Precious dominates Indie Spirit Awards


Precious was given one final moment in the limelight before the Oscars by picking up major prizes at the Independent Spirit Awards.

The last precursor before the Academy Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards recognise the best indie films made for less than $US20 million. They do not require a cinematic release to be eligible for a nomination; they need only play at one of the major U.S. film festivals.

Precious was named Best Feature, beating competition from (500) Days of Summer, The Last Station, Amreeka and Sin Nombre.

The gritty urban drama also picked up prizes for director Lee Daniels and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher (Best First Screenplay). Oscar nominees Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique nabbed Best Female Lead and Best Supporting Female respectively. While Sidibe is considered a dark horse in the same category at the Academy Awards, Mo’Nique is a nearly unbackable favourite for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Fellow Oscar nominee Crazy Heart also picked up a couple of awards. The film claimed Best First Feature for director Scott Cooper, while star (and Oscar favourite) Jeff Bridges was named Best Male Lead.

Woody Harrelson was named Best Supporting Male for his performance in The Messenger. He too is nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards, although he is expected to lose to Inglourious BasterdsChristoph Waltz.

Other winners included (500) Days of Summer (Best Screenplay), An Education (Best Foreign Film), Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Best Documentary) and A Serious Man (Best Cinematography).

The fact that so many of the films nominated for Independent Spirit Awards are also nominated for an Oscar highlights the domination of the awards circuit by indie films in recent years.
That being said, in the awards’ 25-year history, only one Best Feature winner has gone on to take the top prize at the Academy Awards: 1986’s winner Platoon.

Check out the full list of winners here.

Interestingly, Oscar favourite The Hurt Locker was not eligible for the Independent Spirit Awards this year. In 2008, it received a Best Male Lead nom for star Jeremy Renner and Best Supporting Male for Anthony Mackie. It was not nominated for Best Picture or Best Director.

Discuss: Your thoughts on this year’s winners

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