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2018 Independent Spirit Award Nominations Announced with No Clear Frontrunners

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at this point in awards season, but alas time makes fools of us all and the 2019 Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced by Gemma Chan and Molly Shannon in a press conference earlier today.

2018 so far has felt like a year with a lot of wide open categories and few sure things, and the reveal of the Independent Spirit Award nominees did little to dispel that narrative. Nominations were spread widely across a variety of films, with none really pulling out far ahead of any others in terms of sheer numbers.

The most nominated films of 2018 were We the Animals with five nominations (Best Supporting Male – Raul Castillo, Best First Feature, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and the Someone to Watch Award – Jeremiah Zagar), Eighth Grade with four (Best Lead Female – Elsie Fisher, Best Supporting Male – Josh Hamilton, Best Feature, and Best First Screenplay), First Reformed with four (Best Lead Male – Ethan Hawke, Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Screenplay), and You Were Never Really Here with four (Best Feature, Best Director, Best Lead Male – Joaquin Phoenix, and Best Editing), but many other films received a handful of nominations as well.

And while the Independent Spirit Award Nominations aren’t always great at predicting who the eventual Oscar winners will be, it’s certainly clear that this year in particular seems as though we could see an Academy Award ceremony where no one film walks away with everything. There are so many excellent films that we could see staying competitive until fairly late in the race.

It’s also gratifying to see the diversity of talent being honored at the Independent Spirit Awards. For the first time possibly ever, female filmmakers represent a majority of nominees in the Best Director category, and the acting categories have avoided another #Oscarssowhite fiasco by reflecting the incredible work done by people of color this year. Reginas received a double nomination, with Hall being honored for her lead performance in Support the Girls, and King for her supporting role in If Beale Street Could Talk, the latter of which is looking more and more likely to be her first Oscar win.

But like all award shows, there are always a few surprises. After significant buzz about Melissa McCarthy’s performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, she and the film have come up short here, only nominated for Richard E. Grant’s supporting performance and best screenplay. Blackkklansman walking away with only one nomination for Adam Driver could be an indicator of its Oscar potential (or lack thereof), and Mid90s getting snubbed for Best First Feature seems to speak particularly loudly of the film’s award chances moving forward.

While these nominations can’t tell us who will win, they may have a bit more success at letting us know which films have been unofficially written off. But only time will tell. The Independent Spirit Awards will be held in Santa Monica on February 23rd (the day before their much fancier cousin, the Academy Awards), and will be broadcast live on IFC.

The full list of nominations is below.

 

Best Feature

EIGHTH GRADE

FIRST REFORMED

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

LEAVE NO TRACE

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

 

Best Director

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

HEREDITARY

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU

THE TALE

WE THE ANIMALS

WILDLIFE

 

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 Male Lead

John Cho, SEARCHING

Daveed Diggs, BLINDSPOTTING

Ethan Hawke, FIRST REFORMED

Christian Malheiros, SÓCRATES

Joaquin Phoenix, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

 

Best Supporting Female

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

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

 

Best Screenplay

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

 

Best Cinematography

Ashley Connor, MADELINE’S MADELINE

Diego Garcia, WILDLIFE

Benjamin Loeb, MANDY

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, SUSPIRIA

Zak Mulligan, WE THE ANIMALS

 

Best Editing

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

 

John Cassavetes Award

A BREAD FACTORY

EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA

NEVER GOIN’ BACK

SÓCRATES

THUNDER ROAD

 

Robert Altman Award

SUSPIRIA

 

Best Documentary

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

MINDING THE GAP

OF FATHERS AND SONS

ON HER SHOULDERS

SHIRKERS

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

 

Best International Film

BURNING (South Korea)

THE FAVOURITE (United Kingdom)

HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Italy)

ROMA (Mexico)

SHOPLIFTERS (Japan)

 

Piaget Producers Award

Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams

Gabrielle Nadig

Shrihari Sathe

 

Someone to Watch Award

Alex Moratto, SÓCRATES

Ioana Uricaru, LEMONADE

Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS

 

Truer Than Fiction Award

Alexandria Bombach, ON HER SHOULDERS

Bing Liu, MINDING THE GAP

RaMell Ross, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

 

Annual Bonnie Award

Debra Granik

Tamara Jenkins

Karyn Kusama

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