Precious & Last Station Lead Pack

Matt Dillon and Taraji P. Henson announced the Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations last night, bestowing Precious and The Last Station with five noms each! The Messenger, with four noms in its pocket, could still take the final tally at the big 25th anniversary awards show in March.

The Spirit Awards honor films that are 70 minutes long that boast budgets under $20 million and screenings at a major film festival like Sundance or Toronto. In the best feature category, Precious and The Last Station go up against 500 Days of Summer, Amreeka and Sin Nombre.

Precious

Precious, the Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry-hyped film about an abused, illiterate pregnant teen struggling to survive '80s Harlem, picked up a Lead Actress nom for breakout star Gabourey Sidibe, a Supporting Female nom for Mo'Nique, a Best Director nom for Lee Daniels and a Best First Screenplay nom for Geoffrey Fletcher.

The Last Station, a Leo Tolstoy biopic, also earned noms for best director and best screenplay for Michael Hoffman, Best Female lead for Helen Mirren and Best Supporting Male Lead for Christopher Plummer.

With mixed reviews since its release, A Serious Man didn't land major nods, but Joel and Ethan Coen did walk away with a nom for Best Director and the film is also up for the Robert Altman Award and Best Cinematography.

The John Cassavetes Award most represents the "spirit" of these awards, as it honors the best feature made for under $500,000. This year's nominees include Humpday, Big Fan, The New Year Parade, Treeless Mountain and Zero Bridge.

There's been chatter about The Hurt Locker not making the list after winning two Gotham Awards last night, but the Iraq war drama was in last year's round of noms, so simply wasn't eligible this year.

The Spirit Awards usually kicks off the Academy's night with a big blow out the night before the Oscars, but this year, in honor of Spirit's 25th anniversary, it will air live on the Independent Film Channel on March 5, two days before the Oscars.

Check out the full list of noms:

2010 Spirit Award nominations:

BEST FEATURE
(500) Days Of Summer - Producers: Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J Wolfe
Amreeka - Producers: Paul Barkin, Christina Piovesan
Precious - Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness
Sin Nombre - Producer: Amy Kaufman
The Last Station - Producers: Bonnie Arnold, Chris Curling, Jens Meuer

BEST DIRECTOR
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen - A Serious Man
Lee Daniels - Precious
Cary Joji Fukunaga - Sin Nombre
James Gray - Two Lovers
Michael Hoffman - The Last Station

BEST SCREENPLAY
Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman - The Messenger
Michael Hoffman - The Last Station
Lee Toland Krieger - The Vicious Kind
Greg Mottola - Adventureland
Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber - (500) Days Of Summer

BEST FIRST FEATURE
A Single Man - Director: Tom Ford; Producers: Tom Ford, Andrew Miano, Robert Salerno, Chris Weitz
Crazy Heart - Director: Scott Cooper; Producers: T Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo, Rob Carliner, Scott Cooper, Robert Duvall Easier With Practice - Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez; Producer: Cookie Carosella
Paranormal Activity Director: Oren Peli; Producer: Jason Blum, Oren Peli
The Messenger - Director: Oren Moverman; Producers: Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller

500 Days of Summer

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Sophie Barthes - Cold Souls
Scott Cooper - Crazy Heart
Cherien Dabis - Amreeka
Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious
Tom Ford, David Scearce - A Single Man

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.
Big Fan - Writer/Director: Robert Siegel; Producers: Elan Bogarin, Jean Kouremetis
Humpday - Writer/Director/Producer: Lynn Shelton
The New Year Parade - Writer/Director: Tom Quinn; Producers: Steve Beal, Tom Quinn
Treeless Mountain - Writer/Director: So Yong Kim; Producers: Bradley Rust Gray, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy
Zero Bridge - Writer/Director: Tariq Tapa; Producers: Josee Lajoie, Hilal Ahmed Langoo, Tariq Tapa

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Maria Bello - Downloading Nancy
Nisreen Faour - Amreeka
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Gwyneth Paltrow - Two Lovers
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious

BEST MALE LEAD
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - (500) Days Of Summer
Souléymane Sy Savané - Goodbye Solo
Adam Scott - The Vicious Kind

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Dina Korzun - Cold Souls
Mo'Nique - Precious
Samantha Morton - The Messenger
Natalie Press - Fifty Dead Men Walking
Mia Wasikowska - That Evening Sun

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Jemaine Clement - Gentlemen Broncos
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christian McKay - Me and Orson Welles
Raymond McKinnon - That Evening Sun
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins - A Serious Man
Adriano Goldman - Sin Nombre
Anne Misawa - Treeless Mountain
Andrij Parekh - Cold Souls
Peter Zeitlinger - Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Anvil! The Story of Anvil - Director: Sacha Gervasi
Food, Inc. - Director: Robert Kenner
More Than A Game - Director: Kristopher Belman
October Country - Directors: Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri
Which Way Home - Director: Rebecca Cammisa

BEST FOREIGN FILM
A Prophet - (France) Director: Jacques Audiard
An Education - (UK/France) Director: Lone Scherfig
Everlasting Moments - (Sweden) Director: Jan Troell
Mother - (South Korea) Director: Bong Joon-Ho
The Maid - (Chile) Director: Sebastián Silva

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Kyle Patrick Alvarez - Easier With Practice
Asiel Norton - Redland
Tariq Tapa - Zero Bridge

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Natalia Almada - El General
Jessica Oreck - Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo
Bill Ross, Turner Ross - 45365

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Karin Chien - The Exploding Girl, Santa Mesa
Larry Fessenden - I Sell the Dead, The House of the Devil
Dia Sokol - Beeswax, Nights & Weekends

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film's director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
A Serious Man
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Casting Directors: Ellen Chenoweth, Rachel Tenner
Ensemble Cast: Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Jessica McManus, Fred Melamed, Michael Stuhlbarg, Aaron Wolff

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