Pop Culture Fix: “Carol” and “Tangerine” Dominate Independent Spirit Award Nominations

It’s Thanksgiving time here in the United States of America, which means it’s a super slow pop culture news week — but the things we need to discuss really need to be discussed, so let’s do that now.

The Movies

Carol dominated the speciality box office this weekend (I did my part; I saw it two times) and was nominated for more Independent Spirit Awards than any other movie this year: Best Feature, Best Director, Best Female Lead (for both Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett), and Best Screenplay.

Tangerine was also nominated for Best Feature, which was an excellent surprise, and trans actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor were nominated for Best Female Lead and Best Supporting Female, respectively! This is the first time openly trans actresses have been nominated in both acting categories in the same year. Tangerine also snagged a Best Director nomination.

+ Cynthia Nixon got a nod for Best Supporting Female.

The Independent Spirit Award winners will be announced on February 27, the day before the Academy Awards.

+ Sarah Paulson, who also honestly deserved a Best Supporting Female nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards, chatted up The Daily Beast about Carol. The interview is FULL of spoilers, so beware if you click through. It’s a good one, though. Here’s a non-spoilery quote.

I think gay, straight, it doesn’t matter. Love is a bitch, man. Except for when it isn’t! And it’s the part when it isn’t that keeps us coming back for more.

The Teevee

Last night, soon-to-be Freeform aired a Pretty Little Liars special called Pretty Little Liars: 5 Years Forward that was mostly just interviews with the cast explaining what their characters have gotten up to in the time jump that will take place between seasons 6A and 6B. My feelings about this upcoming season are very, very complicated because of that finale and because of some baffling spoilers that are floating around the internet and because last night’s special spent so much time trying to make me feel sympathy for Ezra Fitz because his life was extra hard after the teenage girls he stalked and preyed upon moved away to college.

However, there was a mention of Paige McMullers. There was no actual Paige McCullers on screen, but here’s a thing that happened in one of the two never-before-seen scenes that accompanied the interviews.


You know you wanna kiss me.


You and Hanna look too different now. It’s not the same for me anymore.

Mona: Any word from Em?
Ali: Last time I talked to her, she was on her way up to Stanford to see Paige. I think they’re seeing each other.
Mona: Are they together?
Ali: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Spoilers for the 6B premiere, according to 5 Years Forward: Emily’s dad died and so she dropped out of college and is really the most fucked up of all the Liars, Hanna works for whoever Miranda Priestly is in this universe, Spencer is a lobbyist in D.C., Aria publishes books after jumping from SCAD to Boston College and graduating with a degree in literature, Ali is dating Charlotte’s psychiatrist, and Charlotte is maybe going to get out of jail if the Liars come back to town and testify on her behalf.


Hanna knows what Heather means.

I’ve got until January to see if we can work up to my former excitement and compassion for this show. Maybe that’s what I’ll ask Santa to bring me.

+ PLL is back on January 12. The Fosters is back on January 25.

+ Once Upon a Time‘s showrunners are still being cagey about the promised “LGBT relationship” that’s supposed to happen this season. While all signs are currently pointing toward Mulan and Ruby, Adam Horowitz still doesn’t want to talk about it. He told Entertainment Weekly:

“Our worry is the more the press asks us, the more it’s turning into the very special episode of Once, where we have a gay character, as opposed to what we wanted, which was we tell a story of love no different than Snow [Ginnifer Goodwin] and Charming [Josh Dallas] or Hook [Colin O’Donoghue] and Emma [Jennifer Morrison],” executive producer Edward Kitsis adds.”

+ Rosie O’Donnell, who is apparently going to get dragged into the damn GOP primary whether she likes it or not, guest stars on Empire tonight.


Have a happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. Ugh I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch PLL again if Five Years Forward is just about Ezra crying man tears and Charlotte being misgendered. Adding ‘better non-transphobic PLL’ to my Xmas wish list.

  2. I just came here to mention, that I had a nightmare about being trapped by A last night, which is insofar creepy, as I haven’t watched any PLL in months and is even creepier seeing as I live in Germany, and woke up in the middle of the night, #booradleyvancullen time an ocean away.
    It’s either creepy much or Jessica Jones before bedtime reactivating the Rosewood trauma.
    I really cannot watch anything scary or gory, like ever, for it to not haunt me like forever.

    • I completely sympathize re Jessica Jones. I’ve already had nightmares every time I watch an episode, and I only do that when the sun is still up!

      • I watch an episode of JJ, followed by at least one episode Jane the Virgin, but I guess I need to put that into a noonish timeslot, too.

  3. I sure as hell hope the OUAT queer love story is different than that of hook and emma’s, because that shit is fuuucked.
    FRICK I hate this stupid show and I do not know why I cannot stop watching it??????? ??? ?? ? ? ????? ? ?

  4. My feelings about PLL these days are like after the bloom has gone from first love – when you realise the person you fell in love with was actually not the person you thought they were, and they have turned out to be a completely different person with a whole other life that you knew nothing about. And you’re crushed, and so disappointed, and heartbroken, but still so willing to pretend that maybe it didn’t happen? Maybe they’re still the person you thought you fell for?

    PLL has a lot of making up to do. I want flowers, and gifts, and promises that won’t be broken!

  5. Cate Blanchett has had a lot of performances that made me go “this is the performance of her lifetime,” but this time I REALLY MEAN IT. Carol was everything I wanted and more.

    There is one nomination missing from that list, though. Best supporting actor: Carol’s coat. Because damn.

  6. I can’t believe you left out that Girlhood, the movie of out gay French director Céline Sciamma (Tomboy, Water Lilies) is nominated for Best International Film!

    No lesbians in that movie, but great movie.

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