SANTA MONICA—Yeah, its official awards season is back people and I have indeed missed it. Last week we had the Screen Actors Guild Awards, this week the Film Independent Spirit Awards were handed out on Sunday, March 6. If my memory serves me right, next week is the BAFTA Awards and then 2 weeks later on March 27, we have the end of awards season with the Academy Awards.
With that said, the stars were out of indie cinema, which I actually enjoy because so many independent films never get the love they deserve, and let’s be honest these are some of the best movies made in the Hollywood arena. The event was hosted by comedians Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally and they were fantastic. Quick jibs kept the pacing movie and delivered solid jokes that kept the audience entertained. Loved seeing both of them call out Russian President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Russia. Brought cheers throughout the entire audience.
The movie “Zola” led all contenders coming into the ceremony, but it was “The Lost Daughter” that was the night’s big winner taking home a total of three prizes including Best Picture. It was a great night for actress, writer, director and producer Maggie Gyllenhaal, who walked away with three awards (Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Feature).
Another fun moment from the awards show was the win for Taylour Paige for “Zola.” Paige was in utter shock with her win for Best Female Lead and was in tears as she cracked jokes while accepting her prize. For Best Male Lead it was Simon Rex who was considered a heavy favorite early on in the awards season, but fizzled, but it was nice for the actor to see some love for his role in “Red Rocket.”
That’s the great thing about the Independent Spirit Awards; it doesn’t always follow the same rules of mainstream Hollywood. How so? We’re not looking at blockbusters, we’re looking at independent flicks people. Other winners of the night included Troy Kotsur winning Best Supporting Male for his performance in “CODA.” At this point, give Kotsur the Oscar people because there is no way he loses that award. If he does I will be dumbfounded like when Eddie Murphy lost the Oscar for “Dreamgirls” to Alan Arkin for “Little Miss Sunshine.” Best Supporting Female was a win for Ruth Negga for “Passing,” a film that is a bit underrated and did not shine as bright as I had hoped this awards season people.
The Robert Altman prize was a victory for “Mass,” while “Drive My Car” won for Best International Film. “Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” won Best Documentary. Best First Feature went to “7 Days.” Best First Screenplay went to Michael Sarnoski for “Pig.” The John Cassevetes prize was awarded to “Shiva Baby.” “Passing” won the award for Best Cinematography, while “Zola” won the prize for Best Editing.
Overall fun ceremony, but a bit longer than I expected because the Independent Spirit Awards usually clocks in at 2 hours, this ceremony almost went 3 hours. That might be the result of the ceremony decided to intermingle film with TV that hasn’t been done in the past. Is it nice to see? Yes, but we might need to rename the ceremony if it’s NOT only about celebrating independent films, but independent TV also. Let’s gear up for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts ceremony on March 13.