* "127 Hours," "Black Swan," "Greenberg" top film nominees
* Bening, Kidman, Portman compete for best lead actress
* Franco, Eckhart, Stiller earn lead actor nods (Adds nominees, byline, details throughout)
By Bob Tourtellotte
LOS ANGELES, Nov 30 Drama "Winter's Bone" and comedy "The Kids Are All Right" came up big at the Independent Spirit Award nominations on Tuesday earning nods in several categories including best film for the key movie awards.
"Winter's Bone," a dark drama about a girl searching for her father in a drug-infested community in rural Arkansas, earned seven nominations, including for director Debra Granik and star Jennifer Lawrence, who earned a nod for best actress.
The nominations mark two straight days of recognition for "Winter's Bone," which also earned nods for best screenplay, cinematography, supporting actress for Dale Dickey and supporting actor for John Hawkes. On Monday, the movie was named best feature film at New York's Gotham Awards, which also recognizes independently-made movies.
But at the Los Angeles-based Spirit Awards, "Winter's Bone" will face stiff competition from "The Kids Are All Right," which has been a winner at film festivals and box offices. The comedy tells of a lesbian couple whose children locate their sperm donor father.
"Kids" collected five nominations, also in the best director category for Lisa Cholodenko, best actress for Annette Bening, supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo and screenplay,
Joining "Winter's Bone" and "Kids" on the list of feature film nominees were director Danny Boyle's adventure film "127 Hours," about a man trapped in a canyon, Darren Aronofsky's ballet drama "Black Swan," telling of a dancer competing for a lead role in a production of "Swan Lake," and Noah Baumbach's "Greenberg" in which a man look for meaning in life.
Boyle and Aronofsky both landed nominations for best director, and rounding out the nominees in that category was John Cameron Mitchell with his drama "Rabbit Hole," starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as a couple grieving over the death of their young son.
KEY EVENT FOR INDIE FILMS
The Independent Spirit Awards, given out by the Los Angeles-based group Film Independent, are a key event for films made outside Hollywood's major studios that are looking for recognition in the race for Oscars.
Last year, for instance, Jeff Bridges collected an Independent Spirit Award for best actor in his role as a country singer in "Crazy Hearts" before going on to win the Oscar for the same part.
In the best lead actor race, "127 Hours" star James Franco and "Rabbit Hole's" Aaron Eckhart will compete against Ben Stiller in "Greenberg," John C. Reilly for comedy "Cyrus" and Ronald Bronstein in "Daddy Longlegs," playing a divorced father of two young boys whom he sees only a couple of weeks a year.
Joining Bening and Lawrence in the race for best lead actress are Nicole Kidman for "Rabbit Hole," Natalie Portman with "Black Swan," Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine" and Greta Gerwig for "Greenberg."
Among other categories, "Exit Through the Gift Shop," "Restrepo," "Sweetgrass," "Marwencol" and "Thunder Soul" were nominated for best documentary.
Foreign film nominees included "The King's Speech," (United Kingdom), "Kisses" (Ireland), "Mademoiselle Chambon" (France), "Of Gods and Men" (Morocco) and "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" (Thailand).
The Independent Spirit Awards will be given out on Feb. 26 in the Los Angeles-area community of Santa Monica.
(Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Christine Kearney)