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Oscar fever
November 29, 2018

Netflix just took home a major victory in the ongoing race to the Oscars.

The New York Film Critics Circle on Thursday named Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, a Netflix original film, the best movie of 2018. Cuarón also took home the awards for best director and best cinematography. These winners are determined by by New York-based film critics, and their choices each year are often aligned with the eventual Academy Award nominations. Since 2008, every movie that won best film at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards has also earned an Academy Award nomination except for one: 2015's Carol. Only three times in the past decade has the same film won both awards, though: No Country for Old Men, The Hurt Locker, and The Artist. Last year, New York's critics awarded Lady Bird the top prize, but it did not win any Oscars.

Meanwhile, First Reformed also had a great showing at the awards, with Ethan Hawke taking best actor and Paul Schrader taking best screenplay after previously winning the equivalent prize at the Gotham Awards and the National Board of Review Awards. Regina Hall surprised by winning best actress for her work in Support the Girls, while Richard E. Grant was awarded best supporting actor for Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Regina King took best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. Bo Burnham's directorial debut Eighth Grade also won the award for best first film, while Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took best animated film.

Roma's big win comes after the The Rider won the top prize at the Gotham Awards and after the National Board of Review named Green Book the best film of the year. Read the full results at Deadline. Brendan Morrow

Editor's note: A previous version of this article misspelled Richard E. Grant's name. It has been corrected. We regret the error.

November 16, 2018

Three months out from the 2019 Academy Awards, and Oscar season is already in full swing.

Nominations for the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced Friday, with Eighth Grade, First Reformed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace, and You Were Never Really Here nabbing spots in the Best Feature category. Over the past eight Independent Spirit Awards ceremonies, the winner of Best Feature has gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars five times, and every winner has at least received a Best Picture nomination.

Meanwhile, the nominees for Best First Feature are Hereditary, Sorry to Bother You, The Tale, We the Animals, and Wildlife.

The nominations for Best Female Lead went to Glenn Close (The Wife), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Regina Hall (Support the Girls), Helena Howard (Madeline's Madeline), and Carey Mulligan (Wildlife), while the nominations for Best Male Lead went to John Cho (Searching), Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting), Ethan Hawke (First Reformed), Christian Malheiros (Socrates), and Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here).

We the Animals scored five nominations total, the most of any film, although it's not actually up in Best Feature. Eighth Grade, First Reformed, and You Were Never Really Here took four, If Beale Street Could Talk and Leave No Trace scored three, and Hereditary earned two. Considering this ceremony is intended to recognize independent film, though, don't take the absence of movies backed by major studios, like A Star Is Born, as a bad omen.

The 2019 Independent Spirit Awards will be held on Feb. 23, 2019, one day before the 2019 Academy Awards. Read the full list of nominees at Deadline. Brendan Morrow

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