Oscars Pass on the Heartland

Films with a midwest connection fared well in one awards judging, but fell short in Hollywood’s annual statue-fest.

John Hawkes

Actor John Hawkes on the Red Carpet. (Getty Images)

Winter Bone, a grim tale set in the Missouri Ozarks, swept the “supporting” categories at the Independent Spirit Awards, at the Saturday night presentation. The small-budget film received a majority of the Spirit nominations, but won awards only for John Hawkes and Dale Dickey.

Meanwhile, the Heartland film was shut out of the Oscars, with Christian Bale winning the supporting actor category for his role in The Fighter and Melissa Leo winning for the same film.

True Grit, already honored by the Academy a half-century ago, revisited the Old West setting of Fort Smith, Arkansas and then-Indian-Territory McAlester, but the nominations of Jeff Bridges for Actor in a Leading Role and Hailee Steinfeld for Actress in a Supporting Role, both came up short.

Fans of Winter’s Bone staged a watch party at Springfield, Missouri, hosted by the Missouri Film Alliance and attended by many of the film’s crew members. The excitement of having local ties to the traditional Hollywood event may have offset the disappointment of having been passed over for awards.

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