Congrats to 12 Years a Slave, Nebraska and All Is Lost for landing seven, six and four Spirit Award nominations, respectively. Congrats to Nebraska‘s Bruce Dern for landing a Best Actor nom, which obviously adds a measure of heat to his Best Actor Oscar campaign. Congrats also to Inside Llewyn Davis and Frances Ha for landing Best Feature noms, and to Davis‘s Oscar Isaac for his Best Male Lead nomination. Ditto to Best International Film nominee Blue is the Warmest Color, which I’m presuming will take the cake.

A Best Cinematography nomination went to Inside Llewyn Davis‘s Bruno Delbonnel — good for that and all artfully desaturated color schemes. It seems curious that the black-and-white cinematography from both Nebraska‘s Phedon Papamichael and Frances Ha‘s Sam Levy were overlooked.

Somehow or some way Richard Linklater‘s Before Midnight, which snagged a Best Screenplay nom and a Best Actress nom for Julie Delpy, should have been nominated for Best Feature.

Spirit Awards rules forbid nominations for non-American films except in the Best International Film category, otherwise Blue‘s Adele Exarchopoulos would surely be among the Best Female lead nominees.

12 Years A Slave was nominated for Best Feature, Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofer), Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o (an almost certain winner here and with the Oscars), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay (John Ridley).

Nebraska was nominated for for Best Feature, Best Director (Alexander Payne), Best Actor (Dern), Best Supporting Actress (June Squibb), Best Supporting Actor (Will Forte, who by any even-handed standard in the world plays the lead male role here) and Best First Screenplay (Bob Nelson).

All Is Lost was also nominated for Best Director (J.C. Chandor), Best Actor (Robert Redford) and Best Cinematography.

A journalist friend wrote to say that “I imagine that some kind of short-circuit must be going off in your brain and smoke issuing from your ears when you saw that the Spirit Awards not only nominated Bruce Dern as leading actor but put Will Forte in the supporting category.” My response: “They’re just following orders, the Spirit guys. Orders given by (a) last May’s Cannes jurors and (b) Paramount Pictures. They’re political animals. They know who butters their bread. Who are they are to step out of line?”