SANTA MONICA—I swear if these awards shows continue to move to streaming platforms and the internet to host their ceremonies I’m going to be out. It is just so frustrating to go from being broadcast on TV or a Cable network to not being there at all anymore. On Saturday, March 4, the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards were held and the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” dominated for a second week in a row on the awards circuit.
The ceremony was hosted by Hasan Minhaj who even poked fun at IFC not broadcasting the ceremony. Were the jokes hilarious? Not really. The ceremony should have used prior hosts of the ceremony who were not afraid to push the envelope and deliver jabs not just at the opening of the ceremony, but the throughout the show that appeared to drag in my opinion. This combination of film and TV I just cannot stand it. The Film Independent Spirit Awards never used to do TV and now all of a sudden we have TV intertwined with film yet again. Thank God the Oscars don’t do such a thing because that absolutely would make me tune out because you’d be making an already 3 to 4 hour ceremony into a 5 or 6 hours ceremony no thanks people.
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” won awards for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Breakthrough Performance for Stephanie Hsu, Best Lead Performance for Michelle Yeoh, Best Supporting Performance for Ke Huy Quan, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing. I love the fact that the awards show did away with gender specific categories. It really forced the best of the best in the bunch to go toe-to-toe. I wonder if that is something we could see with other award shows like the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and the Academy Awards. It would make for interesting dynamics as you cannot single out specific performances in a category they would be all ranked based on Supporting or Lead performances could shake up what has become a predictable awards season at times people.
Best Documentary went to “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” while Best International Film was a victory for “Joyland.” “Emily the Criminal” won the spirit award for Best First Screenplay. “The Cathedral” was victorious in claiming the John Cassavetes Award. “Tàr” did walk away with the prize for Best Cinematography and I truly believe Cate Blanchett will still resonate with Academy Award members for her performance in the drama. She stings in a way that is memorable, that Yeoh just doesn’t do for a viewer in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” “Women Talking” claimed The Robert Altman Award, which is given to a movie’s cast, director and casting director.
I mean last week it was a virtual sweep at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, this week the Film Independent Spirit Awards. The only remaining awards ceremony is the Academy Awards on March 12. Will it sweep there? Not likely, no film has sweep the ceremony since “Titanic” back in 1998. However, this notion that this is the best film of the year is beyond baffling to me. I know so many critics who saw the flick and couldn’t understand it after one watch, yet a second or third watch. It is not an easy movie to follow people, and the same can be echoed for the everyday American; many I know who attempted to watch the movie and stopped midway thru because they were so confused by what was transpiring.
I cannot shake my assertion that while people think it’s a lock for the Best Picture Oscar, I don’t think so. That preferential ballot voting ranks movies based on likeability and enjoyment and I just do not see “Everything Everywhere All at Once” landing a ton of #1 votes by members of the Academy. Maybe #2 or #3, but we shall see when the final envelope of awards season is opened. Oscar Sunday will be interesting people.