Oscar History

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Spirit Award Winners

The first national live television broadcast in the US took place in 1951 but sixty-three years later, certain awards shows are unaware that this technology has been invented yet. The Spirit Awards will be broadcast on IFC tonight at 10PM EST the tent in Santa Monica will be cleared and we'll know all the winners and we'll have probably have lost interest completely, this being Oscar weekend when time is precious and tight.

That's Greta Gerwig left on the red carpet (that's where the stream froze so that's the expression you get!) where she said...

The Spirit Awards are my jam."

The best moment on the red carpet was definitely birthday girl Lupita Nyong'o evading questions about what she's doing on Monday once the Oscars are over.

I'm getting away from here."

She wouldn't say why, what for, or where. Smart girl.


Best First Screenplay: Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club. (He nearly swept the season of major prizes but for the BAFTAs and two smaller but still key prizes: NBR & NSFC). And he reportedly thanked:

...all the women I've been with and all the women who think they've been with me... and my future ex-wife Lupita"


Best First Feature: Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station
Best Editing: Nat Sanders, Short Term 12  
Ensemble Award: Cast, director and casting director of Mud 
Best Screenplay: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Piaget Producer's Awards: Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston (Upstream Color, Aint Them Bodies Saints, Pit Stop)
John Cassavettes Award: Chad Hartigan, This is Martin Bonner
Cinematography: Sean Bobbit, 12 Years a Slave 
Supporting Actress:Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave 
Documentary: 20 Feet From Stardom
Foreign Film: Blue is the Warmest Color
Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave 
Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club 
Film: 12 Years a Slave

And there you have it. As I say each year, despite the quality of their winners, there's no point in Film Independent existing if they're just covering the same mainstream ground as every other group. If all four of those acting winners repeat tomorrow night with Oscar (and they're all frontrunners) it will be the first time in history. But they've been working towards that merger for a long time now.

It's practically a flashing neon sign telling Film Independent that they need to rethink their goddamn raison d'être. They have lost their identity and now basically they're just a cheaper version of the Globes and maybe a slightly pricer version of the BFCA.  It's time for them to lower the budget requirements and get back to focusing on new voices and truly independent ones that need the attention. The only area you see that anymore with the Spirits is that one prize "The John Cassavettes" which went to the wonderful This is Martin Bonner which is currently available on Netflix Instant Watch so go watch it. 


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Reader Comments (14)

While I'm not thrilled these look so much like Oscar matches, I'm really happy Sean Bobbit won for Cinematography. He did wonderful work and should have snagged an Oscar nod.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese


March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

is there at all an award that Blanchett hasn't won?

oh, wait, yes, the NBR and one more I think.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

How uninteresting.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

And did lupita thank leto in her speech?
If something like this happened on oscar night, even the pundits will be crazy

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

Because Leto is straght, not gay. Straight.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I don't even think it's as though they need to honor films as obscure as This is Martin Bonner - it would have been nice to see a few nods tossed to Ain't Them Bodies Saints, for instance (it won best cinematography at Sundance and it should have been nominated here), or a best actor nomination for Tye Sheridan (maybe he was ineligible, though, because of the Robert Altman award).

They could change the eligibility requirement to films made for $10 million or less. That would have eliminated 12 Years, Nebraska and Blue Jasmine from contention (not to mention something like Silver Linings Playbook, which swept these awards last year). But I don't even think they enforce the $20 million threshold now; SLP had a larger budget than that, and I've read that 12 Years' budget was as high as $22 million.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Oh how I wish they'd would listen to you. I use to LOVE these awards because they were different from the mainstream - because they brought a breath of fresh air to the award season and acknowledged people who weren't mainstream "stars". The fact that Brie didn't win here because Blanchett starred in a fucking Woody Allen film (which is so mainstream it's a little gross) is a real travesty. Oh well - it sure must be nice to get that one part in that one film these days that just sweeps all the awards. Crazy.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

Slightly related: check out this interview with Julie Delpy where she slams the American independent film scene and the Oscars

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Why the hell was Greta Gerwig SNUBBED in the Best Actress race, but Frances Ha was a Best Picture nominee? The film WAS Greta's story. Mind boggling.

March 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason Travis

I know one should separate the art from the artist and all that, but damn if Leto doesn't make me think less of his own work by opening his mouth.

March 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

Nathan, you make great points. I did enjoy the speeches, especially Cate and Lupita's. What was up with Oswalt d-bagging Bruce about his age. Idiot.

March 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Long gone are the days when Linda Fiorentino would win for THE LAST SEDUCTION, you know? One of these days they'll claim that because the visual effects firms are independent, that films like GRAVITY are now eligible, too. It's ridiculous.

March 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

"I don't even think it's as though they need to honor films as obscure as This is Martin Bonner - it would have been nice to see a few nods tossed to Ain't Them Bodies Saints, for instance (it won best cinematography at Sundance and it should have been nominated here), or a best actor nomination for Tye Sheridan (maybe he was ineligible, though, because of the Robert Altman award)."

Then you are missing the point of the Spirit Awards. This is Martin Bonner got the Cassavetes Award that is about films within a certain budget getting an award. It cost $42,000 and since you seem to be opining to have a harder cut off in budget then I am wondering why you seem to want it both way. I am assuming you have not seen it since you call it obscure, despite being on Netflix, but it is a lovely film with lovely performances. A totally deserving winner.

Plus, the Ain't Them Bodies Saints producers got a special award for their output this particular year.

March 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

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