Hold on to your hats– awards season has started already. We’re still months away from Oscar nominations and Golden Globes and all that, but the nominees for the first major awards show of the season were announced today, with 12 Years A Slave walking away as the big winner.
The Gotham Independent Film Awards, which will be handed out on December 2, routinely honor some of the most adventurous and low-profile independent films of the year, but this year they went in for some star power as well– 12 Years A Slave is a Fox Searchlight release starring Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt among others, and the Best Feature nominees also included the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, the Richard Linklater threequel Before Midnight and the Rooney Mara-Casey Affleck-starring Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Rounding out the Best Feature category is Upstream Color, from indie wonder Shane Carruth– like Midnight and Saints, it was a sensation at Sundance earlier this year.
Adding Best Actress and Best Actor categories for the first time this year, the Gothams singled out several Oscar hopefuls– Cate Blanchett, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew McConaughey and Robert Redford can all expect many more nominations from here out– but also some surprises, including a nod for Isaiah Washington in the grim indie Blue Caprice and for Scarlett Johansson’s bawdy work in Don Jon. The Breakthrough Actor category, which includes both genders, included a range of familiar faces (comic actress Kathryn Hahn, who turned lead with Afternoon Delight, and future Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Dane DeHaan) along with newcomers, like 12 Years A Slave’s breakthrough star Lupita Nyong’o, who made her screen debut in the film.