“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is a surefire awards contender.
After a slew of wins from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics, the understated abortion drama now leads Tuesday’s Independent Spirit Awards nominations with seven, including best feature, director (Eliza Hittman) and actress (Sidney Flanigan).
The drama, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, follows a Pennsylvania teen (Flanigan) who travels to New York to get an abortion. The film has garnered 99% positive reviews on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.
“Never Rarely” is nominated for best feature alongside Korean-American family drama “Minari,” Kelly Reichardt’s gentle Western “First Cow,” August Wilson adaptation “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and Chloé Zhao’s road odyssey “Nomadland.”
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Filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” received six nominations, which also included best director, male lead for Steven Yeun and supporting female for Yeri Han and Yuh-jung Youn. “Nomadland” racked up five nods, including best director and female lead for Frances McDormand.
McDormand and Flanigan were joined in best female lead by Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”), Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Nicole Beharie (“Juneteenth”). Along with Yeun in the best male lead category were Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s”), Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Adarsh Gourav (“The White Tiger”) and Rob Morgan (“Bull”).
Four out of five nominees for directing were women: Hittman, Zhao, Reichardt and Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”). Overall, 42% of nominees were women and 37% were people of color.
The Robert Altman Award goes to the ensemble cast of Regina King’s “One Night in Miami,” a fictionalized meeting of Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown.
The awards air April 22 (10 p.m. ET/7 PT) on IFC.
Contributing: Kim Willis and The Associated Press