Independent Spirit Awards: The Complete Winners List (Updating Live)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Get Out” emerged as the big winner of the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards, held Saturday on the beach in Santa Monica, Ca.

Jordan Peele’s racially charged thriller — which captivated the country and became an unlikely indie blockbuster — took Best Feature at the annual show put up by Film Independent. Peele also took Best Director.

Top acting prizes went to Frances McDormand for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and Timothee Chalamet for “Call Me by Your Name.” Best Supporting Male went to Sam Rockwell for “Three Billboards,” and Best Supporting Female went to Allison Janney of “I, Tonya.” That makes it a virtual clean sweep for the latter two actors on the eve of the Academy Awards.

Also Read: Kroll and Mulaney Roast Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK, Kevin Spacey in Spirit Awards Monologue

Greta Gerwig won Best Screenplay for her coming-of-age darling “Lady Bird,” while Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani took Best First Screenplay for their autobiographical comedy “The Big Sick.”

Notable below-the-line prizes went to Tatiana S. Riegel, who took Best Editing for
“I, Tonya.”  Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, director of photography on “Call Me by Your Name,” won Best Cinematography.

Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney (“Big Mouth,” “Oh, Hello”) returned to host the ceremony, an annual splashy gathering of Hollywood stars and indie film luminaries willing to brave the natural lighting of  a rare daytime awards show.

Also Read: Independent Spirit Awards: In a Stormy Year, It’s Up to Jordan Peele to Keep the Streak Alive

The complete winners list:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“The Florida Project”
“Get Out” *WINNER
“Lady Bird”
“The Rider”

“Ingrid Goes West,” Director Matt Spicer *WINNER 
“Oh Lucy!”
“Patti Cake$”

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. (Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)
“A Ghost Story”
“Life and nothing more” *WINNER
“Most Beautiful Island”
“The Transfiguration”

Sean Baker, “The Florida Project”
Jonas Carpignano, “A Ciambra”
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out” *WINNER
Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, “Good Time”
Chloé Zhao, “The Rider”

Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” *WINNER
Azazel Jacobs, “The Lovers”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Mike White, “Beatriz at Dinner”

Kris Avedisian, Kyle Espeleta, Jesse Wakeman, “Donald Cried”
Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani, “The Big Sick” *WINNER
Ingrid Jungermann, “Women Who Kill”
Kogonada, “Columbus”
David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer, “Ingrid Goes West”

Thimios Bakatakis, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Elisha Christian, “Columbus”
Hélène Louvart, “Beach Rats”
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, “Call Me by Your Name” *WINNER
Joshua James Richards, “The Rider”

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, “Good Time”
Walter Fasano, “Call Me by Your Name”
Alex O’Flinn, “The Rider”
Gregory Plotkin, “Get Out”
Tatiana S. Riegel, “I, Tonya” *WINNER

Salma Hayek, “Beatriz at Dinner”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Shinobu Terajima, “Oh Lucy!”
Regina Williams, “Life and nothing more”

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name” *WINNER
Harris Dickinson, “Beach Rats”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Robert Pattinson, “Good Time”

Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” *WINNER
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Lois Smith, “Marjorie Prime”
Taliah Lennice Webster, “Good Time”

Nnamdi Asomugha, “Crown Heights”
Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
Barry Keoghan, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER
Benny Safdie, “Good Time”

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast

Director: Dee Rees
Casting Directors: Billy Hopkins, Ashley Ingram
Ensemble Cast: Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan

“The Departure”
“Faces Places” *WINNER
“Last Men in Aleppo”

“BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
“A Fantastic Woman” *WINNER
“I Am Not a Witch”
“Lady Macbeth”

Chloé Zhao *WINNER


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The best movie trailers of 2017

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Movie trailers have always been fascinating things: perched at the intersection of art and advertising, rearranging hints and fragments of what they’re selling into attractive new forms. But it wasn’t until you could play them at a click of a mouse that they became the objects of obsession they are today. The first…

Read more…

‘Columbus’ Review: Low-Key Character Study Skimps on the Details

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Surges of emotion roil under placid surfaces in the new drama “Columbus” — at least in theory. Seoul-based translator Jin (John Cho) finds himself stranded in the Indiana town where his estranged father, a renowned architecture scholar on a lecture tour, lapses into a coma. Jin briefly reunites with his teenage sweetheart (Parker Posey, whose sexy, antsy energy is desperately missed for most of this sedate, cerebral picture).

He also befriends 19-year-old Casey (Haley Lu Richardson, “The Edge of Seventeen”), an architecture buff afraid to leave her hometown and thus “abandon” her fragile mother (Michelle Forbes). Brought together by filial obligation, Jin and Casey aren’t quite sure how to grapple with their dysfunctional relationships with their parents.

If “Before Sunrise” were set in a mournful Midwest, it might look something like “Columbus.” Avoidance and delay fuel most of the (in)action, and so Jin and Casey mostly walk around and talk about the stocky modernist landmarks that dot the Indiana architectural mecca. (Columbus is also the birthplace of Mike Pence, but let’s not hold that against it.)

