Another day, another awards ceremony. Like the Golden Globes, BAFTA, SAG, and other such awards shows, the Independent Spirit Awards can be a useful guide towards the prediction of tomorrow’s Oscar winners. There are, however, a few snags.
For one, this particular ceremony includes only independent features (obviously), so it leaves out many of the studio juggernauts almost certain to take the top prizes tomorrow. Read: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air, Inglourious Basterds, etc. It’s a nice chance to honor many talented nominees who may not make it to the big stage tomorrow.
With its refreshing informality it is also, to be honest, a nice change of pace as awards shows go. Many of the filmmakers are first-timers, so the atmosphere is one of humility and enthusiasm. All in all, it’s a very enjoyable viewing experience and a lovely precursor to the ceremonious event we’ll be witnessing tomorrow night.
Without doubt, the big winner at last night’s Independent Spirit Awards was Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. It took home most of the major awards: Best Feature, Best Female Lead (Gabourey Sidibe) and Best Supporting Female (Mo’Nique), Best Director (Lee Daniels), Best First Screenplay. This mini-sweep was fun to watch, as each successive winner took the stage more awestruck, excited, and grateful than the last. With Mo’Nique being (seemingly) the only sure-fire winner for the film at tomorrow’s Academy Awards, it was nice to see it honored properly.
Some other Oscar contenders were also acknowledged. The Coen Bros.’ A Serious Man took Cinematography and the Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble (both justly deserved, as far as I’m concerned. See my review above-left). Woody Harrelson was named Best Supporting Male for The Messenger, and Jeff Bridges took another step towards his Oscar with the win of Best Male for Crazy Heart. How about his nice shout-out, Lebowski fans? (“Honey, this [award] is really gonna tie the room together!”)
A few other Oscar nominees were present, but less decorated: A Single Man, An Education (which took Best Foreign Film but was snubbed for the acting), and The Last Station. Read a full list of nominees and winners here.
This is it: you have just one more night to see as many nominees as possible and you’re your predictions. Get cracking! All of the above films and the additional studio entries can be seen tomorrow at the Academy Awards. If you haven’t already considered it, read my article about Ambler Theater’s Oscar Party and get in there while there’s still time! (See my article above-left). If not, then get your PJ’s on, tune in to ABC at 8 PM Eastern Time for the 82nd annual Academy Awards.