With a ton of prizes to hand out and a splashy ceremony just before the Oscars in February, the Independent Spirit Awards are the biggest night of the year for independent film, and the best chance for many small-scale films to get into the spotlight, But the word "independent" has been fuzzy in these awards for years now, and the trend continued this year, with the Weinstein Company's $23-million Silver Linings Playbook snagging many of the top nominations, including Best Feature and Best Male and Female Lead.

It joins similarly pricey Moonrise Kingdom in the Best Feature category, along with Beasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie and Keep the Lights On, all of which were more traditional independent productions. Moonrise Kingdom and Beasts were both big winners at last night's Gotham Awards and both scored several additional nominations, including for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and respective nods for Beasts's Quvenzhane Wallis as Best Female Lead and Moonrise's Bruce Willis as Best Supporting Male.

You can see the full list of nominees below. I'm especially happy to see Matthew McConaughey scoring two different nominations, for lead actor in Killer Joe and supporting actor in Magic Mike (which, yes, was an independent production financed entirely by Steven Soderbergh and Channing Tatum before Warner Bros. picked it up and made it a huge hit). And three cheers for Bernie, Richard Linklater's criminally overlooked film that features a freer-best performance from Jack Black, who is nominated against co-star McConaughey (what a year for that guy!) as Best Male Lead.

Best Feature
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Keep the Lights On
Moonrise Kingdom
Silver Linings Playbook

Best First Feature
Fill the Void
Gimme the Loot
Safety Not Guaranteed
Sound of My Voice
The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Best Director
Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
Julia Loktev, The Loneliest Planet
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Female Lead
Linda Cardellini, Return
Emayatsy Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed

Best Male Lead
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver LInings Playbook
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Thure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights On
Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe
Wendell Pierce, Four

Best Supporting Male
Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike
David Oyelowo, Middle of Nowhere
Michael Pena, End of Watch
Sam Rockwell, Seven Psychopaths
Bruce Willis, Moonrise Kingdom

Best Supporting Female
Rosemarie Dewitt, Your Sister's Sister
Ann Dowd, Compliance
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Brit Marling, Sound of My Voice
Lorraine Toussaint, Middle of Nowhere

Best International Film
Once Upon A Time In Anatolia
Rust & Bone
War Witch

Best Documentary
How To Survive A Plague
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
The Central Park Five
The Invisible War
The Waiting Room
Best Cinematography
Yoni Brook, Valley of Saints
Ben Richardson, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Roman Vasyanov, End of Watch
Robert D. Yeoman, Moonrise Kingdom

Best Screenplay
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On
Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths

Best First Screenplay
Rama Burshtein, Fill the Void
Derek Connolly, Safety Not Guaranteed
Christopher D. Ford, Robot & Frank
Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, Celeste & Jesse Forever
Jonathan Lisecki, Gayby

John Cassavetes Award
Breakfast with Curtis
Middle of Nowhere
Mosquita y Mari
The Color Wheel

Truer Than Fiction Award
Jasonyyee Tippet and Elizabeth Mimms, Only The Young
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, Leviathan
Peter Nicks, The Waiting Room

Someone To Watch Award
Adam Leon, Gimme the Loot
Rebecca Thomas, Electrick Children

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