Gotham Award Nominees Announced, Steve James’ ‘The Interrupters’ Up For Best Documentary

Sure, The Oscars are what everyone pays attention to, but over the past few years, the awards known as The Gotham Awards  have become more and more influential, and more and more intriguing.

With last year’s winner Winter’s Bone becoming the indie darling of last year’s awards season, it remains to be seen as to what this year’s award darling will be, but we know who it may very well end up being.   The nominees for this year’s awards have been revealed, and they are not only interesting, but even have a big time Criterion connection amongst them.

Obviously the biggest winners here are the films The Descendants and Martha Marcy May Marlene, both of which walk away with the most nods respectively.   Terrence Malick’s Tree Of Life is up for Best Feature, as is one of this writer’s other favorite 2011 releases, Steve James’ The Interrupters.   Both films are fantastic at what they set out to do, and find a home amongst this writer’s top 10 films of the year so far.

I also wanted to congratulate both Sophia Takal and the team of Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, whose films Green and Better This World are up for awards (Best Film Not Playing At A Theater Near You and Best Documentary).   Both are absolute gems, and were the talk of this year’s SXSW film festival.   I had the chance to see both this year (my review of Green can be found here), and believe that these are easily two of this year’s best independent pieces. If you get the chance, these must be hunted down.   Absolute must-sees.

Here is the full list of nominees:

Best Feature:
Mike Mills, director; Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, producers (Focus Features)

The Descendants
Alexander Payne, director; Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Meek’s Cutoff
Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Take Shelter
Jeff Nichols, director; Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick, director; Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Best Documentary:
Better This World
Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, directors; Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mike Nicholson, producers (Loteria Films, Picturebox, Motto Pictures and Passion Pictures; ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV)

Bill Cunningham New York
Richard Press, director; Philip Gefter, producer (Zeitgeist Films)

Hell and Back Again
Danfung Dennis, director; Mike Lerner, Martin Herring, producers (Docurama Films)

The Interrupters
Steve James, director; Alex Kotlowitz, Steve James, producers (The Cinema Guild)

The Woodmans
C. Scott Willis, director; Neil Barrett, Jeff Werner, C. Scott Willis, producers (Lorber Films; Kino Lorber, Inc.)
Best Ensemble Performance:
Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos (Focus Features)

The Descendants
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Margin Call
Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci, Aasif Mandvi (Roadside Attractions)

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Take Shelter
Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker, Ray McKinnon, Lisagay Hamilton, Robert Longstreet (Sony Pictures Classics)
Breakthrough Director:
Mike Cahill  for Another Earth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Sean Durkin  for Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Vera Farmiga  for Higher Ground (Sony Pictures Classics)

Evan Glodell  for Bellflower (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Dee Rees  for Pariah (Focus Features)
Breakthrough Actor:
Felicity Jones  in Like Crazy (Paramount Vantage)

Elizabeth Olsen  in Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Harmony Santana  in Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group)

Shailene Woodley  in The Descendants (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Jacob Wysocki  in Terri (ATO Pictures)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You:
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same
Madeleine Olnek, director; Laura Terruso, Madeleine Olnek, producers

Sophia Takal, director; Lawrence Michael Levine, producer

The Redemption of General Butt Naked
Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion, directors and producers

Scenes of a Crime
Blue Hadaegh & Grover Babcock, directors and producers

Mark Jackson, director; Mark Jackson, Jessica Dimmock, Michael Requa, Jaime Keeling, producers

Source Indiewire