Oscars 2019: Independent Spirit Awards
Just to finish off the last of these articles, the Independent Spirit Awards were announced today. They changed the voting so that all the big studio Oscar stuff doesn’t make it on and dominate the competition anymore. So now it’s truly independent stuff, which is both nice but also makes the awards show a bit of an afterthought. Mostly I love that it’s people getting together in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica and getting absolutely day drunk. That’s really why we have this show, isn’t it?
Anyway, here are your winners (which you basically could have called a month ago just by looking at the nominees. But hey, it’s not about the winners, it’s about the day drinking):
A Hidden Life
Winner: The Farewell
Oh, that’s awesome. I’m glad it just wasn’t Marriage Story or Uncut Gems. Good for them.
Though that does beg the question, what allowed Marriage Story to get on Best Picture but prevented Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson from being nominated in the acting categories? Because you can’t tell me that people just didn’t vote for them. They had to have deemed them ineligible. But how did the distinction get made? The nominees were announced over a month before Oscar nominations and at least a week before all the other Oscar precursors. Plus, does Netflix scream independent? Wondering how that one went down.
Best First Feature
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
See You Yesterday
I don’t think anyone’s surprised there.
Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse
Alma Har’el, Honey Boy
Julius Onah, Luce
Benny & Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems
Lorene Scafaria, Hustlers
Winner: Benny & Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems
No real surprise there, either. Theirs was the only film nominated for Best Picture.
I still don’t really know how voting goes for this, but clearly certain things have to not be allowed. Because what allows Terrence Malick to get nominated for Best Picture but prevents him from getting on here? Because you can’t tell me you voted for a Terrence Malick film for Best Picture and didn’t think he was one of the best directors. Plus, it’s TERRENCE MALICK. Clearly there are some sort of measures in place where either people can’t be voted for or just get taken off if they seem like too high profile a choice.
Do they sit there in the room and debate who got the most votes and just remove the ones that might skew the category?
Clearly something’s going on, because there are too many possibilities for stuff to get on
Best Female Lead
Karen Allen, Colewell
Hong Chau, Driveways
Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell
Mary Kay Place, Diane
Alfre Woodard, Clemency
Renée Zellweger, Judy
Winner: Renée Zellweger, Judy
Best Male Lead
Chris Galust, Give Me Liberty
Kelvin Harrison Jr., Luce
Robert Pattinson, The Lighthouse
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
Matthias Schoenaerts, The Mustang
Winner: Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
Best Supporting Female
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Taylor Russell, Waves
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell
Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, Give Me Liberty
Octavia Spencer, Luce
Winner: Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell
The best female supporting performance of the year. I’m glad she won. Taylor Russell also would have been a great choice. But Zhao Shuzhen was so fantastic in that movie.
Best Supporting Male
Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
Noah Jupe, Honey Boy
Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy
Jonathan Majors, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Wendell Pierce, Burning Cane
Winner: Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
Fuck yeah. And also, of course. Shia had a shot, but Willem Dafoe as an old sailor, how could you not go there?
High Flying Bird
Winner: Marriage Story
It’s the only nominee nominated for the Oscar, and all things considered, is the best script in the bunch. Uncut Gems had a case to be made for it, but Marriage Story is the one that feels like it worked more fully on the page and wasn’t required to have had the editing and pacing and all that in it to work as well as it did. And again… nominated for the Oscar. Kind of a ‘big fish, little pond’ scenario. Granted, we didn’t know the size of the fish until after nominations, but still.
Best First Screenplay
Blow the Man Down
See You Yesterday
The Vast of Night
Winner: See You Yesterday
FANTASTIC choice. I’m glad that won.
Give Me Liberty
Sword of Trust
The Third Wife
Winner: Uncut Gems
Well, yeah. That movie is basically a two-hour panic attack.
The Third Wife
Winner: The Lighthouse
That’s the only nominee here nominated for an Oscar. Is anyone surprised by that outcome?
Best International Film
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Winner: American Factory
Not surprising. I’m sure it’ll win tomorrow as well.
John Cassavetes Award
Give Me Liberty
Wild Nights with Emily
Winner: Give Me Liberty
That felt like a true independent movie. Granted, I’ve only seen two movies on this list, but that one did feel deserving of the what the award stands for. So good for them.
The Bonnie Award
Winner: Kelly Reichardt
Cool, but did she need the support more than, say, Lulu Wang did? There’s money attached to this award. I feel like maybe give it to the person who is probably gonna struggle most to get their next movie made. Maybe have given this to Kelly Reichardt nine years ago (yes, I’m aware the award it didn’t exist nine years ago).
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So yeah, those are the Indie Spirit Awards. Tomorrow’s the Oscars, guys. The giant picks article will be up bright and early tomorrow. East Coast time, even. Mostly because I finished it Monday and have had to wait five days to be able to post it.
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