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The Film Independent Spirit Awards bestowed their nominations on Hollywood this morning, and classically, there were some glaring surprises and omissions. For the first time, the group also included nominations for television. Bestowing honors since 1985, the nominations were announced on YouTube by Olivia Wilde, Barry Jenkins and Laverne Cox.

Regina King’s powerful “One Night in Miami” was given the Robert Altman Award, which is presented to the ensemble cast, director and casting director, joining past honorees like “Mudbound,” “Moonlight” and “Spotlight.” However, when a film is given this honor, the actors are removed from consideration in the acting categories, which explains no mentions for the individual cast members, most notably, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Leslie Odom Jr. This does start to beg the question possibly coming from studios: Does anyone want to win the Robert Altman award if you’re angling for awards attention for any of your actors? With the individual citation missing from the acting lineups, it prevents momentum and buzz for a performance.

Down below is the analysis of each of the categories and what it means in the awards race.

Best Feature

  • “First Cow” (A24)
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
  • “Minari” (A24)
  • “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)
  • “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

A24 has to be smiling this morning, snagging two spots in best feature with “First Cow” and “Minari.” In the case of the latter, it was nice to see that the film wasn’t put to the international feature category (which is what the Golden Globes did). Searchlight Pictures’ “Nomadland” continues its reign with multiple nominations and still leading the pack. At the same time, Focus Features’ “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” represented well for the studio, leading the nomination field with seven. Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was able to nab a spot in the lineup while noting their other hopefuls, including “Da 5 Bloods,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” weren’t eligible for the awards.

Best Director

  • Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari” (A24)
  • Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)
  • Eliza Hittman,” Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)
  • Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow” (A24)
  • Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

The Independent Spirit Awards have a record of nominating women in the best director category. This marks the second time in history that women outnumbered the men in the lineup. 2018’s lineup included winner Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) along with nominees Debra Granik (“Leave No Trace”), Tamara Jenkins (“Private Life”), Lynne Ramsay (“You Were Never Really Here”) and Paul Schrader (“First Reformed”). This does mark the first time that all women and people of color were nominated, and it’s a beautiful ode to a year of cinema that is very much worth celebrating.

Emerald Fennell, nominated for “Promising Young Woman,” is now definitely in the Oscars mix. Chloé Zhao’s achievement for “Nomadland” is beautiful and is on a trajectory that could have her making history at the Oscars in multiple fashions. An Indie Spirit winner for best director hasn’t matched with the Academy since 2011’s “The Artist.” To go further, a nominee hasn’t translated to the Oscars since 2017 (Jordan Peele for “Get Out” and Luca Guadgnino for “Call Me by Your Name”). Two nominees are the most that ever gone on to get Oscars nominations, which has occurred a few times. That could be on par with what we see this year, assuming Zhao and Lee Isaac Chung are the ones to make it, but gear up for anything in this unknown season.

Best Male Lead

  • Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
  • Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
  • Adarsh Gourav, “The White Tiger” (Netflix)
  • Rob Morgan, “Bull” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • Steven Yeun, “Minari” (A24)

I have to start with pure happiness for Rob Morgan’s work in “Bull,” an underseen work from a very valuable actor in the industry. No big shocks, but John David Washington’s miss for “Malcolm & Marie” was a ding to his best actor hopes. Riz Ahmed and Chadwick Boseman are likely the frontrunners in this race, and quite frankly, at the Oscars as well. At this time of writing, the two are co-leading in the critics’ awards, with Delroy Lindo’s work in “Da 5 Bloods” close behind. If there was someone who needed this, it was Steven Yeun’s stunning performance in “Minari.” With buzz teetering over the last week or so, this will breathe some life back into his prospects. A good mention for Adarsh Gourav for his first film, but his Oscar prospects are close to nil. “The Father” was eligible in the international category, which explains the Anthony Hopkins exclusion.

