplay (Mills), and best supporting actor (Christopher Plummer).
Other LGBT themed nominees: In the Family which earned a nod for best first feature. I have not yet seen this film about a gay man who must fight his dead partner’s family for custody of their 6-year-old son; Circumstance earned a Cassavetes Award nod for writer-director Maryam Keshavarz. It is the story of two vivacious young Iranian girls — wealthy Atafeh and orphaned Shireen — discovering their burgeoning sexuality; Transgender actress Harmony Santana (pictured, above) was nominated for supporting actress for her role as a transgender teen in the drama Gun Hill Road which opened this year’s Outfest Film Festival.
In the documentary category, the thoroughly outstanding We Were Here was nominated which is no surprise. I sat in stunned silence after the first of my three viewings of this movie. Produced and directed by David Weissman, it is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and explores how the city’s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic.
Here is a LINK to the full list of nominees.
Below are the trailers for Pariah , Beginners and In the Family.