Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Rourke up for indie film accolade

Mickey Rourke
Rourke plays a wrester fallen on hard times in Darren Aronofsky's film

Mickey Rourke's comeback performance in The Wrestler has been shortlisted for the best actor prize at Hollywood's leading awards for independent film.

The sports drama, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is also up for best feature at the Spirit Awards, to be held on 21 February.

Other titles nominated for the event's top award include Anne Hathaway's family drama Rachel Getting Married.

Bobby Sands biopic Hunger, meanwhile, is up for the best foreign film prize.

Rachel Getting Married, about a wedding interrupted by the arrival of the bride's troubled sister, is up for six awards in total.

So are Ballast, an austere drama set in the Mississippi Delta, and Frozen River, a film about human trafficking set on the US-Canadian border.

Wendy and Lucy, in which Michelle Williams plays a young homeless woman seeking her lost dog, completes the best feature shortlist.

Williams, the former partner of the late Heath Ledger, is also up for a best actress prize alongside Hathaway and Frozen River's Melissa Leo.

Former Oscar winners Sean Penn and Javier Bardem will compete with Rourke in the best male lead category.

Oscar hopefuls

Penn is recognised for his role as gay politician Harvey Milk in the film Milk, while Bardem - of No Country for Old Men fame - is nominated for his work in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Bardem's co-star Penelope Cruz gets a supporting actress citation for her role in Woody Allen's comedy.

Melissa Leo
Leo's Gotham win boosts her chances of getting an Oscar nomination
British director James Marsh, meanwhile, is up for a best documentary prize for Man on Wire, his film about the Frenchman who wire-walked between the Twin Towers in New York.

Held in Los Angeles on the day before the Oscars, the Spirit Awards are presented by Film Independent, a non-profit US organisation that promotes independent film-making.

It is not uncommon for many of its nominees to also be shortlisted for Academy Awards.

The announcement of the 2009 Spirit nominations coincided with the the Gotham Independent Film Awards, held in New York on Tuesday.

Melissa Leo was named breakthrough actor of the year for Frozen River, which also picked up the best feature prize.

The ensemble performance award was shared by Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, which will also receive an ensemble acting prize at the Spirit Awards.

Presented by film organisation IFP (Independent Feature Project), the Gothams saw Penelope Cruz and Milk director Gus Van Sant receive special tributes.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Oscar hopefuls vie for contention
19 Nov 08 |  Entertainment
The Wrestler scoops Golden Lion
07 Sep 08 |  Entertainment
Juno triumphs at Spirit awards
24 Feb 08 |  Entertainment
Dylan biopic leads Spirit awards
28 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Film awards season's main events
15 Jan 07 |  Entertainment

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific