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George Clooney gets no love from Spirit Awards

Everyone loves George Clooney — except for the Independent Spirit Awards. When choosing nominees from 2011, the committee snubbed Clooney and his headlining performance in The Descendants.

George Clooney

Tuesday morning, Film Independent announced their nominees for the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards. Out of this year’s 277 submissions, the committee picked the brightest and the best indie film had to offer.

The Artist and Take Shelter lead the pack with five nominations each, including Best Feature. Nipping at their heels is the Alexander Payne drama The Descendants, which is also up for Best Feature, as well as Best Director and Best Supporting Female (Shailene Woodley). Unfortunately, leading man George Clooney was completely overlooked. The actor has already received critical acclaim and early Oscar buzz for his performance as a father who desperately tries to reconnect with his children after his wife is incapacitated.

So with Clooney out, what five actors earned a spot in the Best Male Lead category? Michael Shannon received a nod for Take Shelter, Woody Harrelson for Rampart, Jean Dujardin for The Artist, Demián Bichir for A Better Life and Ryan Gosling for his work in Drive. Whether or not Clooney deserved one of these slots is a matter of personal opinion. But what the Spirit Awards denied, the Oscars might reward. Stay tuned.

Here’s the complete list of nominees for the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature

  • 50/50
  • Beginners
  • Drive
  • Take Shelter
  • The Artist
  • The Descendants

Best Director

  • Mike Mills, Beginners
  • Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
  • Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Best First Feature

  • Another Earth
  • In The Family
  • Margin Call
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Natural Selection

Best Male Lead

  • Demián Bichir, A Better Life
  • Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Ryan Gosling, Drive
  • Woody Harrelson, Rampart
  • Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Best Female Lead

  • Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me
  • Rachael Harris, Natural Selection
  • Adepero Oduye, Pariah
  • Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Supporting Male

  • Albert Brooks, Drive
  • John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners
  • John C. Reilly, Cedar Rapids
  • Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris

Best Supporting Female

  • Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
  • Anjelica Huston, 50/50
  • Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
  • Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road
  • Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

John Cassavetes Award for films made under $500,000

  • Bellflower
  • Circumstance
  • Hello Lonesome
  • Pariah
  • The Dynamiter

Best Documentary

  • An African Selection
  • Bill Cunningham New York
  • The Interrupters
  • The Redemption of General Butt Naked
  • We Were Here

Best Cinematography

  • Joel Hodge, Bellflower
  • Benjamin Kasulke, The Off Hours
  • Darius Khondji, Midnight in Paris
  • Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
  • Jeffrey Waldron, The Dynamiter

Best First Screenplay

  • Mike Cahill & Brit Marling, Another Earth
  • J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
  • Patrick DeWitt, Terri
  • Phil Johnston, Cedar Rapids
  • Will Reiser, 50/50

Best Screenplay

  • Joseph Cedar, Footnote
  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Tom McCarthy, Win Win
  • Mike Mills, Beginners
  • Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Best Foreign Film

  • A Separation
  • Melancholia
  • Shame
  • The Kid With a Bike
  • Tyrannosaur

Robert Altman Award for ensemble

  • Margin Call

Piaget Producers Award

  • Chad Burris – Mosquita Y Mari
  • Sophia Lin – Take Shelter
  • Josh Mond – Martha Marcy May Marlene

The 2012 Spirit Award winners will be announced Saturday, Feb. 25.

Photo credit: Adriana M. Barraza /

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