Nominations for the 33rd annual edition of the Independent Spirit Awards were announced on Nov. 21. Luca Guadagnino‘s “Call Me by Your Name” reaped a leading six bids, with both Ben and Josh Sadfie‘s “Good Time” and Jordan Peele‘s “Get Out” earning five nominations. Greta Gerwig‘s solo directorial debut “Lady Bird” follows with four. The Indie Spirit Awards will be handed out on March 3, one day before the Oscars, during an afternoon ceremony on Santa Monica. The kudocast will air live on IFC.
The race for Best Picture includes four strong Oscar contenders — “Call Me by Your Name,” Sean Baker‘s “The Florida Project,” “Get Out” and “Lady Bird” — as well as Chloé Zhao‘s “The Rider.” The helmers of all of these save Gerwig vie for Best Director as do the Sadfies, whose film was inexplicably snubbed for the top award. Ben did get a nice consolation prize as he was nominated for his scene-stealing supporting role as well.
Among the contenders for Best Actress is Oscar frontrunner Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”). With “The Shape of Water” not in contention here, that film’s leading lady Sally Hawkins has to sit out this race but Oscar hopefuls Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) and Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) are nominated.
Among the Best Actor nominees is Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”), who also numbers among our predicted five contenders for that same award at the Oscars. If this 21-year-old newcomer prevails at the Academy Awards, he would be the youngest Best Actor Oscar winner by almost a decade. The other Spirit nominees include “Get Out” leading man Daniel Kaluuya as well as multi-hyphenate James Franco (who also directed “The Disaster Artist”) and one-time “Twilight” heartthrob Robert Pattinson (“Good Time”).
As the cast of “Mudbound” is to be feted with the Robert Altman Award, none of them was eligible to be singled out with a nomination.
For the last four years running, the winner of Best Feature at Saturday’s Indies — “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman,” “Spotlight” and “Moonlight” respectively — went on to claim the top Oscar on Sunday. And eight of the 12 acting Academy Awards champs first prevailed here.
However, predicting the nominations for these prizes is complicated by several factors. To start, we don’t know which films are eligible. Unlike the motion picture academy, Film Independent does not release a list of qualifying films.
The rules dictate that the films have budgets of no more than $20 million and be “American,” which is defined as either:
1. U.S. citizens or permanent residents being at least two of the director, writer and producer of the film; OR
2. the film is set primarily in the U.S. and at least 70% financed by American companies.
Add to that the fact that nominations are determined by three small committees of less than 10 people each. In the past we have been told the names of those serving on these committees but now all we know is that they are drawn from “writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, critics, casting directors, film festival programmers and other working film professionals.” Compare that to the selection process for winners in which the entire membership of Film Independent, numbering in the thousands, cast ballots.
Will one of the Indie Spirit contenders win Best Picture at this year’s Oscars?
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.