It’s that time again, ladies and gentlemen. The 24th Gotham Independent Film Awards have rolled around, signalling the start of the Oscar Race and the long road to February 22nd’s 87th Academy Awards.
First out of the gate once again, the IFP’s nominations can help give an early, well-needed boost to smaller films that easily and frustratingly get lost once major studios ramp up their campaigns. Last year’s awards saw 12 Years A Slave lead the pack (though take home no prizes), eventually going on to win the Best Picture Oscar. This year sees Boyhood lead with four nominations, Birdman following with two. Dear White People, Nightcrawler and Under The Skin also boast two nods apiece.
Twenty-four films have been recognised by the IFP (excluding Foxcatcher) and, though it’s not much of a surprise to see Boyhood out front, it’s certainly a wonderful thing to behold right at the start of the season.
True to form, the Gothams mix frontrunners such as Michael Keaton and Julianne Moore with inspired, rightly deserved choices including Bill Hader and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Their Breakthrough category is always something to get excited about, and while Ellar Coltrane is a no-brainer, it’s a truly marvelous thing to see Macon Blair honoured for his blinding role in Blue Ruin. Not seen it yet? Consider it a priority.
One of the two main indie award shows (along with the Independent Spirits which take place on the eve of the Oscars), the Gothams’ list won’t mirror the Academy’s ultimate decisions, but it does indicate smaller offerings that we shouldn’t count out of the race completely.
Lastly, it’s interesting to note that while Carell, Tatum and Ruffalo were obviously a point of contention within the Best Actor category, the film was shut out elsewhere. But it’s not all bad news for the film, with director Bennett Miller receiving a special award on the night.
Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Love Is Strange
Under The Skin
2013’S WINNER: Inside Llewyn Davis
Point And Shoot
2013’S WINNER: The Act Of Killing
BINGHAM RAY BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR AWARD:
Ana Lily Amirpour – A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
James Ward Byrkit – Coherence
Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler
Eliza Hittman – It Felt Like Love
Justin Simien – Dear White People
2013’S WINNER: Ryan Coogler – Fruitvale Station
Bill Hader – The Skeleton Twins
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Oscar Isaac – A Most Violent Year
Michael Keaton – Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)
Miles Teller – Whiplash
*The 2014 Best Actor nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum for their ensemble performance in Foxcatcher
2013’S WINNER: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Beyond The Lights
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Scarlett Johansson – Under The Skin
Mia Wasikowska – Tracks
2013’S WINNER: Brie Larson – Short Term 12
Riz Ahmed – Nightcrawler
Macon Blair – Blue Ruin
Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood
Joey King – Wish I Was Here
Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
Tessa Thompson – Dear White People
2013’S WINNER: Michael B. Jordan – Fruitvale Station
SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN FILMMAKERS ‘LIVE THE DREAM’ GRANT:
Garrett Bradley – Below Dreams (director)
Claire Carré – Embers (director)
Chloé Zhao – Songs My Brother Taught Me (director)
GOTHAM AUDIENCE AWARD:
The winner of the Audience Award will be announced at the Gotham Awards Ceremony on December 1st