'First Reformed's' Amanda Seyfried Accepts Ethan Hawke's Best Actor Spirit Award

Amanda Seyfried Film Independent Spirit Ethan Hawke - Getty - H 2018
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In the thriller, written and directed by Paul Schrader, Hawke plays an upstate New York pastor who goes on a downward criminal spiral.

Ethan Hawke won best male lead at the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. His First Reformed co-star Amanda Seyfried accepted the award on behalf of the actor, who was absent.

In the category, the First Reformed star competed against You Were Never Really Here's Joaquin Phoenix, Searching's John Cho, Blindspotting's Daveed Diggs and Socrates' Christian Malheiros.  

Hawke plays an upstate New York pastor in the thriller, written and directed by Paul Schrader. Hawke's character is sent on a downward criminal spiral.

"Hawke throws himself deeply into the soul of his troubled and sadly ineffectual character," wrote The Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy. "Toller would profoundly like to be of some use or help, to make a difference, to come to terms with his own shortcomings, and Hawke conveys the man's failure to lift himself up to often painful effect." 

First Reformed also earned four nominations, including for best feature film, director and screenplay. Schrader was also nominated for the Academy Award for the pic's screenplay. Schrader is known for penning scripts with screenwriter Martin Scorsese, including Taxi Driver and American Gigolo

Aubrey Plaza hosted the annual awards show, which was televised live on IFC from a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.