SANTA MONICA—Well awards season continues to be a whirlwind. The 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards were held on Saturday, February 27, one day before the Academy Awards and the night’s big winner was “Spotlight” taking home a total of four awards including Best Feature. It was also a good night for Tom McCarthy who won the award for Best Director for “Spotlight.”
The journalism drama which chronicles the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal also took the prize for Best Screenplay, Best Editing and the Robert Altman Award. The ceremony which pays tribute to indie films was hosted by “Saturday Night Live” star Kate McKinnon and “Silicon Valley” star Kumail Nanjiani who were not afraid to point out they planned to do something the Oscars didn’t, “nominate some nominees that aren’t white.”
I’d argue that McKinnon and Nanjiani did an excellent job with hosting duties balancing humor with wit, and keeping the pace of the ceremony moving steadily, especially with those spoofs of some of the movies nominated this year.
It was a historic night, as Mya Taylor became the first transgender woman to win a major film award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the drama “Tangerine.” Idris Elba proved yet again he was robbed by the Academy as he claimed the award for Best Supporting Actor his wickedly evil turn in “Beasts of No Nation.” His co-star Abraham Attah FINALLY got some spotlight shine winning the prize for Best Male Actor for “Beasts of No Nation.” Brie Larson took home the prize for Best Female Lead for her dramatic turn in the movie “Room.”
“Carol” who led all nominees with six nods, only walked away with one prize, Best Cinematography, which was awarded to Ed Lachman. Other winners of the night included Emma Donoghue who won Best First Screenplay for “Room,” while the award for Best First Feature went to Marielle Heller “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.” “Son of Saul won the Spirit Award for Best International Film and Best Documentary went to “The Look of Silence.”
With the Spirit Awards behind us, only ONE award ceremony remains, the Academy Awards. The big question that remains is rather “Spotlight” has the momentum to cause an upset and take the top prize of Best Picture from “The Revenant” or “The Big Short.” We’ll find out Sunday night people!