Awards Season has officially begun! The Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced. If this is an indicator of the season to come, things have gotten off to a firecracker of a start:
The Best Feature category has the fantastic “Clemency” and “The Farewell”, as well as Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life”, “Marriage Story” and “Uncut Gems”. Interestingly, the only film of those five to also receive a Best Director nomination is “Gems”, for the Safdie Brothers. Joining them are Robert Eggers for the dynamic “The Lighthouse”, Alma Har’el for “Honey Boy”, Julius Onah for the terrific “Luce” and my dear friend Lorene Scafaria for “Hustlers”.
Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”) and Renee Zellweger (“Judy”) are the two favorites in the Best Actress group. In the Best Actor race: Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (“Luce”), Robert Pattinson (“The Lighthouse”) and Adam Sandler (“Uncut Gems”).
Supporting Actor contenders are the duo from “Honey Boy” – Noah Jupe and Shia LaBeouf, along with Willem Dafoe (“The Lighthouse”). And in Best Supporting Actress, “The Farewell”‘s Shao Zhuzhen, “Luce”‘s Octavia Spencer” and superstar Jennifer Lopez for her role in “Hustlers”.
I’m thrilled for the majority of these films. Several of the best movies of 2019 have been smaller, low-budget, indies. It’s a great day for NEON – not just “Clemency” and “Luce”, but “Parasite” earned a nomination as well in the Best International Film category. AND Critics Choice winner “Apollo 11” is a Best Documentary Feature nominee.
This year’s Spirit Awards will be held on Saturday February 8th, the day before the earliest Oscars ever. We won’t know until January 13th how many of these nominees will also be at the Academy Awards the next day – but I’m rooting for many!
For the complete list of nominees, visit filmindependent.org. The show will be broadcast on IFC. More ceremony details to be announced.