In a Wild Year, Spirit Awards Nominations Play It Safe


For the most part, the nominations lacked the left-field choices that often make the Spirit Awards so unpredictable and offbeat in the nomination round

It may have been a crazy and unsettled year, but the juries that selected the Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations played it as straight down the middle as they could. In a year of uncertainty, they stuck to the favorites.

That’s not a problem when the favorites include movies as strong as “Nomadland,” “Minari,” “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” “First Cow” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the five films that were nominated in the Best Feature category. Those were probably the five favorites to be nominated, and it’s hard to quibble with their selection, though fans of “Sound of Metal” and “Promising Young Woman” could make a pretty good case that those films should be included.

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Steve Pond

Awards Editor • • Twitter: @stevepond