12 Years a Slave recently received several Independent Spirit Award nominations.
Directed by Steve McQueen, the film tells the story of a free black man from New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. In addition to receiving critical acclaim from several noted critics, the film is always a serious contender during the awards season.
According to the folks at Entertainment Weekly, 12 Years a Slave received no less than seven Independent Spirit Award nominations this year. However, director Alexander Payne's dramedy Nebraska is hot on its heels with six.
In addition to getting a nod for Best Feature, Steven McQueen's drama also received nominations for Best Lead Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Supporting Male, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. Fans can see how many trophies the flick receives on March 1, 2014.
Indiewire points out that All Is Lost, Frances Ha, and the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis also received nominations for best feature. 12 Years a Slave might have a shot at several honors, but it's definitely up against some very strong competition.
Although Brad Pitt only appears in the flick for a total of eight minutes, he was very excited to sign on for the project. During a his chat with the Today show last month, Pitt had nothing but overwhelmingly positive things to say about Steve McQueen's drama.
"It's one of those few films that… cuts to the base of our humanity. And it was not until I saw Solomon Northup's story that I fully, fully (grasped) the utter horror of losing your freedom or denying another one their freedom, taking their freedom, splitting their family apart. It's why I got into film in the first place," Pitt said.
He added, "I'm there to support the story. The main performances are Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, (Michael) Fassbender. These are such demanding parts. These guys had to keep themselves in just this perpetual state of angst and foreboding and longing."
McQueen and company are no doubt hoping that the folks behind the Independent Spirit Awards feel as strongly about 12 Years a Slave as Brad Pitt.
Here's a complete list of this year's contenders.
Best Feature:12 Years A SlaveAll Is LostFrances HaInside Llewyn DavisNebraska
Best Female Lead:Cate Blanchett - Blue JasmineJulie Delpy - Before MidnightGaby Hoffman - Crystal FairyBrie Larson - Short Term 12Shailene Woodley - The Spectacular Now
Best Male Lead:Bruce Dern - NebraskaChiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years A SlaveOscar Isaac - Inside Llewyn DavisMichael B. Jordan - Fruitvale StationMatthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers ClubRobert Redford - All Is Lost
Best Supporting Female:Melonie Diaz - Fruitvale StationSally Hawkins - Blue JasmineLupita N'Yongo - 12 Years A SlaveYolanda Ross - Go For SistersJune Squibb - Nebraska
Best Supporting Male:Michael Fassbender - 12 Years A SlaveWill Forte - NebraskaJames Gandolfini - Enough SaidJared Leto - Dallas Buyers ClubKeith Stanfield - Short Term 12
Best Director:Shane Carruth - Upstream ColorJ.C. Chandor - All Is LostSteve McQueen - 12 Years A SlaveJeff Nichols - MudAlexander Payne - Nebraska
Best First Feature:Blue CapriceConcussionFruitvale StationUna NocheWadjda
John Cassavetes Award:Computer ChessCrystal FairyMuseum HoursPit StopThis Is Martin Bonner
Best Screenplay:Woody Allen - Blue JasmineJulie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater - Before MidnightNicole Holofcener - Enough SaidScott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber - The Spectacular NowJohn Ridley - 12 Years A Slave
Best First ScreenplayLake Bell - In A WorldJoseph Gordon-Levitt - Don JonBob Nelson - NebraskaJill Soloway - Afternoon DelightMichael Starburry - The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete
Best CinematographySean Bobbitt - 12 Years A SlaveBenoit Debie - Spring BreakersBruno Delbonnel - Inside Llewyn DavisFrank G. Demarco - All Is LostMatthias Grunsky - Computer Chess
Best Editing:Shane Carruth & David Lowery - Upstream ColorJem Cohen & Marc Vives - Museum HoursJennifer Lame - Frances HaCindy Lee - Una NocheNat Sanders - Short Term 12
Best International FilmA Touch Of SinBlue Is The Warmest ColorGloriaThe Great BeautyThe Hunt
Best DocumentaryThe Act Of KillingAfter TillerGideon's ArmyThe SquareTwenty Feet From Stardom
Piaget Producers AwardToby Halbrooks & James M. JohnsonJacob JaffkeAndrea RoaFerderick Thornton
Truer Than Fiction Awards:Kalyanee Mam - A River Changes CourseJason Osder - Let The Fire BurnStephanie Spray & Pancho Valez - Manakamana
Someone To Watch Awards:Aaron Douglas Johnston - My Sisters' QuinceaneraShaka King - NewlyweedsMadeleine Olnek - The Foxy Merkins
Robert Altman Award:Mud
What did you think about director Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave?