In a year with so many great independent films, it was rewarding to see so many different movies get love with this year’s Film Independent Spirit Award nominations. While it seems like bigger studio films will get the push for the Golden Globes and Oscar’s, a lot of these films will be relegated to just these independent awards, but maybe, these nominations will lead to some much-needed momentum come later in the awards season.
Just like last year, A24 dominated with a total of 12 nominations. Bo Burnham’s ‘Eighth Grade’ received nominations for best female lead in Elsie Fisher, best supporting male actor in Josh Hamilton, best first screenplay, and best feature. Surprisingly enough it did not get nominated for best first feature, but maybe that came down to the members wanting to spread the love since Ari Aster’s ‘Hereditary’ gave A24 a nominee in that category, as well as best female lead with Toni Collette. Paul Schrader’s ‘First Reformed’ also helped A24 with nominations in best feature, best director, best male lead, and best screenplay. While Jonah Hill’s directorial debut ‘Mid90’s’ only managed to get a best editing nomination.
Amazon, Netflix, and The Orchard, while nowhere near A24, performed well, with 6 nominations each. The Orchard does get bragging rights over A24 as ‘We the Animals’ picked up the single most nominations for a film with 5. Amazon was lead by Lynne Ramsay’s ‘You Were Never Really Here’ with 4 nominations, and Suspiria picked up a nomination for best cinematography and was awarded the prestigious Robert Altman Award. Netflix surprised many with its Indie hit ‘Private Life’ getting 3 nominations including best director, best supporting female actor, and best screenplay. They also received two best international film nominations with ‘Roma’ and ‘Happy as Lazzaro’ both which were not eligible for other award consideration.
Annapurna also managed to snag an impressive 5 nominees thanks to Barry Jenkins’ ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’. Jenkins, who’s last film ‘Moonlight’ won best feature in 2016, once again sees his film receive a nomination for best feature along with himself for best director.
Other notable stand outs we want to highlight are Helena Howard and Ashley Connor who received nominations for best female lead and best cinematography respectively for there work on ‘Madelines Madeline’. Benjamin Loeb was nominated for cinematography for his work on Mandy. Daveed Diggs was nominated for his performance in ‘Blindspotting’ as well as John Cho for his performance in ‘Searching’. In a year with exceptional documentaries, two which are loved here at Jumpcut which got nominations are ‘Minding the Gap’ and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’. Jim Cummings film ‘Thunder Road’ also was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award for films budgeted at less than $500,000.
Some of the bigger studios this year seemed to be overshadowed, as Focus Features, Sony Picture Classics, and Fox Searchlight all had trouble breaking into the fold. Focus only managed 3 nominees with ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’, Adam Driver for his supporting role in ‘BlackKklansman’, and best screenplay for ‘Thoroughbreds’. Fox Searchlight only saw 2 nominations for ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ and one wasn’t even Melissa McCarthy, but instead Richard E. Grant and a best screenplay nomination. There third came in the form of Yorgos Lanthimos’ ‘The Favourite’ for best international film. Sony Picture Classics, which last year performed exceptionally well thanks to ‘Call Me By Your Name’ only managed a single nominations this year with Glenn Close for best female lead in ‘The Wife’.
Also, worth noting is the amount of inclusion from this year’s nominees. Whether its three female directors being nominated for best director, to three of the five best male leads being people of color, and a lot more spread throughout the nominations in every category, it is always great seeing diversity.
This year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards will take place on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019.
FULL LIST OF NOMINEES:
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
LEAVE NO TRACE
YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Debra Granik, LEAVE NO TRACE
Barry Jenkins, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE
Lynne Ramsay, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Paul Schrader, FIRST REFORMED
Best First Feature
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
WE THE ANIMALS
Best Male Lead
John Cho, SEARCHING
Daveed Diggs, BLINDSPOTTING
Ethan Hawke, FIRST REFORMED
Christian Malheiros, SÓCRATES
Joaquin Phoenix, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Best Female Lead
Glenn Close, THE WIFE
Toni Collette, HEREDITARY
Elsie Fisher, EIGHTH GRADE
Regina Hall, SUPPORT THE GIRLS
Helena Howard, MADELINE’S MADELINE
Carey Mulligan, WILDLIFE
Best Supporting Female Actor
Kayli Carter, PRIVATE LIFE
Tyne Daly, A BREAD FACTORY
Regina King, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE
J. Smith-Cameron, NANCY
Best Supporting Male Actor
Raúl Castillo, WE THE ANIMALS
Adam Driver, BLACKKKLANSMAN
Richard E. Grant, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Josh Hamilton, EIGHTH GRADE
John David Washington, MONSTERS AND MEN
Ashley Connor, MADELINE’S MADELINE
Diego Garcia, WILDLIFE
Benjamin Loeb, MANDY
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, SUSPIRIA
Zak Mulligan, WE THE ANIMALS
Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland, COLETTE
Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE
Boots Riley, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
Paul Schrader FIRST REFORMED
Best First Screenplay
Bo Burnham, EIGHTH GRADE
Christina Choe, NANCY
Cory Finley, THOROUGHBREDS
Jennifer Fox, THE TALE
Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By) and Laurie Shephard (Story By), BLAME
Joe Bini, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates & Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS
Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill & Julian Hart, AMERICAN ANIMALS
Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Levy, THE TALE
Nick Houy, MID90S
HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING
MINDING THE GAP
OF FATHERS AND SONS
ON HER SHOULDERS
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
Best International Film
BURNING (South Korea)
THE FAVOURITE (United Kingdom)
HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Italy)
The Truer Than Fiction Award
Alexandria Bombach, ON HER SHOULDERS
Bing Liu, MINDING THE GAP
RaMell Ross, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING
Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams
The Someone to Watch Award
Alex Moratto, SÓCRATES
Ioana Uricaru, LEMONADE
Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS
The Bonnie Award
Robert Altman Award
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino
Ensemble Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler