The last major awards ceremony before Oscar Sunday – the Film Independent Spirit Awards – handed out their top honours in Santa Monica yesterday. After taking one or two wrong turns, I got to the beachfront where the tent had been set up for the ceremony. With the attire being dubbed Californian Casual and Seth Rogan hosting, the event was somewhat relaxed and quite a lot of fun. Especially because it also meant literally rubbing shoulders with the likes of Michelle Williams, who won Best Actress, and Michael Shannon, up for Best Actor, but he lost out to The Artist‘s Jean Dujardin.
The Artist, fresh from winning 6 awards in France last night at the Cesar’s, scooped Best Feature, Best Director and Best Cinematography, to go along with Dujardin’s win. Margin Call, too, had its chance to shine – it took home Best First Feature and the Robert Altman award for ensemble cast and director. Alexander Payne scooped Best Screenplay for The Descendants. In the Best International Film category, A Separation won, almost certainly cementing its status at the Oscars.
The full winners can be found here.
So we go into the Oscars with one category to really keep a close eye on – Best Actress. This is the one that sees 17-time-nominee Meryl Streep go head to head against Viola David for her turn in The Help. Streep is superb as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, but Davis has produced an exceptional body of work and if she were to win, it would surely be a positive step forward for the Academy in recognizing diversity and talent beyond the usual fare.