Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Artist Has Spirit, Yes It Does

There's less than a day left until the Academy Awards! I often wonder what the nominees do with themselves the night before. Are they partying with friends and family? Are they going to bed early? Are they still figuring out what to wear? I do know that those involved in presumed Best Picture champ The Artist are probably on a plane or just arrived from France after sweeping the César Awards, aka the French Oscars, a day ago. Winning is what that film keeps doing and it continued its awards season domination at this year's Spirit Awards...

Best Feature: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Lead Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Best Lead Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Best Screenplay: The Descendants
Best First Feature: Margin Call
Best First Screenplay: 50/50
Best International Film: A Separation
Best Documentary: The Interrupters
Best Cinematography: The Artist
John Cassavetes Award: Pariah
Robert Altman Award: Margin Call
Piaget Producers Award: Take Shelter
Someone to Watch Award: Mark Jackson, Without
Truer Than Fiction Award: Where Soldiers Come From

It was certainly a big night for The Artist winning 4 of its 5 nominations losing only to The Descendants for Screenplay. The latter film also picked up a win in Supporting Actress for Shailene Woodley beating out Oscar-nominees Jessica Chastain and Janet McTeer. The only other film to win more than one award is Margin Call which picked up First Feature and the Robert Altman Award. Christopher Plummer continued his Artist-like run through awards season winning Supporting Actor, while Michelle Williams picked up her second major award for Best Actress (the other coming at the Golden Globes). It's worth it to note, however, that both didn't have to face any of their fellow Oscar nominees. Finally, Oscar-snubbed 50/50 took home a deserved First Screenplay award while Take Shelter and Drive walked away nearly empty-handed.

In terms of what all of this means in regards to the Oscars tomorrow... well we'll probably be seeing a lot of the same (French) names. While it's true that in the entire history of the Spirit Awards, only one film (Platoon in 1986) has won both this and the Oscars, the domination The Artist has shown throughout the season is hard to ignore. It's becoming less a question of Will it win Best Picture? and more How many trophies will be sweep up? Plummer has been the front-runner since Albert Brooks was snubbed by SAG and the win here was icing while The Descendants look to repeat its screenplay win here as well. And finally, while I still believe it's Meryl vs. Viola for Actress, Williams winning here plus getting a Golden Globe and receiving the majority of critic awards makes you wonder. Yes, wonder.

Related: Spirit Award Nominations

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