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John Cho Getty 3.jpg

Independent Spirit Awards 2019 Nominations: The John Cho Oscar Campaign Starts NOW!

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | November 16, 2018 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | November 16, 2018 |

John Cho Getty 3.jpg

The Independent Spirit Awards are like the cool hipster cousin of the Oscars, only this is the cousin you actually want to go out drinking with. The show is produced by Film Independent, a non-profit arts organization that also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival. Their focus is on indie film that eschews industry norms and isn’t afraid to experiment. So don’t expect the big studio releases here or anything with a budget exceeding $20 million. It’s easy to think of these awards as a precursor for the Oscars but that isn’t entirely accurate. It is very good for those dark horses of the race, especially in categories where the lock nominees don’t fill out each space. Best Actor is like that this year so far, and with all the really exciting stuff coming from the indie scene, awards like this can at least remind voters of the movies they may have missed amid a sea of Avengers, born stars and whatever the hell JK Rowling is forcing out these days.

To my shock, this year’s Independent Spirit Award nominees are… Overall kind of great? Seriously, other than a couple of notable omissions (no Melissa McCarthy, only the white dude of BlacKkKlansman getting a nomination), I can’t say there’s anything especially egregious here. And the surprises are good ones! John Cho for Best Actor! A majority female category for Best Director! Lots of love for unexpected choices we all hoped would be recognized but didn’t think had a chance! You Were Never Really Here — my favourite film of 2018 — getting tons of nods!

Here are the nominees.

- - -


Eight Grade
First Reformed
If Beale Street Could Talk
Leave No Trace
You Were Never Really Here


Glenn Close - The Wife
Toni Collette - Hereditary
Elsie Fisher - Eighth Grade
Regina Hall - Support the Girls
Helena Howard - Madeline’s Madeline
Carey Mulligan - Wildlife


John Cho - Searching
Daveed Diggs - Blindspotting
Ethan Hawke - First Reformed
Christian Malheiros - Socrates
Joaquin Phoenix - You Were Never Really Here


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


Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
On Her Shoulders
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


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


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


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


Bo Burnham - Eighth Grade
Christina Choe - Nancy
Cory Finley - Thoroughbreds
Jennifer Fox - The Tale
Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By) and Laurie Shephard - Blame


Ashley Connor - Madeline’s Madeline
Diego Garcia - Wildlife
Benjamin Loeb - Mandy
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom - Suspiria
Zak Mulligan - We the Animals


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, Gary Levy - The Tale
Nick Houy - Mid90s


The Favourite
Happy as Lazzaro

BONNIE AWARD (Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the second Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines.)

Debra Granik
Tamara Jenkins
Karyn Kusama

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.)


Director: Luca Guadagnino
Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino
Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler.

Header Image Source: Getty Images.