(Photo: A24)

The Independent Spirit Award nominations, which were announced today, showered a ton of love on two completely different, but both genre-defying coming-of-age stories: Barry Jenkins’ much-heralded Moonlight, and Andrea Arnold’s American Honey. The films both received Best Feature nods, alongside the likes of Chronic, Jackie, and Manchester By The Sea. Elsewhere, Jenkins and Arnold will compete in the director category. In Best Actress, American Honey star Sasha Lane will go up against a number of big-name women who could very well be Oscar contenders as well: Jackie’s Natalie Portman, 20th Century Women’s Annette Bening, Loving’s Ruth Negga, and Elle’s Isabelle Huppert.

As for their male counterparts, Manchester By The Sea’s Casey Affleck, believed to be one of the Academy’s frontrunners, is joined by some actors in films which have decidedly smaller profiles. They include: David Harewood for Free In Deed, Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic, Jesse Plemons for Other People, and Tim Roth for Chronic. The Spirits were clearly taken with that last film, which arrived without much fanfare in September. Meanwhile, the cast of Moonlight is being awarded as a whole, getting the Robert Altman Award. The full list of nominees is available here, and the trophies will be handed out February 25.

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