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Gotham 2009 Nominations

Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker
Nisreen Faour, Hiam Abbass in Amreeka
Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind in A Serious Man
Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker (top); Nisreen Faour, Hiam Abbass in Amreeka (middle); Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind in A Serious Man (bottom)

Considered the official beginning of awards season in the United States, the Independent Feature Project announced its 2009 Gotham Award nominations earlier today in New York City.

The five nominees for best picture are:

  • Cherien Dabis' Amreeka, the tale of a Palestinian mother (Nisreen Faour) who immigrates with her teenage son to the American Midwest. No more pesky Israeli check-points, but lots of meat-patty flipping at burger joints.
  • Robert D. Siegel's Big Fan, in which a hardcore New York Giants fan (breakthrough actor nominee Patton Oswalt) gets beaten up by his favorite player – and then has to deal with his unbridled fanaticism.
  • Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker follows a US Army bomb squad unit doing some dangerous work in an Iraqi town under siege.
  • Directed by Sebastián Silva, and written by Silva and Pedro Peirano, La Nana / The Maid chronicles the emotional ups and downs of a devoted maid (breakthrough actor nominee Catalina Saavedra) whose position is threatened at a wealthy Chilean household. (Curiously, this Chilean-Mexican production – winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance 2009 – got in as an “American” film; else, it couldn't have received a best picture nomination.)
  • Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man, in which Michael Stuhlbarg plays a man whose life is suddenly turned upside down.

Catalina Saavedra in La Nana

The Hurt Locker and A Serious Man (both of which also received Gotham nominations for best ensemble performance) are strong contenders for US critics' awards, Golden Globes, Oscars, et al, while the inclusion of The Maid in the Gothams' best picture/breakthrough actor lists will possibly increase the chances of Catalina Saavedra (above) to add a few more awards to the World Cinema Prize for Acting she won at Sundance.

The Gotham 2009 winners will be announced on Nov. 30.

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