SANTA MONICA—Well, who would have expected a psychological thriller/horror film to claim the top prize at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Well history was in the making on Saturday, March 3 as the 2018 Spirit Awards were handed out inside a tent near a beach in Santa Monica.
Hosting the festivities were John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, who kicked off the ceremony taking a few jabs at some of the nominated flicks including “I, Tonya,” “Get Out” and “Call Me by Your Name.” That is the great thing about the Spirit Awards; it’s the one ceremony were a few expletives can be dropped and people let their guard down. Not everyone is so prim and proper like the Oscars or the Golden Globes ceremonies.
Jordan Peele had a phenomenal night as the comedian turned filmmaker, took home prizes for Best Feature and Best Director. People keep touting “Get Out” as a horror flick. Please people stop calling “Get Out” a horror film; it is not it is a psychological thriller. I was baffled that people called “Black Swan” a horror flick as well. Maybe it’s me, but what I consider horror and what others call horror is not horror.
The award for Best First Feature was a victory for “Ingrid Goes West,” while the John Cassavetes Award went to “Life and Nothing More.” I was so happy, and I mean happy to see Greta Gerwig win Best Screenplay for “Lady Bird” because that movie was near perfection in my eyes. On the comedic side, “The Big Sick” writers Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani” won for Best First Screenplay for “The Big Sick.” Normally, I could predict who would win the Best Original Screenplay prize at the Oscars, but this year I think it’s a race between “Get Out,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “Lady Bird.”
Must say the acting races did not deliver any surprises whatsoever. Frances McDormand continued her domination picking up the prize for Best Female Lead for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Her co-star Sam Rockwell won for Best Supporting Male, while Allison Janney won for Best Supporting Female for “I, Tonya.” The only surprise of the night was Best Male Lead where Timothee Chalamet won for “Call Me By Your Name,” but one can’t forget this is a race where Gary Oldman “Darkest Hour” was not nominated.
In the technical races, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom won for Best Cinematography for “Call Me by Your Name,” while Tatiana S. Riegel was victorious in the Best Editing category for “I, Tonya.” “Mudbound” took home the Robert Altman Award, while “Faces Places” won for Best Documentary. “A Fantastic Woman” won the Spirit Award for Best International Film at the ceremony. Other winners of the night included, Chloe Zhao, Jonathan Olshefski, Justin Chon and Summer Shelton.
Well, the Spirit Awards are now history, and it’s nice to see a ceremony that highlights independent filmmaking, which so many people fail to realize are some of the best films made. Why? You don’t have that red tape or restrictions that tend to be in play when you’re dealing with a major movie studio.