“Manchester by the Sea” is one of the top contenders for Best Picture at the Oscars according to our experts’ predictions. On Thursday (Oct. 20), it reaped a leading four nominations at the 26th Annual Gotham Awards, which are presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project to honor the best in indie cinema. The awards ceremony will be held on Monday, Nov. 28 at Cipriani Wall Street.
“Manchester” contends for Best Feature, Best Actor (Casey Affleck), Breakthrough Actor (Lucas Hedges) and Best Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan). It tells the story of a depressed custodian who returns to his hometown after the death of his brother to care for his teenage nephew, and it has already been a hit at the Sundance, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals.
Next up with three nominations is “Paterson”: Best Feature, Best Screenplay (Jim Jarmusch) and Best Actor (Adam Driver). It follows its title character, a bus driver and poet whose life is upturned by a small disaster.
“Moonlight,” the critically acclaimed drama about a young black man’s coming of age, has two competitive nominations — Best Feature and Best Screenplay (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney). And the Gotham nominating panel for acting also decided to bestow a Jury Award to the film’s ensemble cast, whose “actors at all levels of experience give outstanding performances that speak eloquently to one another both within and across each chapter of the story.” The awarded “Moonlight” cast members are Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, Andre Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monae, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes and Ashton Sanders.
The last two nominees for Best Feature are Kelly Reichardt‘s triptych “Certain Women” and Richard Linklater‘s 1980s college comedy “Everybody Wants Some!!”
Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP, said in a statement, “We wish to offer our hearty congratulations to the 2016 Gotham Awards nominees, all of whose unique and exciting artistic achievements represent the very best in independent storytelling.”
Nominees were chosen by committees of film critics and journalists, festival programmers and film curators. The winners will be determined by juries of filmmaking professionals including writers, directors, actors, producers and more.
The Gotham Awards aren’t usually known for predicting the Oscars, but they did agree with the motion picture academy for the last two years, awarding Best Feature to “Birdman” in 2014 and “Spotlight” in 2015. In recent years the Gothams also awarded their top prize to Oscar champ “The Hurt Locker” (2009) as well as Best Picture Oscar-nominees “Winter’s Bone” (2010) and “The Tree of Life” (2011).
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.