And the Nominees Are … Sundance Film Festival Veterans
About those Academy Award nominations announced this morning, Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan has noted a trend:
If you add up the number of [Oscar] nominations [for films] from last year’s [Sundance Film] festival — 14 all told — it’s a more impressive total than the dozen for THE KING’S SPEECH.
The two Sundance films that did best were THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT and the festival’s Grand Jury Prize winner, WINTER’S BONE, each of which got four nominations.
And these were not just any four nominations either. Both Sundance films were among the 10 to receive best picture nods, both had screenplays selected and both had two acting nominations apiece: Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo were picked for director Lisa Cholodenko’s KIDS, and for Debra Granik’s WINTER’S BONE, the nominees were John Hawkes and Jennifer Lawrence. (In fact, the lead actress category is dominated by performers from Sundance films: Bening, Lawrence and Michelle Williams from BLUE VALENTINE.)
The category that Sundance films really dominated, however, was documentary: Four of the five films nominated — EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, GASLAND, RESTREPO and WASTE LAND — were in Park City a year ago.
Turan suggests that this mainstream award recognition for films that originated at the Sundance Film Festival is more than just luck — or even taste. “Aside from being a tribute to Sundance’s programmers,” he writes, “the choices underline what has been the most fascinating Academy Awards trend of the last decade: the dominance of independent films during Oscar season.”
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