Ethan Hawke will sail to one last prize for ‘First Reformed’ at Independent Spirit Awards

Ethan Hawke‘s awards season for “First Reformed” has been one of extremes. He dominant the critics prizes, but then he failed to register with the major precursors, only managing a Critics’ Choice Award nomination in a field of seven. But he’ll get to end the season on a high note: He’s the runaway favorite to win Best Actor at Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards.

Hawke has a commanding 3/1-odd lead in our predictions over Joaquin Phoenix (“You Were Never Really Here”), John Cho (“Searching”), Daveed Diggs (“Blindspotting”) and Christian Malheiros (“Socrates”). None of these guys are Oscar-nominated, the first time that’s happened in this category in three years.

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One of the most honored performances of the year, Hawke’s turn as a minister experiencing a crisis of faith has earned him plaudits from practically every critics group, including the Big Three, New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and National Society of Film Critics. He’s the first person since Sally Hawkins for “Happy-Go-Lucky” (2008) to earn that prestigious trifecta but not get an Oscar nomination. “First Reformed” only received one Oscar bid, Best Original Screenplay for writer-director Paul Schrader, who had never been nominated until now.

“First Reformed” performed much better at the Spirit Awards, nabbing a leading four nominations, including Best Picture, tied with “Eighth Grade,” “We the Animals” and “You Were Never Really Here.”

This would be Hawke’s first Spirit Award in any category, which might be surprising given his resume. He has two screenplay nominations for “Before Sunset” (2004) and “Before Midnight” (2013), and a supporting bid for “Boyhood” (2014).

PREDICT the Independent Spirit Awards now; change them until Feb. 23

Be sure to make your Indie Spirit predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on Feb. 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2019 Spirit Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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