A little over a month after the nominations were announced, we have now arrived at the morning of the 2022 Gotham Independent Film Awards, which will not only honor the best in independent film and television from this year, but also kick off the 2022-2023 awards season. Alongside awarding titles like TÁR, Everything Everywhere All at Once, and Aftersun, the Gotham Film & Media Institute will also recognize actors Adam Sandler and Michelle Williams with the Performer Tribute, the cast of Fire Island with the Ensemble Tribute, director Gina Prince-Bythewood with the Filmmaker Tribute, actor Sidney Poitier with the Icon Tribute (posthumously), executives Jason Cassidy and Peter Kujawski with the Industry Tribute, and entrepreneur Don Katz with the Innovator Tribute. But, without further ado, let’s dive in to our final predictions for the twelve major awards the IFP will hand out tonight, starting with the film side.
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Will Win: TÁR
Could Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once
TÁR is the easy favorite in this category, as it received the most nominations overall this year with five, but Everything Everywhere All at Once also has significant heat this year – especially coming off its eight Indie Spirit Awards nominations – so don’t count it out just yet. Another dark horse could be Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun, which earned the second most nominations this year behind TÁR, with four.
Outstanding Lead Performance
Cate Blanchett – TÁR
Danielle Deadwyler – Till
Dale Dickey – A Love Song
Colin Farrell – After Yang
Brendan Fraser – The Whale
Paul Mescal – Aftersun
Thandiwe Newton – God’s Country
Aubrey Plaza – Emily the Criminal
Taylor Russell – Bones and All
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Will Win: Cate Blanchett – TÁR
Could Win: Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once
This is a STACKED category, and even though I’m sticking with Cate having the edge for now (both because of TÁR‘s dominance overall and because she has the advantage of being The Frontrunner™ in her acting race at the moment and centering herself in that conversation), I can just as easily see Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s Michelle Yeoh swoop in and take this, as she’s certainly no slouch with critics either. Or is this where Paul Mescal will start demonstrating his strength as an acting contender?
Outstanding Supporting Performance
Jessie Buckley – Women Talking
Raúl Castillo – The Inspection
Hong Chau – The Whale
Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
Nina Hoss – TÁR
Noémie Merlant – TÁR
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Mark Rylance – Bones and All
Gabrielle Union – The Inspection
Ben Whishaw – Women Talking
Will Win: Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Could Win: Nina Hoss – TÁR
As with Cate Blanchett in Outstanding Lead Performance, being widely seen as the frontrunner in his Oscar race will give Ke Huy Quan a boost here (as well as the fact that Troy Kotsur started his awards sweep at the Gothams last year, and many – myself included – continue to predict him to follow that same path). It’s unlikely any other contender has enough individual passion to topple him, but if I had to choose one, perhaps Nina Hoss is the dark horse runner-up thanks to her critical support and TÁR‘s strength (though she could also split votes with Noémie Merlant).
Lena Dunham – Catherine Called Birdy
Todd Field – TÁR
James Gray – Armageddon Time
Kogonada – After Yang
Sarah Polley – Women Talking
Will Win: Sarah Polley – Women Talking
Could Win: Todd Field – TÁR
Typically, the winners in this category are Best Feature nominees – and oftentimes, even the eventual Best Feature winners – so the fact that Women Talking was “snubbed” there is slightly worrying. However, I feel that the voters will want the film, and Sarah Polley, to go home with something, and since TÁR will likely get its flowers elsewhere, I’m sticking with WT for the time being.
Elegance Bratton – The Inspection
Beth de Araújo – Soft & Quiet
Owen Kline – Funny Pages
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović – Murina
Jane Schoenbrun – We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
Charlotte Wells – Aftersun
Will Win: Charlotte Wells – Aftersun
Could Win: Elegance Bratton – The Inspection
Charlotte Wells helmed the most-nominated film in this line-up, with four nominations for Aftersun to The Inspection‘s three (which made it the second most-nominated film overall too), so I think it’s safe to say she’s likely in the lead at the moment – especially when you take into account the fact that Aftersun also happens to be the most critically acclaimed film of the year. Yeah, she should run away with this one.
