Independent Spirit Awards: ‘May December,’ ‘Past Lives,’ and ‘American Fiction’ Lead with Most Nominations

May December nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards

May December, Past Lives, and American Fiction lead the nominations for the 2024 Independent Spirit Awards. The annual awards ceremony honors the best in both film and television.

The indie movies May December, Past Lives, and American Fiction picked up five nominations apiece for the Independent Spirit Awards. Nominated films need to have a production budget under $30 million in order for consideration. According to Variety, “The Holdovers, a critically acclaimed coming-of-age story, was nominated for four awards, but didn’t get a best feature nod. And American Fiction, which is considered to be a leading Oscar contender, scored a best feature nomination, but saw its director Cord Jefferson overlooked for his directing. Jefferson’s script was nominated.”

The official description for Todd Haynes' May December reads: “In May December, popular television actor Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) heads to Savannah, Georgia, to research a part in a new film that follows a scandalous tabloid romance. That love affair — between Gracie (Julianne Moore) and Joe (Charles Melton) — was once a fixture of the gossip pages. After all, Joe is significantly younger than Gracie, who served time in prison when they were caught together. When she was released, the pair were married, and they now have three children together who are about to graduate from high school. At first glance, their untraditional marriage looks more predictable than Elizabeth expected. But soon, her observation brings long-dormant feelings to the surface, and the decades-old scandal reveals deeper and deeper layers.”

Although American Fiction Received Five Independent Spirit Award Noms, Some Thought Director Cord Jefferson Got Snubbed

American Fiction got 5 Independent Spirit Award noms
Image Credit: Amazon MGM Studios.

The official synopsis of Cord Jefferson's American Fiction reads: “A novelist who's fed up with the establishment profiting from ‘Black' entertainment uses a pen name to write a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.” The movie starring Jeffrey Wright (pictured), Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, and Sterling K. Brown is based on the 2001 novel Erasure by Percival Everett.

The third film to receive five Independent Spirit Award nominations is the romantic drama Past Lives, the feature directorial debut by Celine Song. The official description for the movie starring Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, and John Magaro reads: “Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life, in this heartrending modern romance.”

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The 39th Independent Spirit Awards will air February 25, 2024 on IMDb's and Film Independent's respective YouTube channels.

Author: Robert DeSalvo

Title: Entertainment News Writer


Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.