By David Poland email@example.com
Indie Spirits: Life’s a Beach
There’s been all kinds of self-congratulation about indies being back, but none of that was in evidence on a surprisingly sunny day that left the inside of the Independent Spirit Awards tent about 10 degrees colder than the chilly afternoon in Santa Monica. Only the pregnant woman who won Best Actress – pumping extra blood for two – may have gone through the show without feeling the chill.
Also chilling was the effort by IFC to shoot the show live to tape, which meant looooong commercial breaks that didn’t send anyone scurrying back to their seat when the show returned. As a result, literally hundreds of guests would be milling about and chatting during much of the show, seemingly unaware that a show was going on.
As for the awards, there were a grand total of zero surprises. The most popular films won all the big categories, including The King’s Speech winning for foreign film (we can talk about that some other time) and Black Swan winning every award for which it was nominated – not screenplay – and suffering the idiocy of having Matty Libatique’s Cinematography win, ISA’s only non-writing below-the-line award, made into an afterthought that was not presented as part of the 2 hour show. Really? This is independent spirit? Cutting out categories from the show? (The other award cut was to Lena Dunham for Best First Screenplay.)
I was certainly pleased by many of the winners, but the show really is broken at this point. The room was fuller than ever, heavily relying on donors and sponsors at the $500 a seat tables. And it’s lost all of its spontaneity. Joel McHale was okay… just. Though it is unclear why Black Swan was not introduced by anyone on Team Swan, even though the camera was set up there, it may have been a cunnilingus rant by McHale featuring Princess Leia’s mom.
As always, the gift bags are the best quality bags in all of the awards world. Best.
But as after last year, there will be a cry for a better, smarter, ore independent show next year.