Also Read: John Cho Joins Fox’s ‘The Exorcist’ for Season 2

Can architecture heal? Can modernism have a soul? Are those questions worth asking? In the Richard Linklater film, such Philosophy 101 conversations doubled as foreplay between possible lovers — a seductive game of “if you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.” In “Columbus,” earnest discussions about various buildings give way to confessions of grief, fear, and anger. “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” said someone who apparently didn’t have much faith in the worthiness of articulating what art is and how it works.

First-time writer-director Kogonada doesn’t just want his characters to expound on architects Eero Saarinen and Deborah Berke. Staring at her high school from the outside, Casey dances out the frustrations that the building has stockpiled inside her.

A minimalist film like “Columbus” depends almost entirely on the shading of the characters and the depths of the performances. By that metric, it’s a too-delicate creature, tickling and piquing instead of fully thrusting us into the realm of feelings. For instance, Jin explains to Casey in a wonderfully complicated monologue his relief that his father fell ill here instead of in Korea, where social expectations demand that he showily perform his lamentations by his not-exactly-beloved father’s deathbed.


See John Cho’s latest POWER MOVE.



That scene is also the most culturally specific moment in this work by a Korean-American filmmaker (and video essayist) starring a Korean-American actor. But all I wanted from that moment was more: How did cultural or generational clashes (if any) contribute to the years-long distance between father and son? What was it like not just to grow up as the child of a famous academic, but also as part of a relatively unusual immigrant experience that actually allows for aesthetic appreciation as a profession? What were the contours of Jin’s relationship with Posey’s character, especially since Cho enjoys a lived-in chemistry with the veteran actress that he lacks around the still-green Richardson? (And under what circumstances would Jin’s father and his married ex-girlfriend from 20 years ago travel together?)

It’s possible that I’m being unfair to “Columbus,” that my frustrations stem from a personal desire to see a more conventional Asian-American narrative than the one Kogonada intends. If Asian American cinema is to grow, the genre has to take its lead from artists who pursue their own visions and styles. In the case of “Columbus,” that means plenty of shots of Cho doing the thousand-yard stare under an awning while rain pours down on both sides of him.

And yet, it’s also true that scenes like Jin’s meditation on cultural differences in mourning might well have been more poignant and impactful had we known even a little more about the father-son relationship. That’s particularly the case since Jin’s aloof dad will resonate with many Korean-American viewers.

Watch Videos: Haley Lu Richardson, Michelle Morgan Top Verge List of Rising Sundance Stars (Exclusive)

That near-miss sensation of what might have been, had we just a few more details, haunts Casey’s character, too. Her reluctance to open up to Jin about the trauma that keeps her in Columbus rings true but also prevents her from being fleshed out. The script also saddles her with a couple of pretentious quirks, like refusing to use a smartphone, that might elicit an eye roll from the audience (if the architecture nerdiness hadn’t already accomplished that).

Rory Culkin co-stars her flirty colleague at the library where she might work forever. But libraries don’t hire anyone without a master’s degree anymore, and so she’d have to leave her hometown in order to secure a future there.

If it refuses to explore the past, “Columbus” at least knows how to stay in the present. Its best moments find Jin and Casey feeling each other out, offering an outsider’s perspective on the other’s sorrows and responsibilities and occasionally being told that they’ve overstepped their bounds. With grace and curiosity, the two strangers discover what they can be to one another. If it’s less satisfying than a straightforward romance, it’s more generous and unpredictable too.

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Sundance Institute Launches Distribution Fellowship for Filmmakers

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The Sundance Institute launched a new program to help its festival films score theatrical and platform releases — and allow filmmakers to remain fully in control of their rights.

The Creative Distribution Fellowship was announced Tuesday, with two inaugural winners in “Columbus,” from director and screenwriter Kogonada, and Jennifer Brea’s “Unrest.”

“Many films that premiere at the Festival are never seen again,” a statement from Sundance reads on a Kickstarter page, which will supplement resources and mentorship form the institute in helping the films get to viewers.

Also Read: A24, DirecTV Acquire Logan Lerman Sundance Mystery ‘Sidney Hall’ (Exclusive)

While many deals are made at the annual Park City, Utah festival, the priciest acquisitions grab the most press attention and momentum as those movies barrel toward release.

Many that play in competition, or fledgling sections like the Next category, get seen once then tread water awaiting domestic and global deals that are increasingly packaged with ancillary cash from streaming and broadcast rights (“Unrest” sold its U.S. broadcast rights to PBS). But many titles, as the Kickstarter page said, are never heard from again.

“This entrepreneurial approach to marketing, distribution and audience building empowers independent filmmakers to release their own films, on their own terms, while retaining their rights,” Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam said in a statement.

