Last night’s Oscars may have finally wrapped up the months-long tribute to the year in movies that were Chicago, but there were also other awards ceremonies this weekend, and other movies besides Chicago. Most importantly there was the Independent Spirit Awards, which honored films made well outside the mainstream—like big winner Silver Linings Playbook, which took home Best Feature, Best Female Lead for Jennifer Lawrence, and Best Director and Best Screenplay for David O. Russell, honoring its daring commitment to fringe filmmaking. Similarly, a best supporting actor nod went to Matthew McConaughey for his role in Magic Mike, the bleak arthouse drama from noted outsider director Steven Soderbergh that bravely gambled on its small audience of cineastes gravitating toward the grim symbolism of watching physically fit men take off their shirts.
It wasn’t all niche appeal, however: In a clear bid for ratings, awards also went to the multiplex-friendly raunchy rom-coms Amour and The Sessions, with the latter seeing John Hawkes and Helen Hunt take home best actor and best supporting actress who didn’t have to endure any jokes about everyone seeing her breasts, respectively. And Stephen Chbosky’s teen sex romp The Perks Of Being A Wallflower received the award for best first feature (the same honor claimed by its spiritual predecessor Porky’s, if our research is accurate).
And while there was also reportedly a minor incident involving Safety Not Guaranteed writer and best first screenplay winner Derek Connolly, whose “lengthy, rambling” acceptance speech—fueled by event sponsor Jameson, with Bryan Cranston even popping up midway to freshen Connolly’s drink—it fortunately ended with Kerry Washington ushering him off stage, thus ensuring that the Independent Spirit Awards would not be further ruined by a surfeit of independence or spirits.
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