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Call it a reward for all the independent films he's supported by starring in over the past few years. McConaughey landed not one, but two nods. The first, best male lead for "Killer Joe" and, in something of a surprise, best supporting male for "Magic Mike." McConaughey, who also appeared in feature film nominee "Bernie," spoke about the latter two films with HitFix a few weeks ago.
Winner: "Keep the Lights On"
The committee saw what this pundit and some other critics adored in Ira Sach's powerful Sundance Drama awarding it four nominations including a jump for joy best feature film, best director (Sachs), best screenplay (Sachs) and best male lead (Thure Lindhardt).
Loser: Melanie Lynskey
A favorite among the indie community, Lynskey received a Gotham Award nomination for her work in "Hello I Must Be Going," but her LA-based peers passed her by.
Winner: The Documentary committee
You'll find little disagreement on the documentary committee's fine selection of nominees this year. "How to Survive A Plague," "Marina Abramovi?: The Artist is Present," "The Central Park Five," "The Invisible War" and "The Waiting Room" are all deserving nominees and at least four of them could make the Oscar cut.
Winner: Bruce Willis
After 30 years in the business, Willis lands his first Spirit nod for a wonderfully understated performance in Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom." Add the praise for his work in the surprise hit "Looper" and it's been quite a year for the "Die Hard" star.
Roadside Attractions' September hit received much better reviews than expected (I certainly wasn't a fan), but it couldn't translate into Spirit Awards love. The Richard Gere thriller landed no nominations in what turned out to be a rare "off" year for Roadside overall.
Loser: Greta Gerwig
Poor Gerwig. Once the belle of the ball with "Greenberg," she was shut out with no nominations for either "Damsels in Distress" or "Lola Versus." That's OK, we're pretty sure she'll make a comeback next year with the wonderful "Frances Ha."
Not one nomination. Ouch.
Winner: Music Box Films
The little distributor that could secured seven nominations second to only Fox Searchlight's nine and more than Sony Classics (6), Focus Features (6) or The Weinstein Company (5). Most impressive, they were from three different films demonstrating Music Box's growing stature in the indie film business.
Winner: Julia Loktev
Never heard of her? Well, chances are you never heard of her film "The Loneliest Planet" either. The picture impressed the narrative committee enough to push her ahead of Richard Linklater, Stephen Chbosky and David Ayer for a best director nod.
What did you think of this year's nominees? Share your thoughts below.
The 28h Annual Independent Spirit Awards will be handed out on Sat., Feb. 23, 2013.