Among the big winners at Saturday night’s Independent Spirit Awards was Adam Sandler. Good ol’ Sandman took home the award for Best Male Lead for his incredible performance in Uncut Gems. Sandler made a meal of his time on stage, using it to deliver one of the best acceptance speeches of this entire award season and maybe the best speech in the entire history of the Spirit Awards.
As if possessed by the spirit of his iconic SNL character Opera Man, Sandler gave an acceptance speech which rambled but was nonetheless entertaining. After remembering how he got the less impressive high school superlative of “Best Personality” rather than a more coveted award in his youth, Sandler took a light jab at the Spirit Awards, joking, “Tonight as I look around this room, I realize the Independent Spirit Awards are the best personality awards of Hollywood.”
He continued, delivering his most searing line of the five-plus minute speech, shouting, “So let all of those feather-haired douchebag motherfuckers get their Oscars tomorrow night. Their handsome good looks will fade in time, while our independent personalities will shine on forever.” Despite some of the folks currently up for big Oscar categories in attendance at Saturday’s Spirit Awards, that line in particular got some of the biggest laughs of the evening. To be fair, Sandler’s entire speech was basically a work of art and me recapping it would never do it justice; you just need to watch.
Sandler’s big win for Best Male Lead thanks to his Uncut Gems performance is bittersweet. Shortly after the release of Josh and Benny Safdie‘s latest debuted at the Telluride Film Festival in August and the Toronto International Film Festival in September, awards buzz began to swirl around Sandler. In the run up to the film’s release in December, that buzz continued, although it was slightly dulled when Sandler was not nominated for Best Actor — a big snub in the eyes of critics and fans. But look who’s laughing now, right? Not only did Sandler walk away with the Best Male Lead Spirit Award, he gets to prep for a whole new slew of Netflix movies thanks to a re-upped deal with the streaming giant. Not too bad.
Watch Sandler’s complete Best Male Lead acceptance speech below. For more, check out the full winners list from the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards.