WHAT DO 1950s lesbians, a transgender prostitute, stop-action animation, African soldiers and
journalists have in common?
They're part of the nominated films for the 31st Spirit Awards, announced yesterday, and the five films vying for best feature are "Anomalisa," "Beasts of No Nation," "Tangerine" (a film shot on iPhones), "Carol" and "Spotlight."
Film Independent is behind the awards, which honor "uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter," and are American films made for $20 million or less.
The lesbian drama "Carol" led the field with six nominations, including nods for director Todd Haynes and actresses Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
"Beasts of No Nation" was next with five nominations, two of which recognized director Cary Fukunaga and star Idris Elba.
"Spotlight" won the Robert Altman Award for the combined work of the director, casting director and ensemble cast, and director Tom McCarthy got one of the film's four other nods.
Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson received a director nomination for "Anomalisa," and Jennifer Jason Leigh was named for voice work in the film, which also received a screenplay nomination.
And "Tangerine," in addition to being noted as a feature and for director Sean Baker, received nominations for its two transgender actresses, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor.
reports that Amazon Studios is removing its advertising for "The Man in the High Castle" from the New York City subway system after complaints from commuters.
Yup, even in anything-goes Manhattan, subway riders are taken aback by subway cars wrapped in Nazi imagery.
Series creator Frank Spotnitz gets it.
"It's very difficult with a show with subject matter like this to market it tastefully, so I understand they're walking a very difficult line," he said of the difficulties for Amazon marketing. "If they had asked me, I would have strongly advised them not to do it. . . . I read what the director of the Anti-Defamation League said, and I thought he was 100 percent correct, which is that when you take these symbols out of the context of the show, then they can be offensive and upset people. Within the show, there is a context where you see why [they're used], but just to put them out like that without the context was unfortunate."
* Marvel Studios announced yesterday that production has begun on "Doctor Strange," starring Benedict Cumberbatch as neurosurgeon turned cosmic magician Stephen Strange. Also in the prestigious cast - remember this is a comic-book movie, not an art-house film - are Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. The film opens next November and is directed by Scott Derrickson ("Sinister," "The Exorcism of Emily Rose").
* It's been awhile since we've written anything about a celebrity spending crazy money on an odd thing, but Us Weekly reports that a veterinarian makes house calls to Demi Moore's L.A. mansion to give her Chihuahua acupuncture.
Needling the pooch costs up to $715 per session. Bi-weekly.
"There's nothing wrong with her dog," said an unnamed source. Demi, the source added, "is just really into holistic food and medicine for her animals, the way she is for herself."
"It can calm down an anxious dog," vet Patrick Mahaney told Us.
What about an anxious journalist?
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.