Anna Cobb – We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
Frankie Corio – Aftersun
Anna Diop – Nanny
Gracija Filipović – Murina
Kali Reis – Catch the Fair One
Will Win: Frankie Corio – Aftersun
Could Win: Anna Diop – Nanny
Since she leads the most-nominated movie in this line-up, I think Aftersun‘s Frankie Corio is the current frontrunner – especially in a category that often favors younger contenders, such as The Witch‘s Anya Taylor-Joy, Call Me by Your Name‘s Timothée Chalamet, Eighth Grade‘s Elsie Fisher, Waves‘ Taylor Russell, and CODA‘s Emilia Jones – but I’m not sleeping on Anna Diop (who is perhaps the “biggest name” in this bunch) or Anna Cobb, whose film picked up another big nomination in Breakthrough Director.
Best Documentary Feature
All That Breathes
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
I Didn’t See You There
What We Leave Behind
Will Win: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Could Win: All That Breathes
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is the easy bet here – it’s this year’s Golden Lion winner and a critical darling – but All That Breathes and The Territory have the next biggest buzz and significant social narratives going for them as well, so if voters want to spread the love and honor a doc that hasn’t had its time to shine in the spotlight yet, I could easily see them doing so. I don’t have a strong enough case to switch from All the Beauty, but I do think there’s space for a surprise here.
Best International Feature
The Banshees of Inisherin
Decision to Leave
Will Win: Decision to Leave
Could Win: The Banshees of Inisherin
This is an embarrassment of riches. I do think Decision to Leave could have the edge given critics’ affinity for Park Chan-wook (and the colossal critical acclaim that film has received), but I wouldn’t count out the equally acclaimed The Banshees of Inisherin, or perhaps even the 2021 Golden Lion winner Happening or this year’s Silver Lion winner Saint Omer. As I said, an embarrassment of riches! But I’m still picking Park.
Breakthrough Series – Short Form
As We See It
Will Win: Abbott Elementary
Could Win: As We See It
Abbott Elementary is the talk of the town and is headed into the winter awards as the frontrunner in almost all comedy categories, so I expect the Gothams to follow suit and honor it here as well. However, if there’s an upset, I could see the the revolutionary As We See It – which tackles adult autism in an authentic and moving manner so rarely seen in mainstream entertainment – pull it off.
Breakthrough Series – Long Form
This Is Going to Hurt
Will Win: Severance
Could Win: Pachinko
I think this is an incredibly close race between Severance and Pachinko – with Yellowjackets as the dark horse – and I’m giving the very slight edge to Severance for now because of how all-consuming the critical acclaim for that show has been, but there’s a part of me that thinks this group may opt to recognize Pachinko, especially since it doesn’t generate anywhere near as much attention as its competition – or as it should.
Breakthrough Nonfiction Series
The Andy Warhol Diaries
The Last Movie Stars
Mind Over Murder
We Need to Talk About Cosby
Will Win: The Rehearsal
Could Win: We Need to Talk About Cosby
The Rehearsal was a smash hit with both critics and crowds this summer, dominating the social media discourse in a way formerly reserved for HBO’s drama and miniseries juggernauts, so I’d have to say its the favorite for now, but I can also see voters shifting their support to something like We Need to Talk About Cosby instead, as a project like that naturally has more social significance that they may wish to uplift.
Outstanding Performance in a New Series
Bilal Baig – Sort Of
Ayo Edebiri – The Bear
Janelle James – Abbott Elementary
Kim Min-ha – Pachinko
Matilda Lawler – Station Eleven
Britt Lower – Severance
Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets
Zahn McClarnon – Dark Winds
Sue Ann Pien – As We See It
Ben Whishaw – This Is Going to Hurt
Will Win: Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets
Could Win: Janelle James – Abbott Elementary
Melanie Lynskey is so loved by critics – and particularly in this powerhouse part in the equally acclaimed Yellowjackets – that I have a hard time seeing her lose this one, but this is a staggeringly strong group, so I’m still somewhat bracing for a shock. Might Abbott Elementary‘s Janelle James overtake her? Both lost at the Emmys this year, so voters have the opportunity to give either one a public celebration and canonization of their work. This could be tight.