Spirit Award Nominations: Uncut Gems, Lighthouse, and Honey Boy Lead

The Film Independent Spirit Award nominations share the wealth this year! Topping the list unveiled today are the Safdie Brothers’ Adam Sandler flick Uncut Gems, Robert Eggers’ arthouse brodown The Lighthouse, and Alma Hare’el’s Shia LaBeouf vehicle Honey Boy. That’s a good boost for Uncut Gems, which has yet to secure Canadian distribution.

Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story did well too despite netting a lesser tally. It netted two nominations: Best Feature and Best Screenplay. However, it also won the annual Robert Altman Award given to an ensemble-driven film. The prize, shared by the director, cast, and casting director rendered Marriage Story in those respective categories, which accounts for the absence of Oscar frontrunners like Adam Drive and Laura Dern.

Oscar hopefuls

Other Oscar candidates who got a boost from the Spirit Awards were Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Renée Zellweger (Judy), and dark horse Alfre Woodard, whose Sundance hot Clemency made a strong showing including a nomination for Best Feature. It was joined in the top category by Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life, which snagged a top slot without landing any other nominations.

Big names missing out today included Awkwafina, who took a hit given that The Farewell scored nominations for Best Feature and Best Supporting Female (Zhao Shuzhen), as well as Trey Edward Shults’ Waves, which landed one nom for Best Supporting Female (Taylor Russell) but not Best Supporting Male (Sterling K. Brown). Margo Martindale was hosed, missing out on Best Supporting Female for Blow the Man Down, although the film landed a nom for Best First Screenplay. But in better news: Parasite is in for the Independent Spirit Award nominations’ Best International Feature category, as are Portrait of a Lady on Fire, The Souvenir, and Les Mis.


The full list of Spirit Award nominations is as follows:

Best Feature
The Farewell
A Hidden Life
Marriage Story
Uncut Gems

Best Director
Robert Eggers – The Lighthouse
Alma Har’el – Honey Boy
Julius Onah – Luce
Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – Uncut Gems
Lorene Scafaria – Hustlers

Best First Feature
The Climb
The Last Black Man inSan Francisco
The Mustang
See You Yesterday

Best Female Lead
Karen Allen – Colewell
Hong Chau – Driveways
Elisabeth Moss – Her Smell
Mary Kay Place – Diane
Alfre Woodard – Clemecy
Renée Zellweger – Judy


Best Male Lead
Chris Galust – Give Me Liberty
Kelvin Harrison – Jr., Luce
Robert Pattinson – The Lighthouse
Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems
Matthias Schoenaerts – The Mustang

Best Supporting Female
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Taylor Russell – Waves
Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell
Lauren “Lolo” Spencer – Give Me Liberty
Octavia Spencer – Luce

Best Supporting Male
Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse
Noah Jupe – Honey Boy
Shia Labeouf – Honey Boy
Jonathan Majors – The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Wendell Pierce – Burning Cane

Best International Film
Invisible Life, Brazil
Les Miserables, France
Parasite, South Korea
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, France
Retablo, Peru
The Souvenir, United Kingdom


Best Documentary
American Factory
Apollo 11
For Sama
Island of the Hungry Ghosts

John Cassavetes Award (Best Film with a Budget under $500,000)
Burning Cane
Give Me Libery
Wild Nights with Emily

Best Cinematography
Todd Banhazl – Hustlers
Jarin Blaschke – The Lighthouse
Natasha Braier – Honey Boy
Chananun Chotrungroj – The Third Wife
Pawel Pogorzelski – Midsommar

Best Film Editing
Julie Béziau – The Third Wife
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems
Tyler L. Cook – Sword of Trust
Louise Ford – The Lighthouse
Kirill Mikhanovsky – Give Me Liberty


Best Screenplay
Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story
Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder – To Dust
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – Uncut Gems
Chinonye Chukwu – Clemecy
Tarell Alvin Mccraney – High Flying Bird

Best First Screenplay
Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol – See You Yesterday
Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen – Driveways
Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy – Blow the Man Down
Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe – Greener Grass
James Montague, Craig W. Sanger – The Vast of Night

Truer than Fiction Award
Khalik Allah – Black Mother
Davy Rothbart – 17 Blocks
Nadia Shihab – Jaddoland
Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside – America

Bonnie Award – Mid-career female filmmaker
Marielle Heller
Kelly Reichardt
Lulu Wang


Producers Award
Mollye Asher
Krista Parris
Ryan Zacarias

Someone to Watch
Rashaad Ernesto Green – Premature
Ash Mayfair – The Third Wife
Joe Talbot – The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Robert Altman Award
– honouring a director, ensemble cast, and casting director

Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach, Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler, Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever

The awards will be handed out on February 8, 2020.