The Indie Spirit Awards are the looser, more fun younger sibling to the Oscars, as reported by pretty much everyone who attends the beachfront ceremony held the Saturday before the Oscar ceremony. For those of us who don't get to go, though, the fun is in looking at the winners, both the films that are likely to take home matching Oscars at the next day's ceremony, and the ones that never stood a chance at an Oscar and therefore deserve the Spirit Award even more.
This year it's likely the Spirits and the Oscars will match up pretty closely-- The Artist took home the two top prizes, Best Picture and Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius, along with Best Male Lead for Jean Dujardin--all three prizes are likely to go to The Artist tonight. The French silent film also took Best Cinematography. The Descendants, a frontrunner for Oscar's Best Adapted Screenplay, also took home the Spirits screenplay prize-- plus a surprise win for Shailene Woodley as Best Supporting Actress, for which she isn't even nominated at the Oscars. Another non-Oscar-nominated film that won big was The Interrupters, which won Best Documentary.
You can read the full list of winners below, via IndieWire. My personal favorite is probably the John Cassavetes Award win for Pariah, a lovely movie that, in a just world, would have been up for a ton of Oscars tonight. Thank God for the Indie Spirits, where-- while occasionally just double-rewarding the eventual Best Picture nominee-- they also make room for the smaller films that need the attention.
BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer)
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer)
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"
BEST MALE LEAD
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)
BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Sophia Linn - "Take Shelter"
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Mark Jackson - "Without"
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Heather Courtney – "Where Soldiers Come From"