Monday, February 27, 2017

Moonlight shines at Film Independent Spirit awards on eve of Oscars

Sunday 26 February 2017

Oscar-tipped drama Moonlight was the big winner at this year’s Film Independent Spirit awards, picking up six awards, including best feature.

The low-budget tale of a black gay man growing up in a deprived Miami neighborhood now holds the record for the most awards won by a single film this decade at the ceremony. Jeremy Kleiner thanked fellow producer Brad Pitt who “continues to inspire us with his curiosity and his desire for good work”.

Spirit awards, picking up six awards, including best feature.

The low-budget tale of a black gay man growing up in a deprived Miami neighborhood now holds the record for the most awards won by a single film this decade at the ceremony. Jeremy Kleiner thanked fellow producer Brad Pitt who “continues to inspire us with his curiosity and his desire for good work”.


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The film also won best director for Barry Jenkins, best cinematography, best editing, the Robert Altman award and the prize for best screenplay for Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue was the inspiration for the project.

“There are a lot of people who pushed that script away from their desks,” a tearful McCraney said. He went on to thank those who made the decision to sign onto the film without worrying about the potentially damaging effect a gay film would have on their careers.

Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert won best female lead for her role in darkly comic thriller Elle, winning out over Natalie Portman and Annette Bening. “I think good cinema is always independent,” she said. “I want to thank [Elle director] Paul Verhoeven for being so independent.”

Casey Affleck was also named best male lead for playing a grieving brother in Manchester by the Sea. At the end of his speech he made reference to Trump’s government, saying: “The policies of this administration are abhorrent and they will not last. They’re really un-American.”

Hell or High Water’s Ben Foster beat out category favorite, and Oscar nominee, Lucas Hedges for best supporting male for his role in the heist thriller while an excitable Molly Shannon picked up best supporting female for playing a mother dealing with terminal cancer in comedy drama Other People.

The award for best documentary was won by O.J.: Made in America, the critically acclaimed seven-hour film that’s also the favorite to win the same award at tomorrow’s Oscars. Another Oscar front-runner, German comedy Toni Erdmann picked up best international film. “I’m really happy and proud to stand here as a female director because it’s still not normal enough that women are directing films,” director Maren Ade said. The acclaimed film was recently picked up for a Hollywood remake, set to star Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig.

Period horror tale The Witch was awarded best first feature while writer-director Robert Eggers picked up best first screenplay. He thanked “all the Puritans” for writing so much of their lives down, making his job easier.

“We like to think of these awards as the ones without Mel Gibson” co-host Nick Kroll said before joking about the Academy’s acceptance of this year’s best director nominee after his “anti-Semitic” jokes. He then claimed that, using the same eight year forgiveness logic, Steve Bannon will be featuring at the Oscars in 2024.

His comedy partner John Mulaney made the first political reference of the night, referring to the downbeat nominees: “These films are, to quote the president ‘sad!’”

The hosts also predicted that speeches throughout the night were likely to include more Trump jabs. But given the small scale of the ceremony, Kroll joked: “In terms of impact, you could give your speech direct to camera or you could whisper it in the bathroom.”

Mulaney added: “Hey Trump, you and Robert Durst are both rich sociopaths from New York real estate empires but somehow Robert Durst is more likable”

The awards arrive on the eve of this year’s Oscars where Moonlight is one of the front-runners with eight nominations alongside La La Land and Manchester by the Sea.

not mine.credit and source: THE GUARDIAN

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