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Gotham Awards reveal the first major nominations of the 2019 film awards season

Awkwafina, center, in the A24 movie “The Farewell” directed by Lulu Wang.
Awkwafina, center, in Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell.”
(A24)

The first significant awards nominations of the season were announced on Thursday morning with the Independent Filmmaker Project’s 29th Gotham Awards.

Recognized for best feature were Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell,” Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers,” Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” Josh and Benny Safdie’s “Uncut Gems” and Trey Edward Shults’ “Waves.”

It was a big day for New York-based distributor A24, as “The Farewell,” “Uncut Gems” and “Waves” are all distributed by the company. A24 releases “The Lighthouse,” “Midsommar” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” were nominated in other categories.

Overall the indie company received 14 nominations across six film categories — it was missing only in the Gothams’ documentary race — far ahead of closest competitor, Netflix, with seven nominations (garnered by “Marriage Story,” Steven Soderbergh’s “High Flying Bird” and the documentaries “American Factory” and “The Edge of Democracy”). Netflix also earned four nominations in the Gothams’ two television categories, while A24 picked up one.

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Though “Hustlers” may at first glance seem outsized in relation to its competition in the top feature race, having now brought in more than $100 million at the box office, the movie was made for around $20 million. The Gothams’ rules have no strict budget cap, stating simply that a film must be made “with an economy of means.”

Nominated for best actress are Awkwafina for “The Farewell,” Elisabeth Moss for “Her Smell,” Mary Kay Place for “Diane,” Florence Pugh for “Midsommar” and Alfre Woodard for “Clemency.”

Best actor nominations went to Willem Dafoe for “The Lighthouse,” Adam Driver for “Marriage Story,” Aldis Hodge for “Clemency,” André Holland for “High Flying Bird” and Adam Sandler for “Uncut Gems.”

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.”
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.”
(courtesy of Netflix)

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Gotham tribute awards will be given to actors Laura Dern and Sam Rockwell, director Ava DuVernay and the Gotham Industry Tribute to Glen Basner.

Best feature nominees Lulu Wang for “The Farewell” plus Noah Baumbach for “Marriage Story” were also recognized in the screenplay category. Other screenplay nominees include Tarell Alvin McCraney for “High Flying Bird,” Jimmie Fails, Joe Talbot and Rob Richert for “The Last Black Man In San Francisco” and Ari Aster for “Midsommar.”

The breakthrough actor nominees are Julia Fox in “Uncut Gems,” Aisling Franciosi in “The Nightingale,” Chris Galust in “Give Me Liberty,” Noah Jupe in “Honey Boy,” Jonathan Majors in “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” and Taylor Russell in “Waves.”

In the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director category, nominations went to Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre for “The Mustang,” Kent Jones for “Diane,” Joe Talbot for “The Last Black Man In San Francisco” Olivia Wilde for “Booksmart” and Phillip Youmans for “Burning Cane.”

Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors in Joe Talbot’s “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”
Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors in Joe Talbot’s “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”
(Laila Bahman / A24)

The nominees for best documentary are Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s “American Factory,” Todd Douglas Miller’s “Apollo 11,” Petra Costa’s “The Edge of Democracy,” Hassan Fazili’s “Midnight Traveler” and Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang’s “One Child Nation.”

The Gothams also give two awards for television. The long-form breakthrough series nominees are “Chernobyl,” “David Makes Man,” “My Brilliant Friend,” “Unbelievable,” and “When They See Us.”

The short-form breakthrough series nominees are “Pen15,” “Ramy,” “Russian Doll,” “Tuca & Bertie” and “Undone.”

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For anyone looking for hints of the larger awards picture from last year’s Gotham winners, best feature went to “The Rider,” best actor to Ethan Hawke for “First Reformed” and best actress to Toni Collette for “Hereditary.” None went on to Oscar nominations.

Screenplay winner Paul Schrader for “First Reformed” and documentary winner “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” directed by RaMell Ross, did both go on to Academy Award nominations.

The nominations for the Gothams are decided by 26 writers, critics and programmers spread across 5 committees.

Winners will be determined by online voting of IFP members. This year’s awards will be announced on Dec. 2 in New York.


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