For historical context, this category hasn’t produced an Academy best actor nominee since 2017, where Timothée Chalamet won for “Call Me by Your Name.” The best the category has ever done in translation to the Academy was in 2008 where four of the five went on to the best actor nomination, leaving Javier Bardem (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”) to be replaced by the Indie Spirits ineligible Frank Langella (“Frost/Nixon”). On average, you find two performances make their way to the Dolby, even with “out of nowhere” snubs like Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”) and David Oyelowo (“Selma”)

Best Female Lead

  • Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment)
  • Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
  • Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)
  • Julia Garner, “The Assistant” (Bleecker Street)
  • Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
  • Carey Mulligan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

A tie produced six women, which could be one of the strongest collections of performances in the history of the Indie Spirits. Coincidentally, you can find the eventual Oscar-winner in this category more often than not, at least over the last decade. Seven previous winners went on to win the Academy Award for best actress. In the other three case years, the eventual winner wasn’t eligible (Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady,” Emma Stone for “La La Land” and Olivia Colman for “The Favourite”). The lineup’s biggest snubs came from two Netflix films: Vanessa Kirby from “Pieces of a Woman” and Zendaya from “Malcolm & Marie.” Sophia Loren’s work in “The Life Ahead” was not eligible in this category, as it was submitted for the international category. Michelle Pfeiffer took a hit missing out for “French Exit,” despite her co-star making the supporting female category.

An interesting observation: the last time a six-women tie occurred in this category was in 2010. In that year, five of them became the best actress nominees at the Oscars, leaving out 6th woman, Greta Gerwig, in “Greenberg.” Could that be the case again?

Best Supporting Male

  • Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
  • Orion Lee, “First Cow” (A24)
  • Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
  • Glynn Turman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
  • Benedict Wong, “Nine Days” (Sony Pictures Classics)

This is where Netflix shined, getting both Colman Domingo and Glynn Turman into the lineup for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” It also helped that the men from “One Night in Miami” couldn’t compete due to the Robert Altman prize. With Turman, he seems like the strongest play for an eventual Oscar spot, especially with his big LAFCA win earlier in the season but the supporting actor is obviously fluid. Domingo is a respected actor in the industry and could be a dark horse, especially in the middle of Globes and SAG voting. Critical darling Paul Raci continues his steamroll while Benedict Wong jump-starts his Oscar campaign for next year for “Nine Days,” which will be opening in the summer months. Orion Lee’s inclusion continues to help the “First Cow” narrative as it looks for love in any major categories. Despite his co-star John Magaro being left off in best male lead, any notice is a good notice at this point.

Best Supporting Female:

  • Alexis Chikaeze, “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment)
  • Yeri Han, “Minari” (A24)
  • Valerie Mahaffey, “French Exit” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Talia Ryder, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)
  • Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari” (A24)

Yeri Han got a switcharoo into the best supporting female category despite being campaigned in the Oscars’ best actress race. Her co-star Yuh-Jung Youn is dominating the critics’ awards, and there are no plans of switching Han’s campaign, even if it is definitely worthy of a nomination. Alexis Chikzeze’s nomination for “Miss Juneteenth” is one of those bright spots of the season and probably helps Nicole Beharie’s best actress prospects overall with more visibility on the film. In discussions with AMPAS voters, I’ve heard Valerie Mahaffey’s hilarious and scene-stealing turn in “French Exit” come up more than once, and Sony Pictures Classics is recognizing that. Talia Ryder’s inclusion was expected and just adds to the overall love for “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.” It’s a bit uncertain how that film will perform overall with the Academy. Ellen Burstyn missing was also significant but there are typically big misses in the supporting races that are in the thick of the Oscars (for example Jake Gyllenhaal missed a nomination for “Brokeback Mountain”).

In terms of Indie Spirit nominees turning into Oscar nominees for best supporting actress, you have to go to 2013 to find the most with three (Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave,” Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine” and June Squibb in “Nebraska”). There are quite a bit of years with one or none, and judging by the current read of the awards landscape, Youn could be the sole crossover, but there’s a long way to go.

