By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

2012 Independent Spirit Awards

BEST FEATURE Silver Linings Playbook

BEST DIRECTOR David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

BEST SCREENPLAY Silver Linings Playbook

BEST FIRST FEATURE The Perks of Being a Wallflower

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY Safety Not Guaranteed

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Best feature made for under $500,000) Middle of Nowhere

BEST FEMALE LEAD Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

BEST MALE LEAD John Hawkes, The Sessions

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE Helen Hunt, The Sessions

BEST SUPPORTING MALE Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Beasts of the Southern Wild

BEST DOCUMENTARY The Invisible War

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM Amour

16th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD ($25,000) Mynette Louie

19th ANNUAL SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD ($25,000) Adam Leon, Gimme the Loot

STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD ($25,000) Peter Nicks, The Waiting Room

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Director, casting director, ensemble cast) Starlet
Director Sean Baker
Casting Director Julia Kim
Cast Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone

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“By the time the sounds of the Von Trapp children warbling ‘Silent Night’ drift through The Giver, you may find yourself wondering what fresh movie hell this is. In truth, the enervating hash of dystopian dread, vague religiosity and commercial advertising-style uplift is nothing if not stale. Adapted from Lois Lowry’s book for young readers, the story involves an isolated society that, with its cubistic dwellings, mindless smiles, monochromatic environs and nebulous communitarianism, seem modeled on a Scandinavian country or an old Mentos commercial.”
~ Manohla Dargis’ Deadly Lede For Review Of The Giver

“It’s possible that in the coming days or, God forbid, weeks, the president could have something more specific to say about the freighted decades-long history of political imbalance at work, in this case between a mostly black working-class town and its majority white government and police force. But this is a black man who must choose his words about race, governance, and law enforcement even more carefully than a white politician would. And this is the third summer in which, as president, he would have to do so…

“Until this point in the turmoil, the absence of the crucial second face in the incident seemed to heighten the distance between police and the people they serve. It grants them both an anonymity and autonomy that matches the bizarre transformation, in Ferguson and elsewhere, of police into troops. The riot gear turns 2014 into a dot on a Jim Crow–era timeline. Since the officer’s name wasn’t made public more immediately, it should have seemed urgent for the police to lose the riot attire and take steps to minimize distrust, to dispel the contagious assumption that silence equates racism…

“What is so affecting isn’t just that 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed when he was barely a man. It’s other things as well. One was how many reports of the incident that first day mentioned that he was about to start college. That’s a rite that’s universally emotional. But for a black male from a poor family, the first day of college is a freighted day that usually requires the sacrifice of more than one person. Black people know the odds of getting to and graduating from college, and that they’re low. That Brown seemed to be on the right path compounded the parental, local, and national outrage over his being wiped from it.”

~ Wesley Morris On Let’s Be Cops, The Shooting In Ferguson, Obama…