Oscar hopefuls Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, and Lady Bird are among the films that will compete for top honors at next year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards, it was announced Tuesday. But other presumed contenders — including a few assumed sure bets for nominations — were left out in the cold. Ahead, some snubs and surprises from the Spirit Awards nominations.
Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut has a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes and seems poised to become a breakout box office hit. The Film Independent Spirit Awards nominating committee warmed to the coming-of-age movie as well: Lady Bird landed nominations for Best Feature, Best Female Lead (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Female (Laurie Metcalf), and Best Screenplay (Gerwig). Noticeably missing from that list of nods? Gerwig herself for Best Director. That category includes much-discussed contenders Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) and Jordan Peele (Get Out) plus three surprises: Jonas Carpignano (A Ciambra), Benny and Josh Safdie (Good Time), and Chloé Zhao (The Rider).
Dee Rees’ gripping drama Mudbound (out on Netflix now) will receive the prestigious Robert Altman Award from the Spirit Awards at next year’s ceremony, joining 2016’s Moonlight and 2015’s Spotlight on the list of features to earn the honor. The similarities will end there. While both Moonlight and Spotlight won multiple competitive Spirit Awards (and would each win Best Picture at the Oscars), Mudbound received no other nominations. Not for Rees as director, nor for stars Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, and Jason Mitchell in the supporting actor categories. Netflix’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) was also snubbed despite strong work from Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, and writer-director Noah Baumbach’s screenplay.
Sean Baker’s wonderful The Florida Project is well-represented at the Spirit Awards, with a Best Feature nomination alongside Baker’s Best Director citation. But the film’s stars, 7-year-old breakout Brooklynn Prince and veteran actor Willem Dafoe, were left without nominations. The exclusion of Dafoe feels particularly egregious, as the two-time Oscar nominee has gotten some of the best reviews of his career for his empathetic performance.
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro’s R-rated fable, which combines Cold War mystery with a Creature Feature romance, looks like a special effects blockbuster. But as Variety noted, the film’s budget came in under the $20 million threshold used by the Spirit Awards to discern what counts as an indie production. As a result, the film’s shutout on Tuesday is a stunner, as del Toro’s latest is likely to compete for major Academy Awards recognition in the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress (Sally Hawkins) categories, among others.
Call Me By Your Name paced the Spirit Awards with six nominations, including Best Feature, Best Male Lead (Timothée Chalamet), Best Supporting Male (Armie Hammer), and Best Director (Luca Guadignino). But buzzy (and bushy) costar Michael Stuhlbarg was a surprise snub on Tuesday. The actor has a knockout scene late in the film, which many have pointed to as a 2017 high-water mark.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell earned their expected nominations for Martin McDonagh’s darkly comic drama, but the film — which won the audience award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, an honor that acts as a reliable Oscars bellwether — failed to crack the Best Feature lineup.
Not many Oscar prognosticators have talked about Chloé Zhao’s The Rider since it debuted in the Directors’ Fortnight lineup at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but the drama landed major nominations for Zhao as Best Director and the film itself as Best Feature.
The Film Independent Spirit Awards will be handed out March 3, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET on IFC.