'First Cow' Leads Nominees for 2020 Gotham Awards

A24's 'First Cow' leads the nominations for the 30th Gotham Awards, as this year's long, strange awards race begins.

Matt Lissauer

By Matt Lissauer

A scene from "First Cow."

© A24 / courtesy Everett Collection

The long, strange trip to 2021's springtime Oscars began today, with the announcement of this year's Gotham Award nominees. Leading the charge is A24's "First Cow," which, along with fellow Best Feature nominee, "Never Rarely Sometimes Always," was one of the last independent films from this year to enjoy some kind of normal theatrical debut before theaters shut in March.

Also in the nomination lead is distributor Netflix, with six nominations in total. Netflix's lead is no surprise. Not only has the streamer been buying and producing quality award-winning cinema in recent years, but in a year with no theaters, focus has further shifted towards digital distribution. In line with this, Amazon Studios comes up behind Netflix with five nominees, along with indie distributor A24, who has recently secured an exclusive digital distribution deal with Apple TV+.

Apple's "Wolfwalkers," nominated for Best International Feature (now screening in theaters and coming to Apple TV+ next month). © Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

Apple's "Wolfwalkers," nominated for Best International Feature (now screening in theaters and coming to Apple TV+ next month). © Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

There usually is little cross-over between the Gotham nominees and winners and those of the Oscars, but a Gotham win does increase the visibility of the nominated filmmakers and actors, and their films, and helps get them further into the awards conversation that Academy voters pay attention to. "Marriage Story" was last year's big winner, grabbing Best Picture and Best Actor (Adam Driver) awards. Driver and the film later ended up being nominated for Oscars. It's also worth noting that all five Best Feature films are directed by women, an honor that the Academy needs to better recognize.

The 30th Gotham Awards will be held on January 11, 2021. Check out the full list of nominees below.

Best Feature

  • The Assistant
  • First Cow
  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • Nomadland
  • Relic

Best Documentary

  • 76 Days
  • City Hall
  • Our Time Machine
  • A Thousand Cuts
  • Time

Best International Feature

  • Bacurau
  • Beanpole
  • Cuties (Mignonnes)
  • Identifying Features
  • Martin Eden
  • Wolfwalkers
  • Bingham Ray

Breakthrough Director Award

  • Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
  • Channing Godfrey Peoples – Miss Juneteenth
  • Alex Thompson – Saint Frances
  • Carlo Mirabella-Davis – Swallow
  • Andrew Patterson – The Vast of Night

Best Screenplay

  • Bad Education – Mike Makowsky
  • First Cow – Jon Raymond, Kelly Reichardt
  • The Forty-Year-Old Version – Radha Blank
  • Fourteen – Dan Sallitt
  • The Vast of Night – James Montague, Craig Sanger

Best Actor

  • Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
  • Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
  • Jude Law – The Nest
  • John Magaro – First Cow
  • Jesse Plemons – I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Actress

  • Nicole Beharie – Miss Juneteenth
  • Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  • Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari
  • Carrie Coon – The Nest
  • Frances McDormand – Nomadland

Breakthrough Actor

  • Jasmine Batchelor – The Surrogate
  • Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami
  • Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • Orion Lee – First Cow
  • Kelly O'Sullivan – Saint Frances
Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.

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