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article image'Birdman' wins Best Feature at Indie Spirit Awards as Oscars loom

By Tim O'Brien     Feb 21, 2015 in Entertainment
In what may be a preview of the Oscars, the 30th Independent Spirit Awards were handed out today (Feb. 21). “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” took home Best Feature Film.
But, Richard Linklater won Best Director for "Boyhood." That may be what happens tomorrow night when the Oscars are handed out in Hollywood. It would be like awarding two top prizes and both are winners. It does seem that Hollywood does like to award films that are about its business. Just look back at "Argo" and "The Artist" recently. Plus, the last two years, the director and the Best Film have not been the same.
That adds to the drama and could boost viewership. But, today, it was the Independent Spirit Awards that were in the spotlight. It was aired on television for the first time. A perfect fit, one would think, was airing it on IFC. But, others may think that letting into a commercial broadcast defeats the purpose. But, it is still a business.
It did seem to go like expected with Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons, Julianne Moore and Michael Keaton winning their respective categories. But, for Keaton and his Best Male Lead prize, his main competition was not present. Eddie Redmayne and his "The Theory of Everything" are not indie qualified.
To be qualified a film needs to have a budget of under $20 million, as the main rule. But, on that note, "Foxcatcher," not allowed, won a special award.
Perhaps a pleasant surprise were two awards for "Nightcrawler," which stars Jake Gyllenhaal. It won screenplay and first feature prizes.
Held under a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, CA., the Indie Spirit Awards pride on being loose and carefree. Held the night before Oscar, they are not there to upstage them, but rather, offer up the Indie side of movies. However, that often overlaps as Oscars often overlook the blockbuster and go small.
"Birdman" did enter the day with the most nominations with six. See earlier story here.
Best Feature
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” *WINNER
Best Director
Richard Linklater,
Best Female Lead
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Best Male Lead
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Best Supporting Female
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Best Supporting Male
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Best Screenplay
Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Best First Feature
Best First Screenplay
Justin Simien, “Dear White People”
Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
Best Editing
Tom Cross, “Whiplash”
Best International Film
Best Documentary
Special Distinction Award
Robert Altman Award
“Inherent Vice”
Piaget Producers Award
Chris Ohlson
John Cassavetes Award
“Land Ho!”
Lenscrafters Truer Than Fiction Award
Dan Krauss, director of “The Kill Team”
Kiehl’s Someone To Watch Award
Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia, directors of “H”
Next and the last stop on the long award season is the Oscars, which take place in Hollywood Sunday, Feb. 22. The red carpet prep is still ongoing as usual. The black color scheme from the past few years is gone. In is white/gold/red and screens that move to form a picture.
Security is also tight as usual, as all around the Dolby Theater, roads will be off limits and tourists and fans will not be allowed near the place on Sunday. Fans in the bleachers go through a background check and are picked in advance.
Neil Patrick Harris will host and the team from "Frozen" have written a new number just for the show. It is said to be the first number of the evening.
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