SANTA MONICA—Well the indie film market spoke on Saturday, February 23, as the Independent Spirit Film Awards were held inside a tent near the Santa Monica Pier. The ceremony was hosted by actress and funny lady Aubrey Plaza. She wasn’t afraid to poke fun at the fact that the Oscars are going host-less, at least that is what most of America thinks, there are some rumors running rampant America. Plaza did exceptionally well as host, which should be a note to other award shows in the near future America.
Going into the ceremony, “We Are Animals” led all contenders with a total of five nominations, but was completely shut out during the ceremony. The big winner of the night was Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” which took home three awards including Best Feature. Too bad none of those accolades will spillover to Oscar because the flick only has three Academy Award nominations (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Supporting Actress).
Speaking about Supporting Actress, Regina King won the Spirit Award for her performance in “If Beale Street Could Talk.” King could have a big Oscar night, but do not rule out Amy Adams for “Vice” America. She is a much bigger threat than people think. Richard E. Grant is getting a bit of love in the Best Supporting Actor race, winning the Spirit Award for his work in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” He’s another big threat over Mahershala Ali in “Green Book.”
Glenn Close had a fun moment bringing her dog on stage to collect the prize for Best Actress for her work in “The Wife.” Close is such a gracious actress; I love that woman. Ethan Hawke won the Spirit Award for Lead Actor for his work in “First Reformed.” Too bad he was snubbed by Oscar in the Best Actor race. The dramedy “Sorry to Bother You” picked up the prize for Best First Feature, while the John Cassavetes Award went to “En el Septimo Dia.”
Barry Jenkins was shown some more love picking up the award for Best Director for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty won for Best Screenplay for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” with Bo Burnham winning for Best First Screenplay for “Eighth Grade.” The Robert Altman prize went to “Suspiria,” and Best Documentary was a victory for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Rounding out the big wards of the night, Alfonso Cuaron won the Spirit Award for Best International Award for “Roma.” So now that the indie films have spoken it’s now time for Oscar to make its ruling on what’s the best of the best for 2018.