There’s some good news for Judi Dench and the people who like to see her awarded for her acting, as the British Independent Film Awards really seem to like Philomena. There’s something about indie film awards that make them want to get out of the gate first, isn’t there? New York’s Gotham awards announced their nominated indies a couple weeks ago, and the Independent Spirit Awards will announce in a few weeks. Today, we get the slate for the British Independent Film Awards, which offer a mix of transatlantic hits with more under-the-radar far, and which give a decent sized boost to Oscar hopefuls like Philomena and Scarlett Johansson.
Philomena is the latest from director Stephen Frears, from a script by co-star Steve Coogan and starring Judi Dench in a performance that will likely receive a big push for a Best Actress nomination. She plays a woman searching for the child she gave up for adoption as a young girl, with Coogan as the reporter helping her. Both stars got nominations for their acting, and the film itself joins Metro Manila, The Selfish Giant, Starred Up, and Le Week-End as Best British Independent Film nominees.
Also nominated for Best Actress was Scarlett Johansson, for Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, in which she plays an alien seeking human contact in Scotland. Talk about your awards-bait! While Under the Skin would certainly be a long-shot for Oscar attention, more nominations for Johansson mean more fuel for her eventual campaign for Spike Jonze’s Her, where she’s seeking to make history in Best Supporting Actress as the first voice-only performance to be nominated. She also nabbed a Gotham Awards nomination for her performance in Don Jon, and that kind of “What a Great Year!” momentum has worked for actors in the past.