Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, Drive My Car and Summer of Soul were among the big winners at the 37th Film Independent Spirit Awards on Sunday.
he ceremony, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, took place in a tent on Santa Monica Beach. The awards are considered a casual counterpart to some of the more traditional film award shows.
“If you don’t win, you can just run straight into the sea,” Offerman joked.
Gyllenhaal won Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay for her adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel The Lost Daughter.
Through tears, Gyllenhaal said she believes in love more than anything. She was effusive in her praise for her crew.
“They were the first people to tell me I was a director,” she said. “Thanks to Netflix – I can’t believe it – for your support. No one ever makes their first film loving their financiers.
“I love independent films,” Gyllenhaal added. “I grew up watching independent films.”
Japan’s Drive My Car, which was also nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, won Best International Feature Film.
Taylour Paige won best female lead for Zola based on a Twitter thread about a wild trip to Florida.
“Wow, I’m shocked. I wrote something because I’m not eloquent and drunk,” Paige said.
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She thanked her grandmother, who died the day she found out about her nomination, and Zola for “knowing her story was worth telling.”
Simon Rex won best male lead for playing an ex-porn star in Sean Baker’s Red Rocket. Rex said his career was in the dumps before Baker called him for the mini-film.
“I’m stunned by the whole experience,” said Rex. “This is basically a glorified student film…I am grateful and humbled.”
Mullally and Offerman got off to a lively start to the show, both in three-piece suits and shirtless vests underneath. Sarah Silverman appeared in a pre-taped segment offering her services as a backup host because Mullally and Offerman joined Twitter “before 2015”.
The married co-hosts said they had hoped to be the biggest Hollywood couple in the room and were dismayed that Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard were there to prop them up.
“A-listers and indie stars? Pick your lead, you greedy bastards,” Offerman said.
They acknowledged Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Offerman said he hopes “Putin (expletive) off and goes home” and implored the audience to salute him with a “Spirit Awards salute.” Many raised their hands with a middle finger.
The show’s honorary chair Kristen Stewart also spoke about the war.
“We are forced to stand by the people of Ukraine,” Stewart said. “We stand behind the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing this war.”
Historically, the Spirit Awards are held on Saturday afternoons before the Oscars, but this year they’ve been brought forward by several weeks.
Summer of Soul won Best Documentary. The film brings the largely forgotten 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival back to life.
“I’m not going to cry now, I’m not, I’m not,” said Summer of Soul director Questlove.
Troy Kotsur got another boost ahead of the Oscars, winning Best Supporting Actor for Coda. He also won the Screen Actors Guild award.
“I can feel the spirit of the art and we can celebrate together,” said Kotsur.
Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae also followed up his SAG win with a Spirit Award.
Marlee Matlin, who presented Michael Sarnoski with the first screenwriting award for “Pig,” urged screenwriters to think about deaf actors when creating screenplays.
Andrew Garfield showed up to present the Robert Altman Award to his friend Fran Kranz, with whom he starred in a Mike Nichols play. Kranz’s debut Mass is a small ensemble about mediation after a school shooting between the parents of a victim and the parents of the perpetrator.
Best Supporting Actress went to Ruth Negga for her role in Rebecca Hall’s Passing. A technical error silenced the first part of her virtual speech. The black and white Netflix film also won Best Camera for Edu Grau
The awards show can sometimes serve as a preview of what will happen on Oscar night. Last year, Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland took home Best Feature Film and Best Director at the Spirit Awards before winning top honors at the Oscars. Moonlight, Spotlight, Birdman and 12 Years a Slave also all won at Spirits before taking Best Picture at the Oscars.
Due to their production budgets, many contenders for this year’s top prizes were not eligible, including Belfast, King Richard and The Power of the Dog. To be considered, films must have cost less than $22.5 million (£17 million) to make.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/maggie-gyllenhaals-the-lost-daughter-wins-big-at-independent-spirit-awards-41418329.html Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter wins at the Independent Spirit Awards