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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled iEighth Gradeem/em/i, emWe The Animalsem/em/em, and iFirst Reformedem/em/i lead Spirit Awards nominations
Photo: A24

There’s no clear frontrunner in the Spirit Awards nominations, which were announced today, but rather a handful of disparate features duking it out in the major categories. The ceremony, which celebrates U.S. films produced for less than $20 million, will see Bo Burnham’s touching coming-of-age comedy Eighth Grade, Paul Schrader’s existential First Reformed, and Lynne Ramsey’s eviscerating You Were Never Really Here competing in its top categories, with each nabbing four nominations. All three can be found in its best feature category, which also includes Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk and Debra Janik’s Leave No Trace.


Out-ranking all of them in nominations, however, is Sundance breakout We The Animals, which scored five nominations, including best first feature and best cinematography.

But what really stands out is the host of young, rising talent on the list, which includes acting nominations for Eighth Grade’s Elsie Fisher, Private Life’s Kayli Carter, Socrates’ Christian Malheiros, Madeline’s Madeline’s Helena Howard, and Leave No Trace’s Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, all of whom forecast a rich future for the industry.


The Spirit Awards tend to be a strong barometer for what will unfold at the Oscars, as four out of the last five years saw the same films—Moonlight, Spotlight , Birdman, and 12 Years a Slave—win both the Spirit Award and the Oscar for best picture. See how it all shakes out when the ceremony airs on IFC on February 23, one day before the Academy Awards.

See the full list of nominations below.

Best Feature

Eighth Grade

First Reformed

If Beale Street Could Talk

Leave No Trace

You Were Never Really Here

Best Director

Debra Granik, Leave No Trace

Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

Tamara Jenkins, Private Life

Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

Paul Schrader, First Reformed

Best First Feature


Sorry To Bother You

The Tale

We The Animals


Best Male Lead

John Cho, Searching

Daveed Diggs, Blindspotting

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Christian Malheiros, Socrates

Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here

Best Female Lead

Glenn Close, The Wife

Toni Collette, Hereditary

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Regina Hall, Support The Girls

Helena Howard, Madeline’s Madeline

Carey Mulligan, Wildlife

Best Supporting Female Actor

Kayli Carter, Private Life

Tyne Daly, A Bread Factory

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Leave No Trace

J. Smith-Cameron, Nancy

Best Supporting Male Actor

Raúl Castillo, We The Animals

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Josh Hamilton, Eighth Grade

John David Washington, Monsters And Men

Best Cinematography

Ashley Connor, Madeline’s Madeline

Diego Garcia, Wildlife

Benjamin Loeb, Mandy

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Suspiria

Zak Mulligan, We The Animals

Best Screenplay

Richard Glatzer, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, and Wash Westmoreland, Colette

Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Tamara Jenkins, Private Life

Boots Riley, Sorry To Bother You

Paul Schrader, First Reformed

Best First Screenplay

Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade

Christina Choe, Nancy

Cory Finley, Thoroughbreds

Jennifer Fox, The Tale

Quinn Shephard and Laurie Shephard, Blame

Best Editing

Joe Bini, You Were Never Really Here

Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates, and Jeremiah Zagar, We The Animals

Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill, and Julian Hart, American Animals

Anne Fabini, Alex Hall, and Gary Levy, The Tale

Nick Houy, MID90S

Best Documentary

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Minding The Gap

Of Fathers And Sons

On Her Shoulders


Won’t You Be My Neighbor

Best international Film

Burning (South Korea)

The Favourite (United Kingdom)

Happy As Lazzaro (Italy)

Roma (Mexico)

Shoplifters (Japan)

The Truer Than Fiction Award

Alexandria Bombach, On Her Shoulders

Bing Liu, Minding The Gap

RaMell Ross, Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Producers Award

Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams

Gabrielle Nadig

Shrihari Sathe

The Someone to Watch Award

Alex Moratto, Socrates

Ioana Uricaru, Lemonade

Jeremiah Zagar, We The Animals

The Bonnie Award

Debra Granik

Tamara Jenkins

Karyn Kusama


Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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