USA TODAY US Edition
‘Spotlight’ shines at indie Spirit Awards
Honoring low-budget films leads to diverse lineup of winners
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. Life’s a beach for Spotlight, which took home the prize for best feature film at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday.
With five wins, Spotlight swept the Spirit Awards, which honor independent fare (movies made for under $20 million). The show, held annually the day before the Oscars, was a lighthearted affair, with booze flowing and salty ocean air whipping through the ceremony in a large white tent just off the Pacific.
Tom McCarthy won best director for Spotlight, Brie Larson won best female lead for Room, and young Ghanaian actor Abraham Attah won best male lead for
Beasts of No Nation. (Attah’s costar Idris Elba, who was in the best-supporting-actor category for Beasts, also won.)
Backstage, McCarthy, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams introduced the real Boston Globe reporters who inspired their roles. “We stand on the shoulders of these journalists,” the director said.
As Oscar rehearsals were in full swing across town, hosts Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani kicked off festivities Saturday afternoon parodying
Room, and then got in a few digs at the Oscars.
“The Spirit awards honor the year’s best movies you’ve been meaning to see,” Nanjiani cracked.
“We’re going to cuss. We’re going to flash some nip. We’re going to nominate some people who aren’t white,” McKinnon joked.
This year, Jessica Chastain (long a champion of independent film) served as the honorary chair at the Spirit Awards.
In keeping with the laid-back vibe, during the pre-broadcast
Tangerine executive producer Jay Duplass took the stage and pro- posed a drinking game. “Whenever someone says ‘independent’ or ‘spirit’ take a drink, so we’re all good and hammered,” he joked.
The Spirit Awards made history when trans actress Mya Taylor won best supporting actress for her work in Tangerine.
“I came from almost nothing. My life did a total 360,” Taylor said onstage. She added: “There is transgender talent. There’s very beautiful transgender talent. You’d better get out there and put them in your next movie!”