×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Lobster,’ ‘Macbeth,’ ‘45 Years’ Top Nominees for British Independent Film Awards

Bad news for 'Suffragette' and 'The Danish Girl' as edgier critical favorites dominate the U.K.'s answer to the Spirits.

The British Independent Film Awards — the U.K.’s answer to the Film Independent Spirit Awards — lived up to their outsider roots with this morning’s nominations announcement, as offbeat festival sensations, edgy genre film and a hit documentary trumped Oscar-tipped prestige dramas.

Leading the rebel charge is Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ darkly comic romantic fantasy “The Lobster,” which topped the list with seven nominations including Best Film, Best Director and performance mentions for Colin Farrell, Olivia Colman and Ben Whishaw.

Just behind with six nominations each were “45 Years,” Andrew Haigh’s critically adored study of a marriage unraveling in its autumn stages, and “Macbeth,” Australian helmer Justin Kurzel’s brutal, highly stylized interpretation of the Shakespeare standard. Both earned nods in the two top races, as well as for their male and female leads: respectively, Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling, and Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

Rounding out the Best Film category, each with five nods, was Alex Garland’s sleek, cerebral sci-fi provocation “Ex Machina” and Asif Kapadia’s wrenching Amy Winehouse doc “Amy,” the highest grosser in the category.

It’s a selection that attests to the stylistic range and risk of contemporary British film, as well as to its growing accommodation of international filmmaking talent. (Champagne corks will be popping this morning at Film4, the adventurous production outfit that backed all five of the nominees.) But it’s a strikingly arthouse-inclined list: The BIFA nominating committee largely cold-shouldered the kind of commercial heritage cinema that traditionally angles for BAFTA and Oscar glory.

Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette,” currently a robust box office performer at home, had to settle for acting attention only. So did Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl,” which earned just one nomination — and not for Eddie Redmayne, whose buzz continues to be sapped by his co-star Alicia Vikander. She cracks the Best Actress lineup, perhaps edging herself out for “Ex Machina.” (No, the BIFA voters aren’t buying that supporting Oscar push.) Meanwhile, a Best Actor nod for Tom Hardy’s dazzling dual turn as the Kray twins was all she wrote for “Legend,” a film that overcame mixed reviews to prove a domestic commercial phenom in the U.K., out-grossing Hardy’s summer vehicle “Mad Max: Fury Road” and taking more than all the Best Film nominees combined.

The team behind John Crowley’s “Brooklyn” will be disappointed not to have earned a Best Film nomination this morning. Still, with five nods, including citations for screenwriter Nick Hornby and actors Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson and Julie Walters, it can consider its trophy trail off to a reasonable start. And while U.S. awards chatter circles the likes of Charlotte Rampling and “Amy,” the BIFAs — unlike the bigger, brasher BAFTAs — have little interest in anticipating or emulating the Academy Awards: The last four winners of their top prize (“Tyrannosaur,” “Broken,” “Metro Manila” and “Pride”) boast a grand total of zero Oscar nods between them. At the outset of a season soon to be flooded with near-identical nominee fields, let’s savor what will surely be the only list led by “The Lobster.”

The awards will be presented on Dec. 6 at London’s Old Billingsgate Market. At the ceremony, Kate Winslet will receive the Variety Award for global achievement.

Full list of nominees below:

Best British Independent Film
“Amy”
“Ex Machina”
45 Years
“The Lobster”
Macbeth

Best Director
Asif Kapadia, “Amy”
Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”
Andrew Haigh, “45 Years”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster”
Justin Kurzel, “Macbeth”

Best Actor
Tom Courtenay, “45 Years”
Colin Farrell, “The Lobster”
Michael Fassbender, “Macbeth”
Tom Hardy, “Legend”
Tom Hiddleston, “High-Rise”

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, “Macbeth”
Carey Mulligan, “Suffragette”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”

Best Supporting Actor
Luke Evans, “High-Rise”
Brendan Gleeson, “Suffragette”
Domhnall Gleeson, “Brooklyn”
Sean Harris, “Macbeth”
Ben Whishaw, “The Lobster”

Best Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham Carter, “Suffragette”
Olivia Colman, “The Lobster”
Anne-Marie Duff, “Suffragette”
Sienna Miller, “High-Rise”
Julie Walters, “Brooklyn”