Also Read: FilmRise Picks Up Sundance Hit ‘Marjorie Prime,’ Plans Fall Awards Push for Lois Smith

Danielle Renfrew Behrens, a producer on Columbus, said her team “turned down more traditional distribution offers in the hopes of determining if this is a viable way forward for indie films with identifiable niche audiences. We’re thrilled to have Sundance Institute’s aid and guidance in navigating this new terrain, and hopefully creating a guide that other independent films can follow.”

It’s presently unclear if the resources the institute is providing includes a financial package.

The Initiative is supported by Cinereach, Kickstarter, National Endowment for the Arts, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Arcus Foundation. Latham and Watkins generously provided pro bono legal services for the program.

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Sundance Film Review: ‘Columbus’

Read on: Variety.

There’s an old saying, often attributed to Martin Mull, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” In many ways first-time writer-director Kogonada’s “Columbus” treats architecture like music, as its protagonists write, talk, bicker, and dance about an extraordinary collection of modernist structures in the unassuming Midwest town of Columbus, Indiana. The hypnotically paced drama… Read more »

Haley Lu Richardson, Michelle Morgan Top Verge List of Rising Sundance Stars (Exclusive Videos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jeff Vespa, the official photographer of the Sundance Film Festival since 2003, on Wednesday unveiled his Verge List of emerging talent with movies at this month’s festival in Park City, Utah.

Haley Lu Richardson, Josh O’Connor and Trevor Jackson are among this year’s selections, featured in the new issue of Vespa’s digital magazine, Verge. O’Connor and Harris Dickinson are two actors hailing from the U.K., which Vespa says gives the list a broader range.

“This actually was one of the easiest years for choices,” he told TheWrap. “Every year, this is my favorite story to do. Meeting every actor and knowing this is just the beginning for them. It is fun to be a part of all of that. That is why I like doing this before the festival. Most of them have never been, and I can kind of give them some guidance on what to expect. They are in for a wild ride.”

Also Read: Verge List for Sundance 2016 Features Francesca Eastwood, Ben Schnetzer (Exclusive Photos)

Vespa has shot stars like John Boyega and Nick Robinson, who went on starring roles in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Jurassic World,” respectively.

He also shot Rebecca Ferguson long before she landed the lead opposite Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.” Boyega used one of Vespa’s shots on his various social media accounts for years.

“I started this magazine to support emerging talent, and wanted to do something that wasn’t being done.” Vespa told TheWrap last year. “The idea is to really find these people before the festival starts, and to be a resource to people in the industry to say, ‘Here are the people you should be paying attention to at the festival.”

Also Read: Teresa Palmer Thriller ‘Berlin Syndrome’ Acquired by Vertical, Netflix

See Vespa’s 2017 list of up-and-coming talent below.

Danielle MacDonald, “Patti Cake$”

“I play a girl called Patti in the film, ‘Patti CakeS’ and she’s a girl from New Jersey and she dreams of being a famous rapper,” MacDonald said. “There is a lot of music in it — all kinds — there’s blues, there’s rapping, there’s a bit of pop, a bit of ’80s classic.”

Haley Lu Richardson, “Columbus”

“I literally don’t know how to describe this film,” Richardson said with a shrug. “My character’s name is Casey.”

“Columbus” will feature Richardson alongside “Star Trek” actor John Cho in a drama that marks the feature directorial debut of visual artist :: kogonada (not a typo), whom Richardson calls a “cinematic genius.”

Harris Dickinson, “Beach Rats”

“My character from the movie ‘Beach Rats’ by Eliza Hittman is a troubled and tortured conflicted teenager lived in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn,” Dickinson said. “It was a shot on 35 mm film. A lot of it was street-cast, there’s a lot of non-actors which is exciting and brings more energy to it.”

Josh O’Connor, “God’s Own Country”

O’Connor described his character, Johnny Saxby, as “a miserable young boy with troubles in his life, and then he meets the love of his life and it changes him.” He described “God’s Own Country” as a film with a “European” and “naturalistic” style.

Lakeith Stanfield, “Crown Heights”

Stanfield said that his character in “Crown Heights” goes “from Point A to Point B” in a movie “about people who love each other.”

Margaret Qualley, “Novitiate” and “Sidney Hall”

Qualley was also very to the point when describing her “holy” film, “Novitiate,” simply describing her character as “a young nun in love.”

Michelle Morgan, “L.A. Times”

Morgan described her character, Annette, as “a very well-intentioned, opinionated, sometimes irritating, adorable person who is often misunderstood.” She hopes that “L.A. Times,” which she also wrote and directed, is seen as “a fun, fresh take on Los Angeles” that highlights the “people and things you don’t normally see in a movie about Los Angeles.”

Trevor Jackson, “Burning Sands”

“Heartfelt, hardworking, and selfless I feel are [my character’s] key attributes,” said Jackson. “I feel that there have been a lot of fraternity films throughout the years, but none of them have been this raw and show the hardships of being in a fraternity.”

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