‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Leave No Trace’ Nominated for Top Independent Spirit Awards

Other Spirit Awards nominees include “You Were Never Really Here,” “Eighth Grade” and “First Reformed”

Last Updated: November 16, 2018 @ 10:59 AM

“If Beale Street Could Talk,” “You Were Never Really Here,” “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed” and “Leave No Trace” have been nominated as the best independent films of 2018 by the Film Independent Spirit Awards, which announced its nominees on Friday morning in Los Angeles.

In one of the most evenly spread Spirit Awards fields ever, “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed,” “You Were Never Really Here” and “We the Animals” each received four nominations, while “Beale Street,” “Leave No Trace,” “Private Life” and “The Tale” each received three.

“Madeline’s Madeline,” “Hereditary,” “Sorry to Bother You” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” each received two nominations.

Acting noms went to several presumed Oscar contenders, including Glenn Close for “The Wife,” Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Richard E. Grant for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Adam Driver for “BlacKkKlansman,” along with Thomasin Harcourt Mckenzie for “Leave No Trace,” Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton for “Eighth Grade,” Daveed Diggs for “Blindspotting” and Carey Mulligan for “Wildlife.”

In the Best First Feature category, the nominees were “Hereditary,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “The Tale,” “We the Animals” and “Wildlife.”

To qualify for the Spirit Awards, a film must meet a variety of criteria, including having a budget of less than $20 million. It must also contain “significant American content,”  a requirement that can be fulfilled by having the film set and shot in the U.S. or by having U.S. citizens or permanent residents in two of the three creative positions of director, writer and producer.

This year, major Oscar contenders “Roma” and “The Favourite” didn’t meet the American-content requirement and were eligible only in the Best International Film category. They were both nominated in the category, along with “Burning,” “Happy as Lazzaro” and “Shoplifters.”

The Oscar-contending films that did not qualify for the Spirit Awards because of budgetary reasons include “Black Panther,” “Vice,” “Beautiful Boy,” “Widows,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Mary Queen of Scots.”

Spirit Award nominations are made by a variety of nominating committees rather than a vote of the entire membership. The final voting is open to all the members of Film Independent, which is a mixture of film professionals and movie fans who pay an annual fee.

Last year, three of the Spirit Awards’ five Best Feature nominees went on to receive Oscar nominations for Best Picture, while nine of the 20 acting nominees were also singled out by the Academy, including winners Frances McDormand, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell.

Since the Oscars expanded to more than five Best Picture nominees in 2009, there has never been a year in which at least one of the Spirits Awards nominees did not also receive an Oscar nom in the top category. The high was four films nominated for both awards, which happened in 2010 and again in 2014.

In the first 26 years of the Spirit Awards’ existence, its Best Feature winner only went on to win the Best Picture Oscar once, when “Platoon” did it in 1986. But beginning in 2012, the two awards agreed five times in six years, including four in a row from 2014 through 2017. That streak came to an end last year, when “Get Out” won the Spirit Award but lost to “The Shape of Water” at the Oscars.

This year’s nominations were announced at a press conference by Molly Shannon and Gemma Chan.

The 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23 and will be broadcast live on IFC.

The nominees:

BEST FEATURE
EIGHTH GRADE
FIRST REFORMED
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
LEAVE NO TRACE
YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

BEST DIRECTOR
Debra Granik, LEAVE NO TRACE
Barry Jenkins, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE
Lynne Ramsay, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Paul Schrader, FIRST REFORMED

BEST FIRST FEATURE
HEREDITARY
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
THE TALE
WE THE ANIMALS
WILDLIFE

BEST MALE LEAD
John Cho, SEARCHING
Daveed Diggs, BLINDSPOTTING
Ethan Hawke, FIRST REFORMED
Christian Malheiros, SOCRATES
Joaquin Phoenix, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Glenn Close, THE WIFE
Toni Collette, HEREDITARY
Elsie Fisher, EIGHTH GRADE
Regina Hall, SUPPORT THE GIRLS
Helena Howard, MADELINE’S MADELINE
Carey Mulligan, WILDLIFE

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Raúl Castillo, WE THE ANIMALS
Adam Driver, BLACKKKLANSMAN
Richard E. Grant, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Josh Hamilton, EIGHTH GRADE
John David Washington, MONSTERS AND MEN

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Kayli Carter, PRIVATE LIFE
Tyne Daly, A BREAD FACTORY
Regina King, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE
J. Smith-Cameron, NANCY

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
A BREAD FACTORY
EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA
NEVER GOIN’ BACK
SOCRATES
THUNDER ROAD

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (given to one film’s director, casting directors and ensemble cast)
SUSPIRIA

BEST DOCUMENTARY
HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING
MINDING THE GAP
OF FATHERS AND SONS
ON HER SHOULDERS
SHIRKERS
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
BURNING (South Korea)
THE FAVOURITE (United Kingdom)
HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Italy)
ROMA (Mexico)
SHOPLIFTERS (Japan)

BEST EDITING
Joe Bini, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates & Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS
Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill & Julian Hart, AMERICAN ANIMALS
Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Levy, THE TALE
Nick Houy, MID90S

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ashley Connor, MADELINE’S MADELINE
Diego Garcia, WILDLIFE
Benjamin Loeb, MANDY
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, SUSPIRIA
Zak Mulligan, WE THE ANIMALS

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Bo Burnham, EIGHTH GRADE
Christina Choe, NANCY
Cory Finley, THOROUGHBREDS
Jennifer Fox, THE TALE
Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By) and Laurie Shephard (Story By), BLAME

BEST SCREENPLAY
Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland, COLETTE
Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE
Boots Riley, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
Paul Schrader FIRST REFORMED

Truer Than Fiction Award
Alexandria Bombach, ON HER SHOULDERS
Bing Liu, MINDING THE GAP
RaMell Ross, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

Someone to Watch Award
Alex Moratto, SOCRATES
Ioana Uricaru, LEMONADE
Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS

Producers Award
Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams
Gabrielle Nadig
Shrihari Sathe

Bonnie Award
Debra Granik
Tamara Jenkins
Karyn Kusama