Best Screenplay
Nick Hornby, “Brooklyn”
Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”
Andrew Haigh, “45 Years”
Amy Jump, “High-Rise”
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, “The Lobster”

Best Foreign Independent Film
“Carol”
“Force Majeure”
“Girlhood”
“Room”
“Son of Saul”

Best Debut Director (Douglas Hickox Award)
Chris and Ben Blaine, “Nina Forever”
Corin Hardy, “The Hallow”
Paul Katis, “Kajaki: The True Story”
John Maclean, “Slow West”
Stephen Fingleton, “The Survivalist”

Best Achievement in Craft
Chris King (editing), “Amy”
Fiona Weir (casting), “Brooklyn”
Mark Digby (production design), “Ex Machina”
Andrew Whitehurst (visual effects), “Ex Machina”
Adam Arkapaw (cinematography), “Macbeth”

Best Documentary
“Amy”
“Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance”
“How to Change the World”
“Palio”
“A Syrian Love Story”

Most Promising Newcomer
Agyness Dean, “Sunset Song”
Mia Goth, “The Survivalist”
Abigail Hardingham, “Nina Forever”
Milo Parker, “Mr. Holmes”
Bel Powley, “A Royal Night Out”

Producer of the Year
James Gay-Rees, “Amy”
Tristan Goligher, “45 Years”
Paul Katis and Andrew De Lotbiniere, “Kajaki: The True Story”
Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos and Lee Magiday, “The Lobster”
David A. Hughes and David Moores, “The Violators”

Raindance Discovery Award
“Aaaaaaaah!”
“Burn Burn Burn”
“Orion: The Man Who Would Be King”
“The Return”
“Winter”

Best Short Film
“Balcony”
“Crack”
“Edmond”
“Love is Blind”
“Manoman”

More Film

  • Film Review: ‘The Gift: The Journey

    ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’

    Very much in the manner of an “unplugged” acoustic album that showcases the musicianship of a major artist without distracting flash and filigree, “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash” is a tightly focused yet impressively multifaceted documentary that attempts nothing less than to delve past familiar myths and illuminate the soul of its fabled [...]

  • Emily Morgan Cormac Fox Gregoire Debailly

    European Film Promotion Reveals 2019's Producers on the Move

    Twenty of Europe’s up-and-coming producers are going to Cannes with European Film Promotion. The organization unveiled its latest roster of Producers on the Move on Wednesday, a lineup that features France’s Gregoire Debailly, who produced Jean-Bernard Marlin’s “Sheherazade,” which premiered in Critics’ Week in Cannes last year, and Ireland’s Cormac Fox, who produced Sophie Hyde’s [...]

  • Avengers EndGame Trailer

    ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Marvel claims the top spot in spending with “Avengers: Endgame.” Ads placed for the superhero film had an estimated media value of $6.28 million through Sunday for 927 national ad airings on 39 networks. (Spend figures [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Netflix Can Chill: Academy Rules No Change in Streaming Oscar Eligibility

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not change eligibility rules for the Oscars, despite speculation that streaming companies might see a crackdown on their release practices when pursuing golden trophies. A board of governors meeting on Tuesday voted to maintain the status quo, that any feature-length film can be considered for the [...]

  • Aniara review

    Film Review: 'Aniara'

    Each year brings an example or three of purported “thinking person’s science-fiction” films, a category that pretty much embraces anything not centered on monsters or lightsaber battles. These efforts are often more admirable in theory than result, but “Aniara” — the first film drawn from Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet Harry Martinson’s 1956 cycle of 103 [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    It’s been a long year for Marvel fans since the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” but the wait is nearly over. The finale to the Infinity Saga is here, and while most diehard fans will know to avoid them for fear of spoilers, early reviews are mostly positive. Last year’s “Infinity War” took home an [...]

  • American Made

    'American Made' Plane Crash Lawsuits End in Settlement

    The producers of the Tom Cruise film “American Made” have settled all litigation surrounding a 2015 plane crash in Colombia that killed two pilots. The settlement resolves pending suits in both California and Georgia. A notice of settlement was filed in Santa Monica Superior Court on Monday. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content