Awards season, such as it is this year, got formally under way this week, with the first notable film nominations announced in a pandemic-marred year.
The Gotham Awards, presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project, put forward five films, all directed by women, for Best Feature Film, and a posthumous acting nod for Chadwick Boseman.
Kelly Reichardt's First Cow led all films in nominations, revealed on Thursday, for the 30th annual Gotham Awards with four nods, including Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor for John Magaro and Breakthrough Actor for Orion Lee. The film, a Western fable about two aimless travellers in Oregon Territory of the 1820s, was released in the US in early March, shortly before cinemas closed nationwide, and on video-on-demand in July.
The other nominees for best film are: Eliza Hittman's drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always; Chloe Zhao's Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand as an itinerant widow living in her van; Kitty Green's The Assistant, a Harvey Weinstein-inspired drama about a junior assistant to a movie mogul; and Natalie Erika James's horror thriller Relic.
Boseman, who died in August from colon cancer aged 43, was nominated for his performance in the upcoming Netflix adaptation of August Wilson's 1982 play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Early buzz for the performance, Boseman's final one, has boosted the expectation that he will land a posthumous Academy Award nomination.
Alongside Boseman and Magaro, the acting nominees are Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Jude Law (The Nest) and Jesse Plemons (I'm Thinking of Ending Things).
Up for Best Actress are Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth), Jessie Buckley (I'm Thinking of Ending Things), Youn Yuh-Jung (Minari), Carrie Coon (The Nest) and Frances McDormand (Nomadland).
The Gothams honour independent films, with nominees selected by panels of critics. They're typically held in late autumn but, like most awards, have been pushed back this year following the Oscars' two-month postponement to Sunday, April 25. The ceremony is set for Monday, January 11, 2021 for what organisers are calling a hybrid format of virtual interactive tables.
More films, not less, were submitted to the Gothams this year. Some 500 films were submitted compared to 380 the year before.
Up for Best Documentary are 76 Days, City Hall, Our Time Machine, A Thousand Cuts and Time. The nominees for Breakthrough Director are Radha Blank, (The 40-Year-Old Version), Channing Godfrey Peoples (Miss Juneteenth), Alex Thompson (Saint Frances), Carlo Mirabella-Davis (Swallow), and Andrew Patterson (The Vast of Night).