'If Beale Street Could Talk' Dominates the Film Independent Spirit Awards

'If Beale Street Could Talk' Dominates the Film Independent Spirit Awards

Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk swept the Independent Spirit Awards, winning all three categories that it had nominations in, and Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Suspiria each won two awards in an afternoon awards program that served as a counter-balance to the Oscars. In recent years, the awards bestowed upon by Film Independent members had served as a precursor to Oscar glory, but this year, with more popular and high-earning, high-budget films getting favored at the Oscars, the Independent Spirit Awards served as a bit of a referendum on what Oscar left out – mainly, Jenkins’ magnificent follow-up to Moonlight (itself the Best Feature winner in 2016), Beale Street, which was shut out of Best Picture this year. The other two multiple award winners also did not receive Oscar nominations in Best Picture – and, indeed, Suspiria received no nominations from the Academy Awards at all.

We were in attendance at the award ceremony, held in a giant white tent at the base of the Santa Monica Pier, and the love for Beale Street was on everyone’s lips as we walked through the cocktail reception. This proved a clear path to victory in every category for which Beale Street was nominated, but it’s worth nothing that Film Independent likes to spread out the nominations. Indeed, the most nominated film of the evening — We the Animals — did not win an award, and their five nominations stood as the feather in their cap.

And such is the atmosphere of the event, hosted by Aubrey Plaza, a celebration of independent cinema in which a film like You Were Never Really Here, which won Best Film Editing, was cheered by the crowd at every mention, from Best Actor nominee Joaquin Phoenix to director Lynne Ramsay, whom Jenkins himself said he wished had won Best Director on this day in which 60% of the nominees were female – a stark contrast to how Hollywood’s film directing percentages actually work out.

Being represented was the most spirited occasion at the Indie Spirit Awards and as such, the love was spread wide, from Glenn Close to Ethan Hawke to Richard E. Grant and the aforementioned Suspiria. It was a bright, sunny day on the beach to celebrate a year of cinema that the Oscars mostly ignored. Inside the tent, Beale Street talked; Hollywood asked, Can You Ever Forgive Me?; and the awards answered, You Were Never Really Here. Drinks to that!

BEST FEATURE
 
Eighth Grade
First Reformed
If Beale Street Could Talk — winner
Leave No Trace
You Were Never Really Here
 
BEST FIRST FEATURE
Hereditary
Sorry To Bother You — winner
The Tale
We The Animals
Wildlife
 
BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk — winner
Debra Granik, Leave No Trace
Tamara Jenkins, Private Life
Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here
 
BEST SCREENPLAY
Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me? — winner
Richard Glatzer (writer, story by), Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Wash Westmoreland, Colette
Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Tamara Jenkins, Private Life
Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You
 
 
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Quinn Shephard (writer, story by), Laurie Shephard (story by), Blame
Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade — winner
Christina Choe, Nancy
Jennifer Fox, The Tale
Cory Finley, Thoroughbreds
 
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – best feature film made for under $500,000
A Bread Factory
En El Séptimo Día — winner
Never Goin’ Back
Sócrates
Thunder Road
 
BEST MALE LEAD
Daveed Diggs, Blindspotting
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed — winner
John Cho, Searching
Christian Malheiros, Sócrates
Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here
 
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Helena Howard, Madeline’s Madeline
Regina Hall, Support the Girls
Glenn Close, The Wife — winner
Carey Mulligan, Wildlife
 
 
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? — winner
Josh Hamilton, Eighth Grade
John David Washington, Monsters and Men
Raúl Castillo, We the Animals
 
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Tyne Daly, A Bread Factory
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk — winner
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Leave No Trace
J. Smith-Cameron, Nancy
Kayli Carter, Private Life
 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ashley Connor, Madeline’s Madeline
Benjamin Loeb, Mandy
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Suspiria — winner
Zak Mulligan, We the Animals
Diego Garcia, Wildlife
 
BEST EDITING
Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill, Julian Hart, American Animals
Nick Houy, Mid90s
Anne Fabini, Alex Hall, Gary Levy, The Tale
Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates, Jeremiah Zagar, We the Animals
Joe Bini, You Were Never Really Here — winner
 
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
Burning (South Korea)
Director: Lee Chang-Dong
 
Happy As Lazzaro (Italy)
Director: Alice Rohrwacher
 
Roma (Mexico)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón — winner
 
Shoplifters (Japan)
Director: Kore-eda Hirokazu
 
The Favourite (United Kingdom)
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
 
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? — winner 
 
 
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – best ensemble cast
Suspiria — winner
 
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino
Ensemble Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Fabrizia Sacchi, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler
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