Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight


‘Manchester by The Sea’ + ‘American Honey’ Are Among the Snubs And Surprises From This Year’s Independent Spirit Award Nominations

It’s hard not to feel for Michelle Williams right now

by daniel barna

The nominees for the 32nd Independent Spirit Awards—aka the Oscars by the sea—were revealed. As expected, Moonlight led the pack with six nods, including Best Feature and Best Director for Barry Jenkins. But in a twist no one saw coming, it was American Honey that found itself neck and neck with Moonlight, and not prospective Oscar frontrunner, Manchester by The Sea, which only managed five nominations. Both Kenneth Lonergan, who directed the film, and Michelle Williams, who stars, were snubbed.

Joining Moonlight, Manchester by The Sea, and American Honey in the race for Best Film is the Jackie Kennedy Onassis biopic, Jackiewhose star Natalie Portman earned a nod for Best Actress—as well as the little-seen drama Chronic.

Portman will begin her march toward an Oscar, going up against Annette Bening for 20th Century Women, Sasha Lane for American Honey, Ruth Negga for Loving, and Isabelle Huppert for the controversial drama Elle. And, while Portman is a virtual lock to take home the top prize, her competition for the Oscar will be much steeper when Emma Stone and Amy Adams—whose respective films La La Land and Arrival were both ineligible for the Independent Spirit Awards—join the race.

The Independent Spirit Awards will be broadcast live on IFC on February 25. Check out the full list of nominees below.  

Best Feature

American Honey



Manchester by the Sea


Best director

Andrea Arnold, American Honey

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Pablo Larrain, Jackie

Jeff Nichols, Loving

Kelly Reichardt, Certain Women

Best female lead

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Sasha Lane, American Honey

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Best male lead

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

David Harewood, Free in Deed

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Jesse Plemons, Other People

Tim Roth, Chronic

Best supporting female

Edwina Findley, Free in Deed

Paulina Garcia, Little Men

Lily Gladstone, Certain Women

Riley Keough, American Honey

Molly Shannon, Other People

Best supporting male

Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash

Ben Foster, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Shia LaBeouf, American Honey

Craig Robinson, Morris from America

Best screenplay

Hell or High Water

Little Men

Manchester by the Sea


20th Century Women

Best first feature

The Childhood of a Leader

The Fits

Other People

Swiss Army Man

The Witch

Best first screenplay



Jean of the Joneses

Other People

The Witch

Best international film



My Golden Days

Toni Erdmann

Under the Shadow

Best documentary feature



I Am Not Your Negro

OJ: Made in America


Under the Sun

Best cinematography

American Honey


Free in Deed

Eyes of My Mother


Best editing

Hell or High Water


Manchester by the Sea


Swiss Army Man

John Cassavetes award

Free in Deed

Hunter Gatherer



Spa Night

Robert Altman award


Piaget producers award

Lisa Kjerulff

Jordana Mollick

Melody C Roscher

Craig Shilowich

Truer than fiction award

Kristi Jacobson, Solitary

Sara Jordeno, Kiki

Nanfu Wang, Holligan Sparrow

Someone to watch award

Andrew Ahn, Spa Night

Claire Carre, Embers

Anna Rose Holmer, The Fits

Ingrid Jungermann, Women Who Kill