The Independent Spirit Awards have, in recent years, been stealing more and more of the thunder from their big brother counterpart, the Oscars. (The Spirit Awards take place the night before.) This year pretty much sealed the deal. The awards distributed were much more deserved, and the show was much more fun.
This year, ‘Black Swan’ – a film that earned its indie reputation by struggling all the way through finance and production to eventually become an art house phenomenon that grossed $100 million at the box office (!) – was the big winner. As it should be. You don’t see this kind of artistry every day. And I should know, having to sit through a bunch of these movies every week.
While ‘Black Swan’ was the big winner, the Spirit Awards spread the wealth. ‘The Kids Are All Right’ script won for Best Screenplay. (Big ups to Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg.) The sorely underrated ‘Please Give’ won the Robert Altman Award, and Dale Dickey from ‘Winter’s Bone’ won Best Supporting Actress.
It was nice to see Banksy’s edgy ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ win for Best Documentary, but perhaps the most shocking award of the night was that, yes, ‘The King’s Speech’ won something! It won Best Foreign Film, which is true because it’s more English than red telephone booths. But good lord, it doesn’t need to take something home at every awards show! (I think the awards that GLAAD gives out will probably skip it, at the very least.)
Hopefully, one day the Spirit Awards will be just as much of a prestige-earner as the Academy Awards themselves. Congratulations to team ‘Black Swan’. Unlike ‘The King’s Speech’, you guys actually deserve it.
Stuart Blumberg & Lisa Cholodenko, ‘The Kids Are All Right’
BEST FIRST FEATURE
‘Get Low’, Aaron Schneider
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Lena Dunham, ‘Tiny Furniture’
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
‘Daddy Longlegs’, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Dale Dickey, ‘Winter’s Bone’
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
John Hawkes, ‘Winter’s Bone’
Natalie Portman, ‘Black Swan’
John Franco, ‘127 Hours’
Matthew Libatique, ‘Black Swan’
BEST FOREIGN FILM
‘The King’s Speech’
‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD