The Reeler

Features

October 22, 2007

Gothams Sound Off for '07

Zobel's debut scores hat trick, Loktev nabs pair as IFP nominations revealed

(L-R) Kene Holliday and Pat Healy in Great World of Sound, a three-time nominee at this year's 2007 Gotham Awards (Photo: Magnolia Pictures)

You might recall it was around this time last year that I officially gave up on the IFP Gotham Awards -- right about when The Departed and Marie Antoinette (combined budget: $130 million) claimed two of 2006's five Best Feature nominations. Not long after that came the troubling awards show itself, where the no-show Babel ensemble showed up the intrepid New Yorkers of Shortbus and even IFP honoree Edward Norton confessed he might have been the wrong guy for the award. I watched for this year's Gotham nominations with a tremulous, abject fear, all but peeking down the road through fingers clasped in front of my eyes.

Turns out I didn't really need to: IFP today announced its nominees for the 2007 Gotham Awards, among which Craig Zobel's Great World of Sound leading the way with three nominations. Julia Loktev's gritty Day Night Day Night earned a pair of nods for its director and its actress, Luisa Williams, while the directors of undistributed titles including Munyurangabo (Lee Isaac Chung) and Owl and the Sparrow (Stephane Gauger) joined Loktev and Zobel in the Breakthrough Director category. Of course you've got your specialty-division strivers Margot at the Wedding and Into the Wild, each with two nominations, and Oscar-winners Michael Moore (Sicko) and Jonathan Demme (Jimmy Carter Man From Plains) share Best Documentary recognition with the likes of Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), Amir Bar-Lev (My Kid Could Paint That) and Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern (The Devil Came on Horseback). If those are the least of the affronts -- while the likes of No End in Sight, Killer of Sheep, Musician, Fay Grim and Rocket Science are left on the outside looking in -- then I guess it's a good year. Kudos as well to East Village horror godfather Larry Fessenden, whose The Last Winter received a nomination for an ensemble cast including James LeGros, Ron Perlman, Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan and Zach Gilford.

And even if IFP hasn't changed its mission's verbiage to reflect the realities of the contemporary institution, at least the Gothams' mission now leaves enough room to drive a truck full of studio cash through. Or, as IFP Executive Director Michelle Byrd told IndieWire this morning about the nominees' budgets: "It's an acknowledgment that this is the range that people understand [as independent film). ... We need to stop feeling guilty about it!" Whatever, lady; it's your party.

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The 2007 Gotham Award Nominations

Best Feature

Great World of Sound
Craig Zobel, director; Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright,
Craig Zobel, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

I'm Not There
Todd Haynes, director; Christine Vachon, James D. Stern, John Sloss, John
Goldwyn, producers (The Weinstein Company)

Into the Wild

Sean Penn, director; Sean Penn, Art Linson, Bill Pohlad, producers (Paramount
Vantage & River Road Entertainment)

Margot at the Wedding
Noah Baumbach, director; Scott Rudin, producer (Paramount Vantage)

The Namesake
Mira Nair, director; Lydia Dean Pilcher, Mira Nair, producers (Fox Searchlight
Pictures)

Best Documentary

The Devil Came on Horseback
Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern, directors; Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg,
Gretchen Wallace, Jane Wells, producers (International Film Circuit)

Jimmy Carter Man from Plains
Jonathan Demme, director; Jonathan Demme, Neda Armian, producers (Sony
Pictures Classics)

My Kid Could Paint That
Amir Bar-Lev, producer/director (Sony Pictures Classics)

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Sicko
Michael Moore, director; Michael Moore, Meghan O'Hara, producers (The
Weinstein Company)

Taxi to the Dark Side
Alex Gibney, director; Alex Gibney, Eva Orner, Susannah Shipman, producers
(THINKFilm)

Best Ensemble Cast

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian
F. O'Byrne, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Marisa Tomei (THINKFilm)

The Last Winter
Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan, Zach Gilford, James LeGros, Ron Perlman (IFC
First Take)

Margot at the Wedding
Jack Black, Flora Cross, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Zane Pais, John Turturro (Paramount Vantage)

The Savages
Philip Bosco, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Talk to Me
Cedric the Entertainer, Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Vondie
Curtis Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Martin Sheen (Focus Features)

Breakthrough Director

Lee Isaac Chung for Munyurangabo
Stephane Gauger for Owl and the Sparrow
Julia Loktev for Day Night Day Night (IFC First Take)
David Von Ancken for Seraphim Falls (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Craig Zobel for Great World of Sound (Magnolia Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor

Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage)
Kene Holliday in Great World of Sound (Magnolia Pictures)
Ellen Page in Juno (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Jess Weixler in Teeth (Roadside Attractions)
Luisa Williams in Day Night Day Night (IFC First Take)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

August the First
Lanre Olabisi, director; Shawn Alexander, Gabriel "Swede" Sedgwick, Nicky
Arzeu Akmal, Lanre Olabisi, producers

Frownland
Ronald Bronstein, director; Marc Raybin, producer

Loren Cass
Chris Fuller, director; Chris Fuller, Frank Craft, Kayla Tabish, producers

Mississippi Chicken
John Fiege, director; John Fiege, Anita Grabowski, Victor Moyers, producers

Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa
Jeremy Stulberg & Randy Stulberg, directors; Eric Juhola, Jeremy Stulberg,
Randy Stulberg, producers



Comments (2)

Quibbling is a God-given right. But, for the record: Daniel Kraus' "Musician" (a fine film) was not submitted for Gothams consideration.

Good point, Andrew. Thanks for the clarification.

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