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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, December 3, 2005

'Squid' is top nominee for indie film awards

By David Germain
Associated Press

The divorce tale "The Squid and the Whale" led contenders for the Independent Spirit Awards with six nominations, including best picture and honors for director Noah Baumbach and actors Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney.

The other best-picture nominees announced Tuesday were the cowboy tales "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" and the film biographies "Capote" and "Good Night, and Good Luck." Those four movies all had four nominations each for the awards, which honor films whose financing comes at least partly from independent sources outside the Hollywood studio system.

Daniels was nominated for lead actor, and Linney for lead actress, as parents going through a caustic divorce in "The Squid and the Whale," inspired by writer-director Baumbach's own parents' breakup in the 1980s.

Jesse Eisenberg scored a supporting-actor nomination as Daniels and Linney's son, while Baumbach was nominated for directing and his screenplay.

Other lead-actor nominees were Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in "Capote"; Terrence Howard as a pimp and drug dealer trying to build a rap career in "Hustle & Flow"; Heath Ledger as a family man carrying on a gay affair in "Brokeback Mountain"; and David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow in "Good Night, and Good Luck," an account of the newsman's battle against the communist witch hunt in the 1950s.

Also among lead-actress contenders were Felicity Huffman in "Transamerica"; Dina Korzun in "Forty Shades of Blue"; S. Epatha Merkerson in "Lackawanna Blues"; and Cyndi Williams in "Room."

The nonprofit group Film Independent, which sponsors the awards, will announce winners March 4, the night before the Academy Awards.

Joining Baumbach in the directing category were Gregg Araki for the teen drama "Mysterious Skin"; George Clooney for "Good Night, and Good Luck"; Rodrigo Garcia for "Nine Lives"; and Ang Lee for "Brokeback Mountain.