“Spotlight” Cleans Up At The Indie Spirits

Though it’ll face more competition tomorrow night at the Oscars, Spotlight won big at tonight’s Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The film beat out nomination count leaders Carol and Beasts of No Nation for Best Film, Screenplay and Director.

Carol, however, did pick up a Best Cinematography trophy, while newcomer Abraham Attah and Idris Elba won in their respective categories.

Tangerine actress Mya Taylor made history by being the first trans actress to win an award. After being ignored all season, it was great to see her get up on stage and accept her win. Someone cast this woman in more movies please! She has screen presence for days.

Room actress Brie Larson completed her major awards collection by winning Best Female Lead. An Oscar tomorrow night will complete her SAG-BAFTA-Globe-Indie Spirit combination.

See the full list of winners below.

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Best Performances of The Year: 2015

This year’s awards season started off with so much promise and a wealth of contenders. You had inspired choices like Kristen Stewart in Clouds of Sils Maria cleaning up with the critics, Idris Elba on the cusp of his first Oscar nomination for Beasts of No Nation and Michael B. Jordan having a true breakout moment in Creed. You had films like Chi-RaqThe End of the TourTangerine and Love & Mercy all of which were brilliant, but ultimately passed over in favor of mindless Oscar bait. In the end, the Academy’s narrow scope once again limited the possibilities of what was possible to a mindless lineup that required no imagination. In doing so, they saw the revival of #OscarsSoWhite for the second consecutive year.

But what if the Academy thought outside their narrow bubble? What if they used their imaginations and rewarded actually great performances, instead of the ones with the biggest campaigns behind them? I imagine we would see Mya Taylor’s brilliantly rendered Alex from Tangerine, instead of Jennifer Jason-Leigh’s half-baked “feminist” take on a battered woman in The Hateful Eight. Or maybe Benicio Del Toro’s menacing Alejandro from Sicario over Christian Bale’s hammy, phoned in performance in The Big Short.

2015 gave us so many amazing films with fully realized performances, that still live on despite the Academy’s ignorance.

Here’s my acting ballot. Who really deserved a nomination this year. 

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“Spotlight” Gets A Boost At The SAG Awards

After losing Best Picture at the Producer’s Guild Awards last week, Spotlight got a bump after winning the top prize over The Big Short at the Screen Actor’s Guild this evening.

Seeing as the actors are the largest voting body in the Academy, this is pretty substantial. However, the Best Ensemble prize matches with Oscar’s Best Picture choice less than the PGA’s award has in the past. Films like The Help have won with SAG and gone on to lose the Oscar, so it isn’t always a sure thing.

It’ll be interesting to see how the other guilds vote, and how much of the absence of Mad Max here plays out with the Academy.

In the other categories, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander and Leonardo DiCaprio predictably won, while Idris Elba unexpectedly (and deservedly) won in Supporting Actor.

Though he was snubbed for an Oscar, it was his first major win of the season (and his first of two wins tonight). Presumed frontrunner, Sylvester Stallone, was not nominated tonight. Though it did rub salt in the wound of Elba’s snub, I was happy to see him get a win. He’s clearly beloved by his peers, and it’s time the industry as a whole took notice of that.

Take a look at the full list of winners from tonight, below.

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