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Film Independent Spirit Awards

Hosted by Patton Oswalt

Best Supporting Male

James Gandolfini

James Gandolfini

FILMEnough Said

A divorced and single parent, Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) spends her days enjoying work as a masseuse but dreading her daughter’s impending departure for college. She meets Albert (James Gandolfini) – a sweet, funny and like-minded man also facing an empty nest. As their romance quickly blossoms, Eva befriends Marianne (Catherine Keener), her new massage client. Marianne is a beautiful poet who seems “almost perfect” except for one prominent quality: she rags on her ex-husband way too much. Suddenly, Eva finds herself doubting her own relationship with Albert as she learns the truth about Marianne’s ex. Enough Said is a sharp, insightful comedy that humorously explores the mess that often comes with getting involved again.

Jared Leto

Jared Leto

FILMDallas Buyers Club

An imperfect man fights for survival during an uncertain time in America. Inspired by true events, Ron Woodroof’s story of strength is told in Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée from an original screenplay by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack. Spirit Award winner Matthew McConaughey portrays the real-life character, whose self-interest is galvanized into something much more.

A son of Texas, Ron Woodroof is an electrician and rodeo cowboy. In 1985, he is well into an unexamined existence with a devil-may-care lifestyle. Suddenly, Ron is blindsided by being diagnosed as H.I.V.-positive and given 30 days to live. Yet he will not, and does not, accept a death sentence.

His crash course of research reveals a lack of approved treatments and medications in the U.S., so Ron crosses the border into Mexico. There, he learns about alternative treatments and begins smuggling them into the U.S., challenging the medical and scientific community including his concerned physician, Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner). An outsider to the gay community, Ron finds an unlikely ally in fellow AIDS patient Rayon (Jared Leto), a transsexual who shares Ron’s lust for life. Rayon also shares Ron’s entrepreneurial spirit: seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, they establish a “buyers club,” where H.I.V.-positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies.

Deep in the heart of Texas, Ron’s pioneering underground collective beats loud and strong. With a growing community of friends and clients, Ron fights for dignity, education, and acceptance. In the years following his diagnosis, the embattled Lone Star loner lives life to the fullest like never before.

Keith Stanfield

Keith Stanfield

FILMShort Term 12

Short Term 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) But Grace’s own difficult past – and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself – throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility – Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. She and Mason also struggle to help Marcus (Keith Stanfield) – an intense, quiet kid who is about to turn 18 – manage the difficulty of having to leave the facility. Grace comes to find – in both her work and the new teenager in her care – surprising sources of redemption. And while the subject matter is complex and often dark, this lovingly realized film finds truth – and humor – in unexpected places.

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender

FILM12 Years a Slave

12 Years A Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.

Will Forte

Will Forte

FILMNebraska

After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states, Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America.

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