The Film Independent Spirit Awards celebrate the very best in independent filmmaking. Actor Andy Samberg hosts this year’s ceremony, which airs Saturday, February 23 at 10 p.m. ET on IFC.
Can’t wait to find out the big winners? XFINITY Entertainment Editor David Onda attended the pre-taped event, which took place on Santa Monica beach in California. Presenters included Amy Poehler, Bryan Cranston, Channing Tatum, Chris Tucker, Common, Dermot Mulroney, Dennis Quaid, Ellen Page, Emily Mortimer, Fred Armisen, Jake Johnson, Jason Bateman, Jeremy Renner, Jason Schwartzman, Kerry Washington, Matthew McConaughey, Rashida Jones, Salma Hayek, Sofia Coppola, Zoe Saldana and more.
SPIRIT AWARDS WINNERS:
The Spirit Awards are beginning with a hilarious spoof trailer starring host Andy Samberg and Marisa Tomei. Samberg is out to start the show. FYI – Jennifer Lawrence showed up at the very last moment wearing a black dress. She still looks stunning. I also got a close-up look at Daniel Radcliffe who is the tiniest man ever.
Andy Samberg says IFC’s catchphrase is “always on, slightly off,” and says that it’s also Anne Hathaway’s catchphrase. Each table has huge bottles of Jameson whiskey. And tiny bottles of Jameson, which Samberg pokes fun at, and also adds that there is no horse meat in the food. Andy does a cinematographer joke that bombs and he says, “We can probably cut that one.” His monologue is really funny. And there is also a ton of cursing! The F-word count is high. I assume they’ll be bleeping a lot.
Samberg to the Oscars: “You can keep your Matthew McConaughey, because we’ve got… Matthew McConaughey.”
First award will be presented by Kerry Washington. It will be the award for the Best First Screenplay. And the winner is… Derek Connolly for “Safety Not Guaranteed.” And his reception speech has been so long. I’ve been told that there is no “play-off” music. Wow. Bryan Cranston just came on stage with a bottle of Jameson and poured him a drink. Kerry Washington literally had to come over and tell him to leave. That was very unusual.
Dermot Mulroney and Emily Mortimer are on to present the next award for Best First Feature. And the winner is… “Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
Next on stage is Matthew McConaughey. He’s looking for Derek Connolly. He said, “Way to take your time.” McConaughey is talking about the nominated movie “Bernie.” And he’s talking about his mother appearing in the film with him. Matthew claims that ever his, his mom has been approaching producers trying to get them to remake “The Graduate” with her as the star.
Next to the stage, the Presidents of Film Independent. They talk. Now on stage are Jason Bateman and Rashida Jones. They are presenting the award for Best Supporting Actor. And the winner is… McConaughey for “Magic Mike“! He sings a song about having to take his pants off to win an award. He is also nominated tonight for “Killer Joe.”
Next to the stage is Paula Patton. She’s on stage to introduce the winner of the Producer’s Award, Mynette Louie.
Now, Laura Dern is on stage to present the Robert Altman Award to the movie “Starlet.”
Next on stage are Ellen Paige and Daniel Radcliffe. They are presenting the award for Best International Film. “Amour,” which is nominated in a few categories at tomorrow’s Oscars, is nominated in this category. “War Witch,” one of the most haunted films I’ve seen this year, is also nominated. And the winner is … “Amour.”
McConaughey is now in the press tent. Still looking very thin. Someone asked if he “uses his dance moves at home.” He says, “None of your business.”
Next on stage is Chris Tucker, introducing the next Best Feature nominee, “Silver Linings Playbook.” He is followed by Common and Zoe Saldana, who are handing out the John Cassavetes Award. And the winner is… “Middle of Nowhere.”
Next on stage is Quvenzhane Wallis introducing Best Feature nominee “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” I got to see her up close on the red carpet and she’s absolutely adorable, but appeared to be a bit overwhelmed by all the attention. Fred Armisen and Kyle Maclachlan to present the award for Best Supporting Actress. And the winner is… Helen Hunt for “The Sessions.” A well-deserved win for her. It was a very brave performance, and a fanstastic movie.
