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Independent Spirit Award nominees (2005)

Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney in The Squid & The Whale

Story by Jack Foley

A LOW budget film about divorce, starring Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, has emerged as the leading contender for the Independent Spirit Awards after picking up six nominations.

The Squid and the Whale, which is loosely based on the experiences of director, Noah Baumbach, and his parents’ divorce, was praised for its ‘honesty’ and also picked up a best actor nomination for Daniels and a best actress nomination for Linney.

George Clooney’s excellent Good Night, and Good Luck collected four nominations, as did Capote, a film about the life of Truman Capote, Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee’s ‘gay cowboy drama’, and Tommy Lee Jones’ directorial debut, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

The awards seek to honour films that were made outside of the studio system and will be held on March 4 at a ceremony in LA – one day before the Oscars on March 5.

Challenging Daniels for the best actor award will be Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote, David Strathairn for Goodnight, and Good Luck, Heath Ledger for Brokeback Mountain and Terrence Howard for Hustle & Flow.

Hoffman is viewed as a major contender for an Oscar nomination for his performance as US author Capote, who wrote the novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The best actress award, meanwhile, will pit Linney against Desperate Housewives star, Felicity Huffman, for Transamerica, Dina Korzun for Forty Shades of Blue, S Epatha Merkerson for Lackawanna Blues and Cyndi Williams for Room.

The directors’ battle will be between The Squid & The Whale’s Baumbach, Clooney and Lee, as well as Gregg Araki for the paedophilia-themed drama Mysterious Skin and Rodrigo Garcia for Nine Lives, starring Glenn Close and Holly Hunter.

Last year’s big winner at the awards was Sideways which went on to win best screenplay at the Oscars.