Gotham Award Nominations: 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Leads With Four

Diary of a Teenage Girl still 2 - H 2015
Courtesy of Sundance International Film Festival

Diary of a Teenage Girl still 2 - H 2015

'Diary of a Teenage Girl' received a leading four nominations, including one for best feature, where it will face off against 'Carol,' 'Heaven Knows What,' 'Spotlight' and 'Tangerine.'

The nominations for the 2015 Gotham Independent Film Awards were unveiled Thursday morning, with Diary of a Teenage Girl receiving four noms, including one for best feature. Other films receiving multiple nominations included Carol, Heaven Knows What, James White, Love & Mercy, Spotlight and Tangerine.

Teenage Girl, directed by Marielle Heller in her feature debut, stars Bel Powley as the eponymous high-schooler, with Kristen Wiig as her mother. In the film, based on a graphic novel, Powley's Minnie loses her virginity to and embarks on an affair with her mother's boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard) in 1970s San Francisco as she records her most intimate thoughts and drawings, her art coming to life as animation onscreen. 

The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy praised the film, which premiered at Sundance before its August theatrical release, calling Heller's first feature a "gutsy, intimate and assured debut," in which she "accomplishes just about everything all young independent filmmakers say they want to do when starting out: to create a personal, fresh, distinctive work in their own 'voice' that will then, of course, make their careers."

Teenage Girl, Carol, Heaven Knows What, Spotlight and Tangerine are all nominated for best feature. Teenage Girl also received nominations in the best actress, best screenplay and breakthrough director categories.

In the best actress category, Powley and Carol's Cate Blachett will face off against Blythe Danner (I'll See You in My Dreams), Brie Larson (Room), Lily Tomlin (Grandma) and Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me).

In the best screenplay category, Heller and Phyllis Nagy's screenplays for Teenage Girl and Carol, respectively, will go up against scripts for Love & Mercy, by Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner; Spotlight, by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer; and While We're Young, by Noah Baumbach.

In the Bingham Ray breakthrough director category, Heller will face off against Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior), Jonas Carpigano (Mediterranea), John Magary (The Mend) and Josh Mond (James White).

Up for best actor are Christopher Abbott (James White), Kevin Corrigan (Results), Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Peter Sarsgaard (Experimenter), Michael Shannon (99 Homes).

Spotlight's ensemble cast will receive a special Gotham jury award, which will be shared among cast members Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D'Arcy James. The nominating committee called the Spotlight cast "an outstanding ensemble in which every performance, in every role, of every size, is beautifully realized."

The Gotham Award nominees are selected by committees of film critics, journalists, festival programmers and film curators with separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors and others directly involved in making films will determine the final award recipients.

“We congratulate this year’s nominated independent storytellers, who represent a richly diverse range of cinematic achievements that are bold, risk-taking, and beautifully crafted,” said Joana Vicente, executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project, which presents the Gotham Awards.

Traditionally seem as the kick off of Oscar season, this year the Gotham Awards will also hand out two new prizes for serialized television and web content. Nominations in those categories will be announced next week.

In addition, IFP members will be able to vote online on the audience award, selecting among the 14 films nominated in the best feature, best documentary and breakthrough director award categories. Voting runs from Nov. 18 at 12:01 a.m. ET through Nov. 25 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

The 25th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards are set for Monday, Nov. 30 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Todd Haynes, Steve Golin, Robert Redford and Helen Mirren will receive this year's director, industry, actor and actress tributes, all of which were previously announced. A Gothams appreciation award will also be given to Ellen Cotter for her contribution to theatrical distribution including leadership of the Angelika Film Centers.

A full list of the 2015 IFP Gotham Independent Film Award nominations follows.

Best Feature
Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Heaven Knows What
Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)

Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)

Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Documentary
Approaching the Elephant
Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)

Cartel Land
Matthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms)

Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)

Listen to Me Marlon
Stevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)

The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)
Jonas Carpigano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects)
Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)
Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)

Best Screenplay
Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)
Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films)
While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24)

Best Actor*
Christopher Abbott in James White (The Film Arcade)
Kevin Corrigan in Results (Magnolia Pictures)
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter (Magnolia Pictures)
Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)

Best Actress*
Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)
Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)
Brie Larson in Room (A24 Films)
Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)

Breakthrough Actor
Rory Culkin in Gabriel (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)
Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)

* The 2015 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James for their ensemble work in Spotlight. (Open Road Films).