Indie Spirit Award Nominations: “Women Talking,” “Aftersun,” & More


Nominations for the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards are in, and “Women Talking” is the sole woman-helmed title competing for Best Feature. Written and directed by Sarah Polley, the Rooney Mara-starrer is inspired by a true story and follows a group of women in a remote religious community reckoning with the aftermath of sexual assault. The drama is set to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is given to one film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast.

Polley is up for Best Director and Best Screenplay. She’s joined by Halina Reijn (“Bodies Bodies Bodies”) in the former category and Lena Dunham (“Catherine Called Birdy”) in the latter.

Three of five titles in the running for Best First Feature are helmed by women: Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun,” a portrait of a pre-teen girl’s vacation with her father, Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s “Murina,” a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl who is drawn to her father’s former boss, and Jamie Dack’s “Palm Trees and Power Lines,” which also centers around a teenage girl’s life-changing encounter with an older man.

Five features are nominated for Best International Film, and three of them are directed by women: Austria’s International Oscar pick, Marie Kreutzer’s “Corsage,” France’s International Oscar pick, Alice Diop’s “Saint Omer,” and Martika Ramirez Escobar’s “Leonor Will Never Die,” a comedy about a filmmaker who falls into a coma.

Three of five Best Documentary contenders are also directed by women. Laura Poitras’ Oscar hopeful, “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” a tribute to artist Nan Goldin and an exploration of the opioid crisis, is joined by Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing’s “Midwives,” a portrait of two midwives working in western Myanmar, and Sierra Pettengill’s “Riotsville, U.S.A.,” a look inside model towns built by the Army to train police and the military.

Cate Blanchett (“Tár”), Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”), and Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”) are among this year’s acting nominees.

The Indie Spirit Awards will take place March 4. Nominations for TV categories are set to be announced December 13. Head over to Variety to check out all of the film nominees, including Best Cinematography hopefuls Hélène Louvart (“Murina”) and Anisia Uzeyman (“Neptune Frost”).

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