Oscars 2017: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

They announced the Independent Spirit Award nominations a little while back. They got left a bit by the wayside until now because I had more important stuff to do and because I didn’t have the time to deal with Oscar stuff until it was the proper time. Well, the time is coming, so let’s take ten minutes.

I don’t put a lot of stock into them inasmuch as they are a nice representation of the kinds of films that ought to get acclaim and have a platform to be noticed. My usual gripe is that the big “Oscar” studio-pushed films get the majority of the nominations, but let’s not pretend like any awards show is anything other than the industry patting themselves on the back. I’m not really here to feel one way or another about them, I’m here to figure out what will or won’t be nominated.

So that said, here are your 2017 Indie Spirit nominations:

Best Feature

Call Me By Your Name

The Florida Project

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Rider

Pretty standard fare. No idea what The Rider is, but there’s always one movie you’ve never heard of that gets a lot of attention because it’s nominated here. So good for them.

I’ve seen the middle three and they’re all very good and/or great. Call Me By Your Name I’m seeing tonight. I can’t imagine I will dislike it to the point of rolling my eyes at the mere fact that it was nominated. So sure.

Too early to know which way they’ll go with this, not that I really care. I’m more interested in what they nominate here, and based on this, it pretty much confirms what I already knew. But I suspect Call Me By Your Name will likely be the big winner. Unless they’re trying to make statements and they go for Get Out. Though I could see Lady Bird taking it. This year can go a lot of different ways. I’m not trying to prognosticate now. It’s a worthless task.

I also don’t know what is and isn’t considered indie, so I can’t even pretend to wonder what should or shouldn’t have been nominated.

Best Director

Sean Baker, The Florida Project

Jonas Carpignano, A Ciambra

Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Benny and Josh Safide, Good Time

Chloe Zhao, The Rider

Cool. Nice recognition for Good Time. I like the A Ciambra nomination. If anything it tells me they are nurturing people they like. Carpignano got a couple of nominations with Mediterranea two years ago. We’re assuming that Guadagnino wins this and Peele ends up with Screenplay, right? Because that’s how it looks to me.

Best Actor

Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

Harris Dickinson, Beach Rats

James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Robert Pattinson, Good Time

Beach Rats? Okay. Glaring difference from the other two. Then again, maybe people liked that movie. The other four are all really good choices. I could see them going three different ways here. I hear Pattinson is doing well in his appearances and could win favor that way, but the other three seem like the ones to beat. Chalamet wins if they fall head over heels for Call Me By Your Name, but even then that feels like a tall order. I suspect Kaluuya is the favorite and Franco a co-favorite. We have to think they’re gonna give it to Franco, though, right? Just for laughs? Can’t see any of these making real Oscar plays, but at this point, who the hell knows.

Best Actress

Salma Hayek, Beatriz at Dinner

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Shinobu Terajima, Oh Lucy!

Regina Williams, Life and Nothing More

No idea what the last two are. Wasn’t a fan of Beatriz at Dinner. The other three are all great and worthy and could make up 60% of the Best Actress list at the Oscars. McDormand and Ronan for sure. Robbie could top out at the Globes and/or SAG. Haven’t really looked at that the depths of the categories yet. I’m purely guessing at this point.

McDormand should win, but it’s the Indie Spirit awards. Who the hell knows what they’ll vote for?

Best Supporting Actor

Nnamdi Asomugha, Crown Heights

Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name

Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Benny Safide, Good Time

Nnamdi Asomugha was an active NFL player four years ago. I wonder how much the nomination was because of who he’s married to. I mean, he’s fine in the film, and the film is fine, but — weird choice. Maybe it’s just them embracing people who want to get into movies.

Armie Hammer makes sense, and Sam Rockwell — at this point if he doesn’t win the Oscar for that performance, or at least be nominated, then I’m gonna be really disappointed. Barry Keoghan was great in Sacred Deer. And Safide — sure. He was good.

This is the only category I have strong feelings about. Rockwell needs to win this.

Best Supporting Actress

Holly Hunter, The Big Sick

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Lois Smith, Marjorie Prime

Tallah Lennice Webster, Good Time

The first three are likely all nominated at the Oscars. Maybe not. Maybe I’m not thinking about three or four other people who are locks, but those three definitely feel like they’re gonna be major contenders. Though The Big Sick doesn’t seem to be hitting as hard as I thought it would six months ago.

I’m rooting for Metcalf, though I’ll take Janney or Hunter. Webster was good in Good Time, but she won’t win. Lois Smith gets a veteran nomination, which is fine.

Best Screenplay

Beatriz at Dinner

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Lovers

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Solid category. McDonagh, Gerwig or Peele wins this. I’m fine with any of them. Always prefer McDonagh, but I might actually say my heart is with Gerwig on this one. Peele seems to be the likely choice. This feels like a situation where they give him this in lieu or Picture/Director.

Best Editing

Call Me By Your Name

Get Out

Good Time

I, Tonya

The Rider

The movie that’s won this the past three years has either won Best Picture or won Best Editing. (Whiplash, Spotlight, Moonlight.) So I suspect that Call Me By Your Name is gonna end up winning this because that’s the one most guaranteed to be a major player in the Oscar race. Though maybe it’s Get Out. Or maybe they decide to focus on the editing and give it to Good Time. Don’t know, doesn’t really matter for the race, just something that interests me intellectually.

Best Cinematography

Beach Rats

Call Me By Your Name


The Killing of a Sacred Deer

The Rider

Beach Rats had full scenes I couldn’t see because the movie was too dark. So no. Columbus was gorgeous, Sacred Deer looked really good, and Call Me By Your Name I suspect to look great too. Probably one of those three wins.

Best First Feature


Ingrid Goes West


Oh Lucy!

Patti Cake$

Does Get Out not apply here? What exactly is the criteria with this? Still, Patti Cake$ is my choice, even though I doubt they go there. Columbus seems like it fits what they do. Menashe was good. Doubt they go for it. Ingrid Goes West wouldn’t shock me.

Best First Screenplay

The Big Sick


Donald Cried

Ingrid Goes West

Women Who Kill

I mean, it’s The Big Sick, right? That should be a runaway.

Best International Film


A Fantastic Woman

I Am Not a Witch

Lady Macbeth


Lady Macbeth counts? Okay, cool. I’ll take that. Doubt it wins, but that’s what I’ll take. A Fantastic Woman was okay, B.P.M. wasn’t for me. And I’m excited to see Loveless. Love Zvyagintsev.

Best Documentary Feature

The Departure

Faces Places

Last Man in Aleppo




John Cassavetes Award


A Ghost Story

Life and Nothing More

Most Beautiful Island

The Transfiguration

I liked Most Beautiful Island a lot. It represents a lot of what this category is about. A Ghost Story shouldn’t win. It’s too high profile. I guess it kind of fits, but no. They’ll probably give it to Life and Nothing More. Based on nothing but a hunch.

Someone to Watch Award

Amman Abbasi, Dayveon

Justin Chon, Gook

Kevin Phillips, Super Dark Times

Good for Amman. Nice guy. Would be cool to see him win. I suspect Chon will win. Gook was a really solid first effort.

Producers Award


Keep the Change

The Lovers

No idea. Probably the one I haven’t heard of.

Truer Than Fiction Award

The Cage Fighter

Distant Constellation



Oh, and the Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble went to Mudbound.

So those are your nominations. Awards are day before the Oscars, so literally three months from now. A long way to go for something that matters very little.

But everyone does gather on a tent on the beach in Santa Monica and gets shitfaced, so how can we not like that?

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