Sunday, February 25, 2007

List of those who won this year's Independent Spirit Awards.

If the Oscars are supposed to be the Senior Prom, where all the big shots get together in fancy dresses and tuxedos to hand out superlatives, then I guess that makes the Independent Spirit Awards the 'NERD PROM' (i.e. that guy's house where all the dorks go to play D&D and watch Battlestar Gallactica while making fun of the soc's).

Guess this year's Nerd Prom went off without a hitch. Here are the winners as well as commentary by me, when necessary.


Best Feature: "Little Miss Sunshine"

Here we have it! I really think this film has a solid darkhorse chance of stealing the best picture Oscar away from 'Babel'. Here are three reasons why: 1) While all the movies nominated for Best Feature at the Oscars this year are awards whores - meaning movies whose sole purpose in life was to win awards - Little Miss Sunshine is the only film in the entire list of statue sluts that isn't entirely stuck-up. The stuffy awards whore vote has been split four ways between 'Babel', 'The Departed', 'Letters from Iwa Jima', and 'The Queen', so 'Little Miss Sunshine' could very well win by default. 2) LMS is a comedy, and I think the genre has been due for Oscar recognition for sometime. 3) LMS came out on DVD before any of the other films nominated this year, that's the only reason anyone could justify 'Crash's' win from last year, besides America's unyielding homophobia.

Best Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, "Little Miss Sunshine"

Best First Feature: "Sweet Land"

Too bad CFVF judge Ramin Bahrani didn't win for 'Man Push Cart'. I have not had a chance to see 'Sweet Land', but perhaps I should check it out.

Best Documentary: "The Road to Guantanamo"

Best Foreign Film:
"The Lives of Others"

Lady Vengeance totally owned this award, but wasn't even nominated. I guess Hollywood still wants to pretend that Korea doesn't exist.

Best Female Lead: Shareeka Epps, "Half Nelson"

I liked Shareeka Epps in 'Half Nelson' more than I did 'Ryan Gosling'. That's a strong compliment mind you, because Gosling did a very good job acting in that film as well. Epps had the natural power of a young Jodie Foster. I wonder what her next project will be? Hopefully she can hibernate during the time when she's likely to be casted in sex comedies and lousy horror films, and come out on top with a list of films that can really use her talents.

Best Male Lead: Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson"

Does that mean he will win tonight? Hell no. This is the only time Gosling will get the nod over Forest Whitaker this year. Again, I hope he will continue to find work that makes use of his talents. When I saw 'The Notebook', I remember thinking that had he and Amy Adams not been so likable, the movie's absurd plot would have made me punch a pencil through my brain.

Best Supporting Female: Frances McDormand, "Friends With Money"

Best Supporting Male: Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"

Why do I think Arkin will win the Oscar over Eddie Murphy? Simple, he's a reliable, working actor who's been in the business for a long time, and he didn't star in 'Norbit'.

Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman, "Thank You For Smoking"
Well deserved.

Best First Screenplay:
Michael Arndt, "Little Miss Sunshine"

Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro, "Pan's Labyrinth"

'Pan's Labrynth' is really more of a foreign film than an 'Indie'. The film had a tremendous budget, making Best Cinematography an easier win because they had expensive sets, lighting rigs, etc. 'Man Push Cart' totally deserved this award.

Someone to Watch Award: Julia Loktev, "Day Night Day Night"

And the award for 'Most Pointless Awards Title' goes to....

John Cassavetes Award: "QuinceaƱera"

I am amazed they made this film for under 500,000 bucks. Check it out, it's really good.

Truer Than Fiction Award: Adele Horne, "The Tailenders"

Producers Award: Howard Gertler and Tim Perell, "Shortbus," "Pizza"

Special Distinction: David Lynch, Laura Dern, "Inland Empire"

Remember, this one's coming to The Carolina Theatre in Greensboro on March 16!

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