Pat McDonald on Indie Spirit Award Nominees

Ann Dowd stars in Craig Zobel’s Compliance. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Ann Dowd stars in Craig Zobel’s Compliance. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

The Indie Spirit Awards have long been considered the “justice awards” for worthy pictures that don’t have the budget to compete in the Oscar race. Yet just as Sundance has become increasingly stuffed with easily marketable star vehicles, the Indie Spirit ceremony has gone from honoring thrilling breakthroughs like “sex, lies, and videotape” and “Pulp Fiction” (check out Michael Moore’s interview with Quentin Tarantino at the 1994 ceremony below) to standard Oscar bait like “Black Swan” and “The Artist.” Will this year’s Indie Spirit Awards, airing February 23rd, spread the wealth or stick with safe choices? Pat McDonald, my colleague at, joins me for a lively discussion on this year’s nominees. Though the list he retrieved online was rather misinformed–citing HBO’s “Girls” as a nominee for Best Feature–I’m willing to argue that the first season of Lena Dunham’s brilliant comedy, taken as a ten-part miniseries, rivals pretty much anything I’ve seen in a theater all year.

For a complete list of the nominees, visit the official Indie Spirit site.

The program was produced at Columbia College Chicago. Technical producer was Rebecca Nystedt. An Indie Outlook production.

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