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"Rachel" And "River" Lead Spirit Award Nominations

| 12/ 2/08 06:36 PM | AP

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In this image released by Sony Pictures Classics, Anne Hathaway is shown in a scene from "Rachel Getting Married." (AP Photo/Sony Pictures Classics, Bob Vergara)

LOS ANGELES — Anne Hathaway's family drama "Rachel Getting Married," the border-smuggling tale "Frozen River" and the Deep South saga "Ballast" led nominees Tuesday for the Spirit Awards with six nominations each, including best picture.

Other best-picture nominees for the awards, which honor independent film, were Michelle Williams' down-on-her-luck drama "Wendy and Lucy" and Mickey Rourke's broken-down athlete tale "The Wrestler."

Hathaway and Williams have lead-actress nominations, along with Melissa Leo for "Frozen River," Summer Bishil for "Towelhead" and Tarra Riggs for "Ballast."

Rourke has a lead-actor nomination, along with Javier Bardem for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," Richard Jenkins for "The Visitor," Sean Penn for "Milk" and Jeremy Renner for "The Hurt Locker."

"Rachel Getting Married," with Hathaway as an addict whose homecoming for her sister's wedding causes upheaval, also earned nominations for director Jonathan Demme, supporting actresses Debra Winger and Rosemarie DeWitt and screenwriter Jenny Lumet.

"Frozen River," which follows a white woman and a Mohawk Indian woman drawn into smuggling on a reservation along the New York-Quebec border, had writing and directing nominations for filmmaker Courtney Hunt. Supporting-actress Misty Upham and supporting-actor Charlie McDermott also were nominated.

"Ballast," the story of a single mother struggling to get by amid trauma and turmoil, grabbed directing and writing nominations for filmmaker Lance Hammer, along with slots for supporting actor JimMyron Ross and for cinematographer Lol Crawley.

Other key nominations included two more for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," for Woody Allen's screenplay and supporting actress Penelope Cruz.

Eligible films must have cost less than $20 million to produce, with significant financing from independent sources outside the Hollywood studio system.

The Spirit Awards will be presented Feb. 21, a day before the Academy Awards.

The ceremony will include the annual Robert Altman Award for an ensemble film, which is being presented to "Synecdoche, New York," the directing debut from "Being John Malkovich" screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.

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