'Carol' Leads Independent Spirit Award Nominations

5:03 PM 1/27/2016

by Hilary Lewis

Netflix's 'Beasts of No Nation' scored five nominations, with 'Spotlight' landing four nominations and the Robert Altman Award for its ensemble cast.


The nominations for the 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced on Tuesday, with Todd Haynes' 1950s-set lesbian love story Carol scoring a leading six nominations.

Netflix's first original feature film, Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation, landed five nominations.

Spotlight, about The Boston Globe's investigation into years of child sex abuse by Catholic priests and the subsequent cover-up, scored four nominations and is set to receive the Robert Altman Award for its ensemble cast.

All three films will compete in the categories of best feature and best director, along with Charlie Kaufman's stop-motion feature Anomalisa and Sean Baker's iPhone-shot Tangerine, which each scored three more nominations. It Follows' David Robert Mitchell also landed a best director nomination.

Fukunaga's adaptation of Beasts failed to land him a best screenplay nom, but Carol screenwriter Phyllis Nagy and Spotlight's Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer will compete in that category with Kaufman's Anomalisa script, Donald Margulies' screenplay for The End of the Tour and S. Craig Zahler's Bone Tomahawk script.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, It Follows, James White, Mediterranea, Room and Songs My Brothers Taught Me each landed three nominations.

Bone Tomahawk,  End of the Tour, Heaven Knows What and Manos Sucias each scored two mentions.

Diary of a Teenage Girl, James White, Manos Sucias, Mediterranea and Songs My Brothers Taught Me are all up for best first feature honors.

The category of best first screenplay include Diary of a Teenage Girl's Marielle Heller, Room's Emma Donoghue, Mediterranea's Jonas Carpignano, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl's Jesse Andrews and The Mend's John Magary, Russell Harbaugh and Myna Joseph.

Meanwhile, the John Cassavetes Award for best feature made for under $500,000 will see Benny and Josh Safdie's Heaven Knows What face off against Advantageous; Christmas, Again; Krisha; and Out of My Hand.

Despite its multiple nominations, Spotlight didn't receive any in the acting categories. Carol's two stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, will fcompete in the best female lead category. Other nominees in that category include Brie Larson for Room, Bel Powley for The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez for Tangerine.

Nominees for best male lead include Christopher Abbott (James White), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Ben Mendelsohn (Mississippi Grind), Jason Segel (End of the Tour) and Koudous Seihorn (Mediterranea).

Beasts' Idris Elba, meanwhile, was nominated in the best supporting male category alongside Bone Tomahawk's Richard Jenkins, Results' Kevin Corrigan, Love & Mercy's Paul Dano and 99 Homes' Michael Shannon.

The best supporting female nominees are Robin Bartlett (H.), Marin Ireland (Glass Chin), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa), Cynthia Nixon (James White) and Mya Taylor (Tangerine).

(T)error, Best of Enemies, Heart of a Dog, The Look of Silence, Meru and The Russian Woodpecker will vie for best documentary honors.

IFC will exclusively broadcast the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Feb. 27, 2016, at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET.

The full list of nominations follows:

  • Best Feature

    Spotlight (WINNER)
    Beasts of No Nation


  • Best First Feature

    The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (WINNER)
    James White?, Josh Mond?
    Manos Sucias?, Josef Kubota Wladyka
    Mediterranea?, Jonas Carpignano
    Songs My Brothers Taught Me?, Chloé Zhao

  • John Cassavetes Award

    Krisha? (WINNER)
    Christmas, Again
    ?Heaven Knows What?
    Out of My Hand

  • Best Director

    Tom McCarthy, ?Spotlight?? (WINNER)
    Sean Baker?, Tangerine
    Cary Joji Fukunaga, ?Beasts of No Nation??
    Todd Haynes, ?Carol??
    Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman?, Anomalisa??
    David Robert Mitchell?, It Follows?

  • Best Screenplay

    Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, ?Spotlight? (WINNER)
    Charlie Kaufman?, Anomalisa?
    ?Donald Margulies, ?The End of the Tour?
    Phyllis Nagy?, Carol?
    ?S. Craig Zahler, ?Bone Tomahawk

  • Best First Screenplay

    Emma Donoghue, ?Room? (WINNER)
    Jesse Andrews?, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
    Jonas CarpignanoMediterranea?
    ?Marielle Heller?, The Diary of a Teenage Girl?
    John Magary, Story by Russell Harbaugh and Myna Joseph?, The Mend?

  • Best Cinematography

    ?Ed Lachman?, Carol? (WINNER)
    Cary Joji Fukunaga?, Beasts of No Nation
    ?Michael Gioulakis, ?It Follows
    ?Reed Morano?, Meadowland?
    Joshua James Richards, ?Songs My Brothers Taught Me

  • Best Editing

    Tom McArdle?, Spotlight? (WINNER)
    Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie, ?Heaven Knows What?
    Nathan Nugent?, Room?
    Julio C. Perez IV?, It Follows?
    Kristan Sprague?, Manos Sucias

  • Best Female Lead

    ?Brie Larson, ?Room? (WINNER)
    Cate Blanchett?, Carol?
    Rooney Mara?, Carol?
    Bel Powley, ?The Diary of a Teenage Girl?
    Kitana Kiki Rodriguez?, Tangerine

  • Best Male Lead

    Abraham Attah, ?Beasts of No Nation? (WINNER)
    Christopher Abbott, ?James White
    Ben Mendelsohn, ?Mississippi Grind?
    Jason Segel?, The End of the Tour?
    Koudous Seihon?, Mediterranea

  • Best Supporting Female

    Mya Taylor, ?Tangerine? (WINNER)
    Robin Bartlett?, H.?
    Marin Ireland, ?Glass Chin??
    ?Jennifer Jason Leigh?, Anomalisa??
    ?Cynthia Nixon, ?James White??


  • Best Supporting Male

    Idris Elba?, Beasts of No Nation? (WINNER)
    Kevin Corrigan, ?Results?
    ?Paul Dano?, Love & Mercy
    ?Richard Jenkins?, Bone Tomahawk?
    Michael Shannon?, 99 Homes?

  • Robert Altman Award

    Spotlight? (WINNER)
    Director: Tom McCarthy
    ?Casting directors: Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee?
    Ensemble cast: Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle, Neal Huff, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci

  • Best Documentary

    The Look of Silence? (WINNER)
    Best of Enemies
    ?Heart of a Dog
    The Russian Woodpecker

  • Best International Film

    Son of Saul? (Hungary) (WINNER)
    Embrace of the Serpent? (Colombia)
    Girlhood ?(France)
    Mustang? (France, Turkey)
    ?A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence ?(Sweden)

  • Piaget Producers Award

    Mel Eslyn? (WINNER)

  • Kiehl's Someone to Watch Award

    Felix Thompson, King Jack? (WINNER)

  • Truer Than Fiction Award

    Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Incorruptible (WINNER)