Sat. Jun 15th, 2019

25th IFP Gotham Award Winners: Spotlight Wins Best Feature, Bel Powley Upsets Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson

Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) wins Best Actress at the Gotham IFP Awards
Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) wins Best Actress at the Gotham IFP Awards


In keeping true to their indie cred, the IFP Gotham Awards bypassed two Oscar favorites in Best Actress (Cate Blanchett in Carol and Brie Larson in Room) for newcomer Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Her film entered the awards with the highest nomination total with four.

Spotlight, which was previously awarded a Special Jury prize for its ensemble also took home the screenplay trophy. Paul Dano was best in show in in Best Actor for Love & Mercy. He’s being campaigned as supporting for that film but the Gothams don’t have a separate category for lead and supporting so his win here is good but people are probably going to read more into it than they should, mostly because they want to. It’s good in the sense that as a supporting player he beat lead actors. But the march to Oscar is still going to be a tough one.

Carol was shut out of the Gothams, right after the fancier, West Coast version of these, the Film Independent Spirit Awards showered the film with nominations. But then, Spotlight did well there too so we could see a redux when those winners are announced.

It’s probably best not to read too much into the Gothams but it’s hard not to as they are the ‘first’ awards of the season. But, they’re also decided up by five people. The Golden Globes are 90 people. The Oscars are 7,000. The Screen Actors Guild is 100,000. In the grand scheme of things it’s a drop in the bucket, not to dismiss any of the wins though. Just some perspective on their impact.

The full list of winners for the 2015 Gotham Awards:

Best Feature

Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Heaven Knows What
Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)

Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films) – WINNER

Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)


Best Documentary

Approaching the Elephant
Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)

Cartel Land
Matthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms)

Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)

Listen to Me Marlon
Stevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)

The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films) – WINNER


Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)
Jonas Carpigano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects) – WINNER
Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)
Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)


Best Screenplay

Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)
Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films) – WINNER
While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24)


Best Actor

Christopher Abbott in James White (The Film Arcade)
Kevin Corrigan in Results (Magnolia Pictures)
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment) – WINNER
Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter (Magnolia Pictures)
Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)


Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)
Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)
Brie Larson in Room (A24)
Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics) – WINNER
Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)


Breakthrough Actor

Rory Culkin in Gabriel (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)
Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures) – WINNER


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