Precious Sweeps the 25th Independent Spirit Awards

monique

The Independent Spirit Awards might not be as popular as other awards ceremonies such as the Golden Globes and the Oscars, but I’m a huge fan of nonetheless. One of the key elements of eligibility for the Spirit Awards is that nominated films don’t have to have played in a theater; they just need to have been screened at either the Telluride, Toronto, Sundance, New York, New/Directors/New Films, or the Los Angeles Film Fesitval. Movies also cannot have been made for more than $20 million. Together, all of their criteria ensure that smaller movies will get recognized — potentially films that won’t get any attention on Oscar night.

This year’s awards were heartening, but held relatively few surprises. I was happy to see Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber win for their screenplay for 500 Days Of Summer, since I unabashedly enjoyed the hell out of that film. Woody Harrelson and Jeff Bridges also picked up much-deserved acting awards (I haven’t seen The Messenger yet but I’ve heard great things. Bridges was already virtually a lock for Best Actor at the Oscars and this just gives him more momentum).

But the big success story of the evening was Lee DanielsPrecious, which won for all five categories in which it was nominated: Best Feature, Best Director, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Female, and Best Supporting Screenplay. Hit the jump for a full list of all the award winners (winners in bold).

BEST FEATURE
Precious
Amreeka
500 Days of Summer
Sin Nombre
The Last Station

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Crazy Heart
A Single Man
Easier With Practice
Paranormal Activity
The Messenger

BEST DIRECTOR
Lee Daniels – Precious
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen – A Serious Man
Cary Fukunaga – Sin Nombre
James Gray – Two Lovers
Michael Hoffman – The Last Station

BEST MALE LEAD
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart

Colin Firth – A Single Man
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 500 Days Of Summer
Souléymane Sy Savané – Goodbye Solo
Adam Scott – The Vicious Kind

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Gabourey Sidibe – Precious
Maria Bello – Downloading Nancy
Helen Mirren – The Last Station
Gwentyth Paltrow – Two Lovers
Nisreen Faour – Amreeka

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Jemaine Clement – Gentleman Broncos
Christian McKay – Me and Orson Welles
Raymond McKinnon – That Evening Sun
Christopher Plummer – The Last Station

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Mo’Nique – Precious
Dina Korzun – Cold Souls
Samantha Morton – The Messenger
Natalie Press – Fifty Dead Men Walking
Mia Wasikowska – That Evening Sun

BEST SCREENPLAY
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber – 500 Days Of Summer

Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman – The Messenger
Michael Hoffman – The Last Station
Lee Toland Krieger – The Vicious Kind
Greg Mottola – Adventureland

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Geoffrey Fletcher – Precious
Sophie Barthes – Cold Souls
Scott Cooper – Crazy Heart
Cherien Dabis – Amreeka
Tom Ford & David Scearce – A Single Man

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins – A Serious Man
Adriano Goldman – Sin Nombre
Anne Misawa – Treeless Mountain
Andrij Parekh – Cold Souls
Peter Zeitlinger – Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Food, Inc.
More Than a Game
October Country
Which Way Home

BEST FOREIGN FILM
An Education (UK/France)
A Prophet (France)
Everlasting Moments (Sweden)
Mother (South Korea)
The Maid (Chile)

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
(Best feature made for less than $500,000)
Humpday
Big Fan
The New Year Parade
Treeless Mountain
Zero Bridge

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
(Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
“A Serious Man”
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Casting Directors: Ellen Chenoweth, Rachel Tenner
Cast: Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Jessica McManus, Michael Stuhlbarg, Aaron Wolff

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Karen Chien (The Exploding Girl & Santa Mesa)
Larry Fessenden (I Sell the Dead, The House of the Devil)
Dia Sokol (Beeswax, Nights and Weekends)

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Tariq Tapa (Zero Bridge)
Kyle Patrick Alvarez (Easier with Practice)
Asiel Norton (Redland)

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Bill Ross & Turner Ross (“45365”)
Natalia Almada (El General)
Jessica Oreck (Beetle Queen Conquer Tokyo)

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