Sunday, February 22, 2015
Birdman Flies at the Spirit Awards
Yesterday, the Spirit Awards, celebrating its 30th year, picked their winners and, for the most part, felt more like a prediction list for tonight's Oscars. There were a few unique choices, but essentially if you're a frontrunner to win an Academy Award tonight, then you probably won a Spirit Award yesterday as well. The winners were:
Best Feature: Birdman
Best Director: Robin Linklater, Boyhood
Best Lead Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman
Best Lead Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Best Screenplay: Nightcrawler
Best First Feature: Nightcrawler
Best First Screenplay: Dear White People
Best International Film: Ida
Best Documentary: CITIZENFOUR
Best Cinematography: Birdman
Best Editing: Whiplash
Robert Altman Award: Inherent Vice
Piaget Producers Award: Chris Ohlson
Someone To Watch Award: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia, H
Truer Than Fiction Award: Dan Krauss, The Kill Team
John Cassavetes Award: Land Ho!
Special Distinction Award: Foxcatcher
As has been the case the past few weeks, Birdman came out on top, winning Best Picture and grabbing two more wins for a leading 3 wins at the Spirit Awards. Its rival Boyhood won 2 including a Best Director win (Ethan Hawke accepted on behalf of absent Richard Linklater) setting up the two-film, two-man fight everyone's expecting for the Oscars tonight. All of the acting awards went to the respective Oscar nominee front-runner and all should repeat their wins tonight give or take Eddie Redmayne making good on his precursor successes. Whiplash (Supporting Actor and Editing) and Nightcrawler (Screenplay and First Feature) were the only other films who won multiple awards making the latter's lack of Oscar love all the more egregious.
Apart from Nightcrawler though, other Spirit-winning films that won't be honored much at the Oscars tomorrow include Dear White People, Inherent Vice, and Land Ho!. So on the one hand, it's heartening that so many of the Oscar front-runners come from "independent films" but on the other hand, I'm saddened for the sameness of the films and performances being awarded. So shout out to Love is Strange, Obvious Child, The One I Love, The Guest, Jenny Slate, Tilda Swinton, David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Jessica Chastain, Alfred Molina, etc.