‘American Honey,’ ‘Moonlight’ Lead 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

Kristopher Tapley
Variety

The last three winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards best film prize have gone on to win the Oscar for best picture. Is 2016’s victor among the nominees this year?

American Honey” and “Moonlight” led the way with six nominations apiece. “Manchester by the Sea” picked up five. The three films were joined by “Jackie” and “Chronic” in the best feature category.

Curiously absent from the best director category was “Manchester” helmer Kenneth Lonergan, though he did pick up a screenplay nomination. Michelle Williams was also left off the supporting actress list for her brief but powerful performance in the film.

“Moonlight,” meanwhile — despite co-leading the field of nominees — was left out of the performance categories, a by-product of director Barry Jenkins, casting director Yesi Ramirez and the entire cast being tapped for the annual Robert Altman Award. Both Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris are still considered strong Oscar possibilities.

Focus Features’ big awards hopeful this year, “Loving,” picked up a pair of nominations, for lead actress (Ruth Negga) and best director (Jeff Nichols).

Much like it was with the Gotham Awards, distributor A24 had a great showing; in addition to “American Honey” and “Moonlight,” films such as “Swiss Army Man,” “20th Century Women” and “The Witch” all picked up nominations.

Films not eligible for consideration due to budgetary or other criteria include “La La Land,” “Lion” (outside of the international feature category), “A Monster Calls” and “Nocturnal Animals.”

Full list of nominees below. The 32nd annual Spirit Awards will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Best Feature
“American Honey”
“Chronic”
“Jackie”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”

Best Director
Andrea Arnold (“American Honey”)
Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”)
Pablo Larrain (“Jackie”)
Jeff Nichols (“Loving”)
Kelly Reichardt (“Certain Women”)

Best First Feature
“The Childhood of a Leader”
“The Fits”
“Other People”
“Swiss Army Man”
“The Witch”

Best Male Lead
Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”)
David Harewood (“Free in Deed”)
Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”)
Jesse Plemons (“Other People”)
Tim Roth (“Chronic”)

Best Female Lead
Annette Bening (“20th Century Women”)
Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”)
Sasha Lane (“American Honey”)
Ruth Negga (“Loving”)
Natalie Portman (“Jackie”)

Best Supporting Male
Ralph Fiennes (“A Bigger Splash”)
Ben Foster (“Hell or High Water”)
Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”)
Shia LaBeouf (“American Honey”)
Craig Robinson (“Morris from America”)

Best Supporting Female
Edwina Findley (“Free in Deed”)
Paulina Garcia (“Little Men”)
Lily Gladstone (“Certain Women”)
Riley Keough (“American Honey”)
Molly Shannon (“Other People”)

Best Screenplay
“Hell or High Water”
“Little Men”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”
“20th Century Women”

Best First Screenplay
“Barry”
“Christine”
“Jean of the Joneses”
“Other People”
“The Witch”

Best International Film
“Aquarius”
“Chevalier”
“My Golden Days”
“Toni Erdmann”
“Under the Shadow”

Best Documentary Feature
“13th”
“Cameraperson”
“I Am Not Your Negro”
“O.J.: Made in America”
“Sonita”
“Under the Sun”

Best Cinematography
“American Honey”
“Childhood”
“Free in Deed”
“Eyes of My Mother”
“Moonlight”

Best Editing
“Hell or High Water”
“Jackie”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”
“Swiss Army Man”

John Cassavetes Award
“Free in Deed”
“Hunter Gatherer”
“Lovesong”
“Nakom”
“Spa Night”

Robert Altman Award
“Moonlight”

Piaget Producers Award
Lisa Kjerulff
Jordana Mollick
Melody C. Roscher
Craig Shilowich

Truer Than Fiction Award
Kristi Jacobson (“Solitary”)
Sara Jordeno (“Kiki”)
Nanfu Wang (“Holligan Sparrow”)

Someone to Watch Award
Andrew Ahn (“Spa Night”)
Claire Carre (“Embers”)
Anna Rose Holmer (“The Fits”)
Ingrid Jungermann (“Women Who Kill”)

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