Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Other Better Awards


Tonight it's the other, better awards ceremony of the year: the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, honouring talent and newcomers from the lower budget indie world of cinema and where the majority of the best films reside. Instead of live blogging the Oscars this year (no Natalie induced giddy tension...though she is presenting the Best Actor award so I better keep a sly eye on things) I've decided to focus on its baby brother instead, in so many regards. Always held the Saturday before the Oscars, the Spirit Awards go by the same categories but the winners are not so cynically clear cut. It helps that the nominees are significantly better, plus the whole event is held in a tent. I also really like the trophy the winners get. I like how they put a bird on it.

Here's a run through of this year's nominees - I'll be updating the winners LIVE as they come in. *rolls up sleeves*


Best International Film

A Separation
Melancholia
Shame
The Kid With A Bike
Tyrannosaur


Boooo - A Separation will win Best Foreign Film at the Oscars tomorrow, why not give some love to one of the other films? Cough, Shame, cough.


John Cassavettes Award (Best Feature made for under $500,000)

Bellflower
Circumstance
Hello Lonesome
Pariah
The Dynamiter


Er, good on Pariah for winning. Whatever it is. Haven't heard of half the films in this category, I must admit! I was supposed to watch Bellflower at the LFF but decided to go home as I was falling asleep in the previous film, so I would have kicked myself if that had won!

Best First Screenplay 

Another Earth
Margin Call
Terri
Cedar Rapids
50/50


Surprise win for 50/50 though it does manage the perfect balance of tragi-comedy expertly. Gutted for Another Earth though - can't see it winning anything now.

Best First Feature 

Another Earth
In The Family

Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natural Selection


It's an outrage! How did Martha Marcy May Marlene not win? I'm sure Margin Call is a perfectly fine film an'all, but is it really going to go down as a cult classic, an indie gem? I don't think so.

Best Supporting Actress

Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
Anjelica Huston, 50/50
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants


I think I was a little bit sick. Have I totally missed something with this film that everyone else was able to see?! At least she's not up for an Oscar.
 
Best Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks, Drive
John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
John C Reilly, Cedar Rapids
Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris


Christopher Plummer's going to have a house full of awards by the end of this season! He wins again for his late outage in Beginners. 
 
Best Actress

Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me
Rachel Harris, Natural Selection
Adepero Oduye, Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn


Noooooo - I so wanted Elizabeth Olsen to win it! Nothing against Michelle Williams, she is the image of Marilyn, and she hasn't got a chance in hell tomorrow so I suppose that's something. But still - MMMM!

Best Actor

Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter


Not too shabby for Mr Dujardin! Can he win the big one tomorrow though? That's the big question. Would have LOVED to have seen Michael Shannon win though... is it wrong to secretly wish films like The Artist didn't qualify for the Spirits?

Best Screenplay

Joseph Cedar, Footnote
Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist
Tom McCarthy, Win Win
Mike Mills, Beginners
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Let's just all pretend that didn't happen. If there's no distinction between original and adapted here, then why not pick the best story? The Descendants isn't.

Best Director

Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
Mike Mills, Beginners
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive


Another win for The Artist - I think Hazanavicius will take the golden statue tomorrow, too. Even sharing of the honours with The Descendants this evening... but who will win Best Film?

Best Feature Film 

50/50
The Artist
Take Shelter
The Descendants
Beginners
Drive


And that's it - Best Film goes to The Artist! No sudden and wonderful surprise victory for Take Shelter, unfortunately. I think we're all going to have to resign ourselves to the fact that The Artist is the showstopper at this year's awards season and it'll be a miracle if anything can beat it. But, y'know, it is damn lovely.


And that's a wrap. I have to say I'm a little disappointed - a lot of love for 'mainstream' hits this year and amazing films such as Take Shelter, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Another Earth and Drive go away empty handed. They're not going to have the opportunity to win prizes again, so why not honour them here? Slight grump. Still, there's nothing stopping you guys out there from going out and watching these films - and so you absolutely should. Catch all the reaction to tonight's awards here, and remember it's the Oscars tomorrow, 3am UK time so get the coffee pot on early, gallons of sugar. I wonder who will win...


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