The 2010 Gotham Independent Film Awards announced their nominees this year and the East Coast competitor to the Independent Spirit Awards continues to become more and more relevant to the Oscar race.  

Last year, eventual Academy Award winner "The Hurt Locker" won both best picture and best ensemble at the Gothams while best documentary champ "Food, Inc." made the cut in the Oscar doc race.  That was a big turnaround from the year before when the esoteric, but excellent "Synecdoche, New York" won best ensemble and "Frozen River" picture.  Today's nominees found major players such as "Black Swan," "The Kids Are All Right" and "Winter's Bone" all making their mark with Gotham.  Now, whether that insinuates the Gothams are becoming more consumer friendly or something more about awards season overall, remains to be seen.

Here's a rundown of the 2010 Gotham Independent Film Awards nominees.  Winners will be announced on Monday, November 29 in New York City.

Best Feature
 
Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky, director; Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
 
Blue Valentine
Derek Cianfrance, director; Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky, producers (The Weinstein Company)
 
The Kids Are All Right
Lisa Cholodenko, director;  Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Jordan Horowitz, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Philippe Hellmann, producers (Focus Features)
 
Let Me In
Matt Reeves, director; Simon Oakes, Alex Brunner, Guy East, Tobin Armbrust,  Donna Gigliotti, John Nording, Carl Molinder, producers (Overture Films)
 
Winter’s Bone
Debra Granik, director; Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, producers (Roadside Attractions)

Lowdown: The biggest surprise is the love for Overture Films' "Let Me In."  Let's hope it's a sign critic's groups and the Indie Spirit Awards will take notice as well.  "Kids" is too LA-centric to win the Gotham, get ready for some domination at the Spitits, however.  The question is whether the New York based group goes with their hometown boy, Darren Aronofsky and "Swan" or with "Bone" which has a growing fanbase.  Both films could use it, will Searchlight or Roadside pull it out? Too close to call.
 
 
Best Documentary
 
12th & Delaware
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, directors/producers (HBO Documentary Films)
 
Inside Job
Charles Ferguson, director; Charles Ferguson, Audrey Marrs, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
 
The Oath
Laura Poitras, director/producer (Zeitgeist Films and American Documentary/POV)
 
Public Speaking
Martin Scorsese, director; Martin Scorsese, Graydon Carter, Margaret Bodde, Fran Lebowitz, producers (HBO Documentary Films)
 
Sweetgrass
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash, directors; Ilisa Barbash, producer (Cinema Guild)

Lowdown: Tough one.  Even with this membership, we're guessing "Inside Job" has the most notoriety and Ferguson's doc wins out.
 
 
Best Ensemble Performance
 
The Kids Are All Right
Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson (Focus Features)
 
Life During Wartime
Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds, Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Chris Marquette, Rich Pecci, Charlotte Rampling, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, Dylan Riley Snyder, Renée Taylor, Michael Kenneth Williams (IFC Films)
 
Please Give
Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Ann Guilbert, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele, Thomas Ian Nicholas (Sony Pictures Classics)
 
Tiny Furniture
Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Rachel Howe, Merritt Wever, Amy Seimetz, Alex Karpovsky, David Call,  Jemima Kirke, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Garland Hunter, Isen Hunter (IFC Films)
 
Winter’s Bone
Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan
(Roadside Attractions)

Lowdown: "Kids" is the frontrunner here and its the easiest category for the indie and critical hit to be rewarded (especially with NY based indie acting icons Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore in the fold).  However, don't discount the love for "Winter's Bone" to pull an upset.
 
 
Breakthrough Director
 
John Wells for The Company Men (The Weinstein Company)
Kevin Asch for Holy Rollers (First Independent Pictures)
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa for I Love You Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions)
Tanya Hamilton for Night Catches Us (Magnolia Pictures)
Lena Dunham for Tiny Furniture (IFC Films)

Lowdown: Intriguing list, but the well-established Wells probably has the least chance to make it.  Gut says Hamilton for "Night Catches Us," but any of the other three have a legit shot.
 
Breakthrough Actor
 
Prince Adu in Prince of Broadway (Elephant Eye Films)
Ronald Bronstein in Daddy Longlegs (IFC Films)
Greta Gerwig in Greenberg (Focus Features)
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions)
John Ortiz in Jack Goes Boating (Overture Films)

Lowdown:
This is clearly Lawerence's to lose since she's been the critic's darling since Sundance.  Mumblecore superstar Gerwig has a shot, but Lawrence could use this win if she's going to sneak into the Oscar race.
 
 
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

 
Kati with an i
Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, producers
 
Littlerock
Mike Ott, director; Frederick Thornton, Laura Ragsdale, Sierra Leoni, producers
 
On Coal River
Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood, directors; Jillian Elizabeth, Adams Wood, Francine Cavanaugh, producers
 
Summer Pasture
Lynn True and Nelson Walker, directors/producers; Tsering Perlo, co-director/co-producer
 
The Wolf Knife
Laurel Nakadate, director/producer

Lowdown:  And chances are, you won't see them anytime soon.

What do you think of this year's nominees?  Share your thoughts below.

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