The Gotham Independent Film Awards are always among the first ceremonies to kick off the Oscars race. This awards season that kickoff came a few months after it was initially planned (thanks to the coronavirus), but with all the other major awards bodies pushing their ceremonies to spring, the team at the Independent Filmmaker Project still maintained their position and this week announced their “2020" winners (since they were supposed to be presented in November).
Those honored in the acting categories were Sound Of Metal’s Riz Ahmed, Miss Juneteenth’s Nicole Beharie, and One Night In Miami... breakout Kingsley Ben-Adir. The Vast of Night’s Andrew Patterson was honored as the breakthrough director, while The Forty-Year-Old Version’s Radha Blank and Fourteen’s Dan Sallitt tied for the screenplay honor. Best Feature went to Frances McDormand drama Nomadland.
So was Ahmed’s win over Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star Chadwick Boseman and Beharie’s victory over McDormand and The Nest’s Carrie Coon a preview of who will take home an Academy Award? Does it mean A.V. Club favorite First Cow doesn’t have a chance at a trophy? That’s exactly what The A.V. Club’s editor-in-chief Patrick Gomez and senior writer Katie Rife discuss on this week’s episode of The A.V. Club’s podcast Push The Envelope.
You can check out the full episode—which includes in-depth discussion on each of the major Gotham Awards categories as well as an interview with Promising Young Woman star Carey Mulligan—here, as well as read an excerpt from Gomez and Rife’s conversation below.
PATRICK GOMEZ: The Gotham Awards aren’t always necessarily the biggest litmus test for what’s going to do well at the Academy Awards, but it does give maybe some smaller films. It raises their profile, which which can help them if they were kind of on the bubble in terms of consideration.
KATIE RIFE: Oh, absolutely. I would put the Gotham Awards in the same category as the Independent Spirit Awards, which serves a similar purpose like you were talking about. I’m going to be honest: Some people have some very complicated equations and formulas, like, “Well, if it wins a SAG and then two Writers’ Guilds, then it’s a shoo in.” And I honestly don’t understand how the math of all that works. I was a liberal arts major through and through. But I think that you are correct in that I think it’s a combination of these kind of awards and the Guild Awards—because a lot of the people voting in the Guild Awards, end up voting in the Oscars. And so, if you kind of combine those two factors, then you can kind of gaze into your crystal ball and predict what’s going to happen with the Oscars. And like you said, if films on the bubble, this type of recognition can really push it forward.
PG: These also are early awards, so it gives them opportunity to be like, “Oh, maybe I should check that out in case people start talking about a lot more.” So it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy a little bit, I think. But we had some fantastic choices here. I think let’s start off...
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