(Reuters) - The drama "The Descendants," the black and white silent film "The Artist" and the coming-out story "Beginners" led the Independent Spirit Award nominations on Tuesday, all scoring nominations for best feature, director and for acting.
"The Descendants" won nominations for director Alexander Payne for the Hawaii-set story of a man trying to connect with his daughters as his wife lay in a coma. Payne was also nominated for best screenplay.
"Beginners," which on Monday shared the top prize for best feature at the Gotham Film Awards which also honor independent films, won four nominations including two for Mike Mills for directing and for his screenplay based on his own experience when his elderly father came out of the closet.
The film also won Christopher Plummer a best supporting actor nomination as Ewan McGregor's gay father in the film.
"The Artist" won double nominations for its director, Michel Hazanavicius, for screenplay and directing. The film festival hit also scored a nod for lead actor Jean Dujardin.
Other best feature nominees included "50/50," "Drive" and "Take Shelter."
Best actor nominees included Demian Bichir for "A Better Life," Ryan Gosling for "Drive," Woody Harrelson for "Rampart" and Michael Shannon for "Take Shelter."
"Take Shelter," another well-received indie film, tied with "The Artist" for most nominations with five each. It tells the story of a man haunted by apocalyptic visions and nightmares. Director Jeff Nichols was also nominated.
Michelle Williams, considered a leading Oscar contender, was nominated for "My Week With Marilyn," in which she plays Marilyn Monroe as an actress struggling on the set of the British film "The Prince and the Showgirl."
Other nominees included Lauren Ambrose in "Think of Me," Rachael Harris in "Natural Selection," Adepero Oduye in "Pariah" and Elizabeth Olsen in "Martha Marcy May Marlene."
The Independent Spirit Awards, to be given out by the Los Angeles-based group Film Independent on February 25, are a key event for films made outside Hollywood's major studios that are looking for recognition in the race for Oscars.
Last year's best actress winner, Natalie Portman, went on to collect the Oscar for "Black Swan."
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Jill Serjeant)