We are live on the beaches of Santa Monica for the 2011 Indie Spirit Awards. It's a sunny but blistering February afternoon. The clouds will likely roll in as the show starts at 2 pm. Winners will be ushered into the press tent to give their last comments before tomorrow's season-finale Oscar showdown. Check back for live updates. Here is the complete list of nominees.
In his intro, Joel McHale takes a stab at many films and faces. From the "unknown" Aussie actress Nicole Kidman ("is that how you pronounce it?") to Black Swan, the film we'll remembers as the one where "the girl from That 70's Show eats out Luke Skywalker's mom."
AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Best Feature: Black Swan, Producers Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver, Director Darren Aronofsky
Aronofsky: "I love the Spirit Awards…hopefully I'll have a career where I can come back and fourth [between big and low budget films and the Spirit Awards]." On 'independent film': "I think independence is when you are independent from the financial realities, it's a hard word to describe…it's when the filmmakers are in control of the film rather than the people paying for the movie…any time you try to do anything thats not in the box it's a challenge."
Aronofsky on Portman: "You don't have to be insane to be a good actor."
Best Female Lead: Black Swan, Natalie Portman
"This is so meaningful to me, this is my first time here, I think it speaks so much to he independent filmmaking community to have [these six female performances...names all actresses] you are all absolutely inspirational to me, and I watch everything you do so closely and learn so much from it."
Best Director: Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky
"Thanks [Fox Searchlight] for putting your necks out, because on paper this was a really stupid move."
"Everyone said this movie wouldn't make money, and now [the investors] are fucking rich."
"...to have this wonderful performer give you everything she's got...I'll always be in debt to Natalie Portman." (From acceptance speech)
Best Cinematography: Black Swan, Matthew Libatique
"I am very happy and thankful I have a relationship with a director such as [Darren Aronofsky]...When you look at all of Darren's films, the idea of subjective camera is the first and foremost guideline...Ballet brought a lot of complications for the camera and the light, and -- I don't know -- I guess I did OK! Thank you."
Best Screenplay: The Kids Are All Right, Stuart Blumberg & Lisa Cholodenko
Cholodenko: "I was told early in the process to focus on the creative stuff and get my head out of the producing...so I don't know how they sold it...I didn't want to make an overtly political movie, and I'm glad we didn't,...but [the film] does show how ridiculous it is that we don't have [gay marriage] civil rights in this country."
Best Foreign Film: The King's Speech, Tom Hooper
"It's not so much about me, it's about honoring the people [who were involved with the film]…it was very tough to get it made. The biggest challenge was putting it together, people were not lining up to finance the film. In the end films only happen if they believe you." On the Oscars: "I haven't read a single prediction, so I have no idea" but he admits he's nervous, naturally. On the UK financing films,"I believe the film is going to make them so much money back."
Best Male Lead: 127 Hours, James Franco
"I'm feeling pretty good [about hosting the Oscars tomorrow night],…I am kind of joining a bigger apparatus, so it's gonna be, you know, pretty familiar, but it's going to be fun, they're allowing us to be relaxed, not forcing us into some mold."
Best First Feature: Get Low, Director Aaron Schneider, Producers David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck
Zanuck: "No one is really looking to finance a film set in the south with a first time director…but we knew we had a really good script, Aaron was fighting right there with me…we just had to will it to happen…everyone was conspiring against it…without David this film would not have been made."
Best Documentary: Exit Through The Gift Shop, Banksy (Thierry Guetta Accepts)
"It's a film that some people watch and some people get inspired with, it's just a fun film and something came out of it…already there is one [award], it's another step, and why not another one? To be nominated is already a winner for us…Tomorrow is another day, [but] maybe [Banksy] is somewhere here now, maybe he is sitting somewhere next to you right now…it's all about to have a passion in your life and follow your dream, to make it happen, because nothing can stop you…just don't listen to anybody. because I believe in me, i am here today,…you just have to have the passion in yourself and believe it. 100% passion and do it from your heart...[yells] Life is beautiful, remember that!"
Best Supporting Male: Winter's Bone, John Hawkes
"I wish I could remember everyone [to thank] but I guess that's what IMDb is for…a special thank you to Jennifer Lawrence for her amazing work. She was brave and she was always there, a very present actress. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you, Jen." (From acceptance speech)
"I was lucky enough to be from a small town and be around people who scared me--a lot…when the camera rolls I try to forget it all and just be present…[this is] surreal, I've had relative anonymity for years and I like that, but whats great about this is the more people who see this movie…the more films like this will get made…one thing I think is interesting is people say Tear Drop changes…but I don't think he changes at all,..he's just protecting his niece."
Budget doesn't matter to him, "if I can find a great story and a great part, I'll be there."
Best Supporting Female: Winter's Bone, Dale Dickey:
"Oh my god. Thank you, thank you voters, thank you film, independent film community…I have to thank Joel McHale for my new bruises from holding the chainsaw between my knees the other day…I have seen so many films….I am so inspired by the independent film community,…the people of Missouri,…you know who you are, we love you." (From acceptance Speech)
"Always being a character actress, work is up and down, but a lot of people have seen the movie and I'm getting more auditions…As long as I get more work I'm a happy chick…The Award is beautiful, it's a real thrill to be honored by this community. This movie was so strong with women, producers, director, stars…I [also] share this with the women of Missouri…every time I see the film I am more in awe of [Jennifer Lawrence's] performance."
"If you love it don't compare yourself to anyone, if you don't, cut and run."
John Cassavettes Award: Daddy Longlegs, Writer/Directors Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Producers Casey Neistat & Tom Scott
"We didn't write anything because we really thought it was impossible."
"Independence [re: 'independent filmmaking'] has nothing to do with money, it has to do with what the filmmaker wants to express...the state of mind."
"I don't think we could have made a movie like this if we had $10 million dollars." They made it for under $500k. "There are benefits to making [films] with super limited resources."
Robert Altman Award: Please Give, Director Nicole Holofcener & Cast
Amanda Peet: "I wasn't really approached on the film, i kind of stalked Nicole..I begged and begged, my agents kept calling, and finally we met…it seemed like forever until I got the part."
Best First Screenplay: Tiny Furniture, Lena Dunham
"As trite as it sounds, it was just about writing what was vital and personal…I'm so excited. The idea of giving advice is crazy, I feel like such a doofus most of the time…"