PRECIOUS Has Huge Night at Independent Spirit Awards

     March 6, 2010


When the Oscars are finally handed out tomorrow night, Lee Daniels’ Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire will probably lose out to that band of blue horse cats or Bigelow’s bomb squad, but at the Independent Spirit Awards it pretty much rode to a complete sweep.

At Friday night’s ceremony hosted by comedian Eddie Izzard, Precious won five awards, including best feature, best lead actress for Gabourey Sidibe, best supporting actress for Mo’Nique, best director for Daniels and best first screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher, all well deserved in this movie buff’s opinion. The only one likely to prevail on Sunday night is Mo’Nique, but we tune in to find out, right?

In other big categories, Oscar favorite Jeff Bridges took the best actor prize for his work as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, and Woody Harrelson, who had a rather amazing year, took the best supporting actor prize for The Messenger. Hit the jump to hear what the winners had to say and to see a full list of the prizes handed out.

Crazy Heart movie image Jeff Bridges.jpgBridges, who certainly should be a multi-Oscar winner already, seemed to be genuinely thrilled with his Spirit Award for Crazy Heart.

“It makes me weak in the knees. It’s so dear to me. It’s really a gem of an independent film, and you know what makes these gems shine, it’s passion.”

Precious winner Gabourey Sidibe cited Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse as a major influence on her career, saying “that’s the first film I saw where I thought I could do that, so perhaps that’s where my independent spirit was born.”

Woody Harrelson truly had a banner year with Zombieland, The Messenger and (I suppose he admits to this, too) 2012. Here’s what he had to say about winning for The Messenger:

“I don’t know how you distinguish one performance from another — it’s never felt right to me to declare a winner. Of course now, it feels a little more right.”

anvil_the_story_of_anvil_movie_poster_01.jpgIn two more notable categories, the first feature award went to director Scott Cooper and Crazy Heart, definitely someone to keep your eyes on, and Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber won the best screenplay prize for (500) Days of Summer. And in the category that’s closest to my heart, Anvil: The Story of Anvil, easily one of the funnest movies of 2009, took home the best documentary prize. Take that, Oscars!

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Feature:Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Best Director: Lee Daniels, Precious
Best Male Lead: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best Female Lead: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Best Supporting Male: Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Best Supporting Female: Mo’Nique, Precious
Best First Feature: Crazy Heart
Best Screenplay: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, (500) Days of Summer
Best First Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious
Best Cinematography: A Serious Man
Robert Altman Award: A Serious Man
Best Documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Best Foreign Film: An Education
John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000): Humpday
Acura Someone to Watch Award: Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Easier With Practice
Chaz & Roger Ebert: Truer Than Fiction Award (emerging director of non-fiction features): Bill Ross and Turner Ross, 45365

Piaget Producers Award (honors emerging producers): Karin Chien, The Exploding Girl, Santa Mesa

Sources: THR and Spirit Awards

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