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2020 Independent Spirit Awards Nominees: ‘Marriage Story,’ ‘Uncut Gems,’ and More

"Moonlight," "Spotlight," "Birdman," and more all won the Spirit Award for Best Feature the day before taking Best Picture at the Oscars.

“Uncut Gems”

A24

The nominations for the 35th Independent Spirit Awards are dominated by A24, which is the most nominated studio at this year’s ceremony. Unlike the Oscars, in which Netflix leads all studios and studio-driven fare like “Joker” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” are major contenders, the Indie Spirit Awards offer a chance for the 2019-20 awards season to spotlight deserving but overlooked awards contenders such as “Luce,” “Clemency,” “A Hidden Life,” and “Hustlers” filmmaker Lorene Scafaria. The annual indie awards ceremony is presented by Film Independent and takes place the day before the Academy Awards on the beach in Santa Monica, California.

This year’s Spirit Award nominations are led by Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse” and the Safdie Brothers’ “Uncut Gems,” both of which earned five nominations each. “Uncut Gems” is considered the frontrunner to win the Spirit Award for Best Picture against “Clemency,” “The Farewell,” “Marriage Story,” and “Uncut Gems.” Of all the this year’s Spirit Award narrative feature nominees, only Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” is a crossover contender with the Oscars.

It’s important to note the Indie Spirit Awards has a budget ceiling of $22.5 million, meaning any movie made for more than this amount is ineligible for nominations. For this reason, Martin Scorsese’s Netflix-backed “The Irishman” was not eligible for 2020 nominations (the film had a budget north of $150 million). “Marriage Story” was eligible, but it did not receive individual acting nominations for Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, or Laura Dern (all Oscar nominees on Sunday) because the film is being awarded the Robert Altman prize for ensemble cast instead.

Last year’s big Spirit Award winner was Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which won prizes for Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress for Regina King. The next night, King repeated at the Oscars. While “Beale Street” was not nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, the Spirit Awards have a strong history of crossing over with the Academy’s biggest prize. “Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” “Birdman,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “The Artist” all won the top Spirit Award followed by the Best Picture Oscar the next day. Spirit Award winners “Get Out” and “Silver Linings Playbook” were Oscar Best Picture nominees.

The 35th Independent Spirit Awards will take place Saturday, February 8. The nominees for the Spirit Awards are listed below.

Best Feature
A HIDDEN LIFE
CLEMENCY
THE FAREWELL
MARRIAGE STORY
UNCUT GEMS

Best Director
Robert Eggers – THE LIGHTHOUSE
Alma Har’el – HONEY BOY
Julius Onah – LUCE
Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
Lorene Scafaria – HUSTLERS

Best First Feature
BOOKSMART
THE CLIMB
DIANE
THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
THE MUSTANG
SEE YOU YESTERDAY

Best Female Lead
Karen Allen – COLEWELL
Hong Chau – DRIVEWAYS
Elisabeth Moss – HER SMELL
Mary Kay Place – DIANE
Alfre Woodard – CLEMENCY
Renée Zellweger – JUDY

Best Male Lead
Chris Galust – GIVE ME LIBERTY
Kelvin Harrison Jr. – LUCE
Robert Pattinson – THE LIGHTHOUSE
Adam Sandler – UNCUT GEMS
Matthias Schoenaerts – THE MUSTANG

Best Supporting Female
Jennifer Lopez – HUSTLERS
Taylor Russell – WAVES
Zhao Shuzhen – THE FAREWELL
Lauren “Lolo” Spencer – GIVE ME LIBERTY
Octavia Spencer – LUCE

Best Supporting Male
Willem Dafoe – THE LIGHTHOUSE
Noah Jupe – HONEY BOY
Shia Labeouf – HONEY BOY
Jonathan Majors – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
Wendell Pierce – BURNING CANE

Best Screenplay
Noah Baumbach – MARRIAGE STORY
Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder – TO DUST
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
Chinonye Chukwu – CLEMENCY
Tarell Alvin Mccraney – HIGH FLYING BIRD

Best First Screenplay
Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol – SEE YOU YESTERDAY
Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen – DRIVEWAYS
Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy – BLOW THE MAN DOWN
Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe – GREENER GRASS
James Montague, Craig W. Sanger – THE VAST OF NIGHT

Best Cinematography
Todd Banhazl – HUSTLERS
Jarin Blaschke – THE LIGHTHOUSE
Natasha Braier – HONEY BOY
Chananun Chotrungroj – THE THIRD WIFE
Pawel Pogorzelski – MIDSOMMAR

Best Editing
Julie Béziau – THE THIRD WIFE
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
Tyler L. Cook – SWORD OF TRUST
Louise Ford – THE LIGHTHOUSE
Kirill Mikhanovsky – GIVE ME LIBERTY

John Cassavetes Award
BURNING CANE
COLEWELL
GIVE ME LIBERTY
PREMATURE
WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY

Robert Altman Award
“Marriage Story”

Best Documentary
AMERICAN FACTORY
APOLLO 11
FOR SAMA
HONEYLAND
ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS

Best International Film
INVISIBLE LIFE, Brazil
LES MISERABLES, France
PARASITE, South Korea
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, France
RETABLO, Peru
THE SOUVENIR, United Kingdom

Piaget Producers Award
Mollye Asher
Krista Parris
Ryan Zacarias

Someone to Watch Award
Rashaad Ernesto Green – PREMATURE
Ash Mayfair – THE THIRD WIFE
Joe Talbot – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

Truer Than Fiction Award
Khalik Allah – BLACK MOTHER
Davy Rothbart – 17 BLOCKS
Nadia Shihab – JADDOLAND
Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside – AMÉRICA

Annual Bonnie Award
Marielle Heller
Lulu Wang
Kelly Reichardt

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