The Film Independent, non-IFP Spirit Awards selection committee really likes Todd HaynesI’m Not There, and not just because of the four just-announced nominations — Best Feature, Best Director and acting noms for Cate Blanchett (a sure winner) and Marcus Carl Franklin. They’ve also selected the Weinstein Co. release to receive the org’s Robert Altman Award, a pat-on-the-back group award for the director, casting director and ensemble cast.

Lisa Kudrow, Zac Braff following the reading of nominations — Tuesday, 8:28 am, 2nd floor conference room, West Hollywood’s Sofitel.

Jason Reitman‘s Juno, Julian Schnabel‘s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Tamara JenkinsThe Savages also received four noms each.

The nominations were announced by Zach Braff and Lisa Kudrow at 8 this morning at the Sofitel in West Hollywood. I was sitting in the front row, having loaded up on the free scrambled eggs, roissants, crisp bacon and good coffee a little while before. I snapped the usual photos and left hurriedly when it was over. I left my digital recorder lying on the stage….brilliant.

I’m Not There, Butterfly and Juno were nominated for Best Feature alongside Michael Winterbottom‘s A Mighty Heart and Gus Van Sant‘s Paranoid Park.

I’m Not There (duhhh) will win the Best Feature award. Todd Haynes will take the Best Director award. The Best First Feature winner is too tough call. (The nominees are 2 Days in Paris, Great World of Sound, The Lookout, Rocket Science and Vanaja.) And I don’t know from the John Cassevetes Award.

A morbidly obese, revoltingly chummy glad-handing photographer who was sitting next to me went “ohhh” when Waitress director-writer Adrienne Shelly‘s name was announced as one of the Best Screenplay nominees, so look for a possible Shelly win as a gesture of sorrow for the tragedy that befell her last year.

Either Juno‘s Diablo Cody or Before The Devil Knows Your’e Dead‘s Kelly Masterson will win the Best First Screenplay award — edge to Cody because she lives here now and knows how to work the town, and because Masterson is a New Jersey hermit.

Angelina Jolie may win the Best Actress award for A Mighty Heart (her best performance ever), but if she doesn’t win the rightful winner should be Parker Posey for Broken English.

The Best Actor competish will be between Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages) and Frank Langella (Starting Out in the Evening) — edge to Hoffman.

Blanchett, as noted, as the Best Supporting Female award locked. There’s no hear on any of the Best Supporting Actor nominees but young Marcus Carl Franklin might take it on the strength of the I’m Not There coattails.

It’s too hard to call the Best Documentary nominees…pass. But the Best Foreign Film contest is between Cristian Mungiu‘s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (the best of the five nominees), Eran Kolirin‘s The Band’s Visit (possible recipient of a sympathy vote for having been fucked by the Academy and the HFPA with the language issue), and John Carney‘s Once, the little movie that could and did.