Next up are Aubrey Plaza and Jake Johnson, who are presenting the award for Best Cinematography. And the winner is… Ben Richardson for “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
Helen Hunt is in the press tent. She says she can’t believe the movie got made at all, and says she doesn’t think she will win at the Oscars tomorrow. Also, she’ll be wearing her own clothes to the Oscars. Hunt also said that, because she got the film three weeks before shooting, she didn’t have time to worry about her physical condition. She added that “The Sessions” will be the only time she will take off her clothes for a film.
Paul Rudd is now on the stage. He is presenting the award for Best Screenplay. The video montage for this category features “Bad Lip-reading” style audio. It’s pretty amazing. And the winner is… David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Last time Russell won a Spirit Award was 19 years ago. He says his son was 1-year-old at the time and thanks him for inspiring his direction in this movie.
Next on stage are Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth, who are introducing their Best Feature film, “Keep the Lights On.” Andy then does a movie trailer spoof with Jack Black who is supposed to be Quvenzhane Wallis’ stand-in. The camera later cuts to Wallis, whose facial expression is absolutely priceless.
Dave Grohl is presenting the award for Best Documentary. There are some amazing films in this category. And the winner is… “The Invisible War.” This film is also nominated for an Oscar, and will be coming to PBS in May (if I recall correctly). If you haven’t seen the movie, it is one of the few documentaries that has actually assisted in altering military policy.
Bryan Cranston and Amy Poehler are now presenting the award for Best Director. And the winner is… David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook”! Another win for the Philadelphia-made film. Foreshadowing of the film’s success tomorrow at the Oscars? Russell dedicates the film to any family who battles with mood disorder. Did you know I interviewed David O. Russell? Read my interview here.
Next on stage is Jeremy Renner, who threatens to break Andy Samberg’s neck because of a joke. Renner says he’s going to have trouble pronouncing the names of the nominees for Best Actress. He’s not joking. He struggled with Linda Cardellini. And the winner is… Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Jason Schwartzman is introducing Best Feature nominee “Moonrise Kingdom.” Schwartzman pokes fun at the fact that all of Wes Anderson‘s movies generally have the same look.
Now Salma Hayek is on stage to present the award for Best Actor. Will Matthew McConaughey win another one today? Will Bradley Cooper make it a huge night for “Silver Linings Playbook”? Will Jack Black win an award for acting? Will underdogs John Hawkes, Thure Lindhardt or Wendell Pierce take it?
The winner is… John Hawkes for “The Sessions“! What a great surprise. He should have been nominated for an Oscar. Hawkes thanks Helen Hunt for her “guts” and William H. Macy for his “wit.” It was a touching acceptance speech.
Dennis Quaid is on stage to present the big one: Best Feature. Which film will take it?
And the winner is… “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.”
The show is now over. Samberg says he will see Renner in the parking lot. The press room is still open and we’ll still have winners coming through to give interviews. Here comes John Hawkes… who calls the role a “physical challenge.” A reporter asked him if he was feeling confident about winning the Oscar tomorrow. Hawkes replied, “Well, I’m not nominated, so I have very little confidence.” His next role is a movie called “The Switch,” but says they’re looking to change the title because Jennifer Aniston did a movie called “The Switch.”
The producers of “Silver Linings Playbook” are on the stage now, and say that they were sure they weren’t going to win today and they’re sure they aren’t going to win tomorrow. One of the producers is working on a Broadway musical version of “Big Fish.”
Another interesting note: “Safety Not Guaranteed” director Derek Connolly “had to leave early,” and didn’t come to the press tent. Neither did Jennifer Lawrence, although we are not sure why. That’s all from Santa Monica!
Be sure to tune in to the XFINITY.com live Oscars chat tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.