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Radha Blank in “The Forty-Year-Old Version” Courtesy of Jeong Park/Netflix

Best First Feature

  • “I Carry You With Me” (Sony Pictures Classics) – Heidi Ewing
  • “The 40 Year Old Version” (Netflix) – Radha Blank
  • “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios) – Darius Marder
  • “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment) – Channing Godfrey Peoples
  • “Nine Days” (Sony Pictures Classics) – Edson Oda

A note that a nomination in best director precludes a filmmaker from being nominated in this space like Jordan Peele for 2017’s “Get Out.” That explains the exclusion of Emerald Fennell. The other miss was for Max Barbakow’s “Palm Springs,” which would have been a worthy entry. While Darius Mader may look like the best shot at Oscar attention, this category has only produced two Oscar nominees in history: Paul Haggis for 2005’s “Crash” and Spike Jonze for 1999’s “Being John Malkovich.”

Best Screenplay

  • “Bad Education” (HBO) – Mike Makowsky
  • “Minari” (A24) – Lee Isaac Chung
  • “The Half of It” (Netflix) – Alice Wu
  • “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features) – Eliza Hittman
  • “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) – Emerald Fennell

A very strong lineup, but for those keeping track, “Bad Education” is not eligible for the Oscars and will not compete. The glaring snub here is Kelly Reichardt’s “First Cow,” which I would have bet made this lineup before others. Looking for recognition in the best adapted screenplay race, along with being very unconventional, it’ll need everything it can get. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” missing also has to sting some; however, this is a category that is very kind to original screenplays and not so much to previously published works. That also explains Charlie Kaufman’s snub for “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.” Chung, Fennell, and Hittman received considerable boosts. This category’s winner has not missed an Oscar nomination since 2009’s “(500) Days of Summer.”

Best First Screenplay

  • “The Assistant” (Bleecker Street) – Kitty Green
  • “Lapsis” (Film Movement) – Noah Hutton
  • “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment) – Channing Godfrey Peoples
  • “Palm Springs” (Hulu/Neon) – Andy Siara
  • “Straight Up” (Strand Releasing) – James Sweeney

Implemented in 1994, this category is more spotty in Oscar translation. In the last decade, only three nominees translated, and they were the winners of the lot — 2017’s “The Big Sick,” 2015’s “Room” and 2013’s “Nebraska.” Andy Siara’s nomination is a great addition to his campaign, and has the best chance at moving to the Dolby on March 15.

Best Cinematography

  • “She Dies Tomorrow” (Neon) – Jay Keitel
  • “Bull” (Sony Pictures Releasing) – Shabier Kirchner
  • “The Assistant” (Bleecker Street) – Michael Latham
  • “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features) – Hélène Louvart
  • “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – Joshua James Richards

The critical dominator in the race, Joshua James Richards, may be the obvious winner when the show airs. This belongs to “Nomadland.” Period. The last time an Oscar nominee came out of this space was 2016’s winner James Laxton for “Moonlight.”

Best Editing

  • “I Carry You With Me” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • “The Invisible Man” (Universal Pictures)
  • “Residue” (ARRAY)
  • “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)
  • “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

The awards have been around since 2013, and there have only been a half dozen films that have moved on to the Academy Awards, most recently with 2017’s winner “I, Tonya.” This has been the biggest hump for Zhao to get over as the editing branch has proven not to embrace films that have many one-shots takes (examples like past snubs “Birdman” and “Roma”).

John Cassavetes Award

  • “The Killing of Two Lovers”
  • “La Leyenda Negra”
  • “Lingua Franca”
  • “Residue”
  • “Saint Frances”

Best Documentary

  • “Collective”
  • “Crip Camp”
  • “Dick Johnson Is Dead”
  • “Time”
  • “The Mole Agent”

Expect these five films to make the documentary feature shortlist as they are all in the Oscar race’s thick.

Best International Film

  • “Bacurau”
  • “The Disciple”
  • “Night of the Kings”
  • “Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time”
  • “Quo Vadis, Aida?”

Big boosts for “Night of the Kings” and “Quo Vadis, Aida” and could be dark horses to take on “Another Round.”

Robert Altman Award: “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

The Film Independent Spirit Awards will air on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 10:00 pm ET